Blackburn 2-0 Bolton: Ben Brereton, Adam Armstrong pile misery on Bolton
Ben Brereton scores first goal since move from Nottingham Forest in August 2018
Last Updated: 22/04/19 7:52pm
Ben Brereton scored his first Blackburn goal as they sauntered to a 2-0 win over relegated Bolton.
The 20-year-old broke the deadlock in a tight first half when a neat move on the half-hour set him clear and he confidently stroked home.
Former Bolton loanee Adam Armstrong settled the game from close range five minutes after the break with his ninth goal of the campaign.
The game felt like a testimonial at times, with Rovers able to hand out home and league debuts, and while Callum Connolly had two decent chances for the Trotters, they never looked like scoring on another chastening afternoon.
Rovers still harbour hopes of a top-half finish after stretching their winning sequence to four - the second time this season they have managed to do that.
Both sides made three changes from their Good Friday fixtures. For Blackburn, Jack Rodwell returned to make his 150th career start, while the Trotters replaced injured duo Gary O'Neil and David Wheater with Craig Noone and Mark Beevers.
It was the visitors who started brightest, with Sammy Ameobi's shot whistling over the crossbar before the first major chance five minutes in, when Callum Connolly directed a free header over from six yards, after Noone's inch-perfect cross found him at the far post.
Rovers made the breakthrough in the 30th minute with the half's only moment of quality, as Bradley Dack slid a perfect ball to Brereton who calmly slotted into the bottom right corner from 12 yards out. It was harsh on the balance of play but indicative of the league's second leakiest defence.
Luke Murphy came close an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but his thunderous 25-yard drive was just too high.
After the break, Ameobi's neat turn and shot forced a low save from Jayson Leutwiler, but Rovers doubled their lead in the 50th minute.
Dack's low ball found Joe Rothwell, whose point-blank shot was superbly saved by Ben Alnwick, but Armstrong was quickest to react and fired into the roof of the net.
Wanderers almost responded immediately when Ameobi's superb reverse pass found Connolly six yards out, but Leutwiler stood tall to divert behind.
Brereton should have made it three but somehow lifted his shot over the bar when meeting Rothwell's perfect cross.
The former Nottingham Forest forward could have had two more before the end, but just failed to connect with Dan Butterworth's cross-cum-shot and then had an effort saved by Alnwick's legs.
It did not matter though, as Rovers completed the double over Bolton for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Tony Mowbray: "Ben's had limited time. I have said all season, I'm sure he enjoys his time here. I see him laughing and joking with the lads every day. I know that (Danny) Graham and (Bradley) Dack have really warmed to him, because he is a young boy.
"I try to put it into context. If you think of Armstrong being a young boy, this kid's two years younger than Armstrong. But he's a wonderful footballer and that's why he's here.
"He's got to be pushing hard to make sure he's a starter in our team. I'm sure he'll do that, work hard through pre-season and hopefully he has a fantastic year next year for us."
Assistant manager Steve Parkin: "The result is disappointing. I think we've had enough of last third opportunities to get on the scoresheet and make the game tighter than it looked. We've had good opportunities to score goals in the first half and second half. I'm just disappointed that we didn't get one of course.
"It's been very trying and difficult with the circumstances we've had. But it's a tough division that's full of absolute quality. We have suffered a lot this season in terms of scoring goals. Sooner or later, you're bound to succeed and that was the story of today."