Championship: Blackburn recover to claim 2-2 draw against Watford at Ewood Park
Last Updated: 28/09/14 8:42pm
Blackburn fought back from two goals down to grab a point with a 2-2 draw against Watford at Ewood Park in the Championship on Saturday.
On-loan midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe headed his first Rovers goal from close range within 15 minutes of his introduction from the bench to equalise as the hosts showed great character to battle back from two goals down.
Matej Vydra sprung the offside trap to fire Watford ahead with his third goal this season and Daniel Toszer's precise free-kick doubled the advantage five minutes before the break.
But Rovers fought back admirably and were back in it a minute after the interval through Rudy Gestede's powerful header and Tunnicliffe pounced 13 minutes from time to give Blackburn a deserved share of the spoils.
It could have got even better moments before the end when Tom Cairney's free-kick rattled the crossbar, but it remained all square.
Gary Bowyer named an unchanged side from the Fulham win, while Watford made four changes having lost Gabriel Tamas and Almen Abdi to injury.
Watford should have been ahead in the first two minutes when Ikechi Anya set up Odion Ighalo but the striker skewed wide.
On-loan striker Ighalo did work Jason Steele after 18 minutes, though, showing neat footwork to get past two defenders but the goalkeeper diverted his effort behind.
It was Blackburn's turn to threaten after 25 minutes as the impressive Cairney side-stepped two challenges before firing a 25-yard drive that Heurelho Gomes got down well to stop.
But the visitors went ahead four minutes later as Vydra sprung the offside trap and - although Rovers got numbers back - he turned Shane Duffy before slotting emphatically into the left corner from 18 yards.
Gestede curled just wide after 38 minutes after good work from Cairney and Jordan Rhodes, but Watford doubled the lead moments later as Toszer whipped a superb 20-yard free-kick past Steele.
The hosts found a way back into it within a minute of the restart when Gestede met Marcus Olsson's teasing cross to thunder a header past Gomes.
Watford had not won at Ewood Park for 14 years and the hosts battled to ensure it stayed that way, with Ben Marshall heading a corner just past Gomes' post.
The visitors' goal continued to lead a charmed life as Duffy's cushioned header set Gestede clear after 63 minutes, but Gomes got a vital touch to steer the effort wide.
But they could do nothing later when Cairney released Marshall, who lifted a perfect cross onto the head of Tunnicliffe and he headed home from close range.
The game was frenetic and Rovers twice could have won it before the end. First, Cairney's curling 25-yard free-kick cannoned off the bar and from the rebound, Gestede wriggled free in the area but Gomes thwarted him.