By James Kilpatrick
Bolton 0-1 Blackburn: Bradley Dack's first-half strike sends Rovers into ninth
Blackburn move into the top half of the table
Last Updated: 06/10/18 8:31pm
Bradley Dack's first-half strike was the difference as Blackburn beat Bolton 1-0 in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
Dack's strike midway through the opening 45 minutes was enough to see Blackburn secure a hard-fought victory at the University of Bolton Stadium.
Josh Magennis twice came close to scoring for the hosts with two headers in the first half, and Bolton were denied a penalty by the linesman in the 89th minute, but Blackburn's defence held firm as they surged up the Sky Bet Championship table.
The result sees Blackburn leapfrog six teams and move into ninth. Bolton, meanwhile, remain in 16th on 15 points.
Bolton: Matthews (6), Olkowski (5), Hobbs (5), Wheater (5), Grounds (5), Williams (5), Lowe (5), Noone (6), Oztumer (6), Buckley (6), Magennis (7)
Subs: Wildschut (7), Dyer (5), Doidge (6)
Blackburn: Raya (8), Bennett (7), Lenihan (7), Mulgrew (7), Williams (6), Reed (6), Rodwell (6), Rothwell (6), Dack (7), Palmer (6), Graham (6)
Subs: Evans (6), Smallwood (6), Armstong (5)
Man of the match: David Raya
After a scrappy opening to the match with both sides looking to climb into the top half, Blackburn found the breakthrough in the 22nd minute thanks to Dack.
Remi Williams did superbly well to deny Harrison Reed before Joe Rothwell's blocked shot landed to the 24-year-old, who fired the visitors ahead with his tenth goal in his last 12 appearances in all competitions.
Bolton responded quickly. Six minutes after Dack's opener, Will Buckley's curling strike forced David Raya into a fine save before the Spanish goalkeeper was called into action again as he tipped Magennis' close-range header over the bar.
Three minutes before half-time and the Northern Ireland international came close again. A wild clearance from Danny Graham allowed Magennis to direct a looping header towards goal. It got the better of Raya, but Charlie Mulgrew on the goal-line made the vital clearance.
As Bolton looked to find their way back into the bruising encounter, Yanic Wildschut was introduced for Will Buckley and had a seemingly goal-bound strike blocked by Darragh Lenihan in the 54th minute.
David Wheater returned to the starting XI and replaced Marc Wilson in central defence.
Charlie Mulgrew, Jack Rodwell, Joe Rothwell and Kasey Palmer all came into the starting XI for the visitors.
The Dutch winger had another opportunity to level for the hosts in the 68th minute, but his tame cross looking for Magennis ended up rolling into the grateful arms of Raya.
As Bolton continued to push for an equaliser, they thought they had the golden opportunity to do so a single minute from time when substitute Christian Doidge was brought down in the box.
Referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot, but he was overruled by his linesman as the Welsh striker was offside. It was the correct decision, as Blackburn held on for a valuable three points.
Man of the Match - David Raya
Although Dack scored the decisive goal, David Raya's display in goal kept Blackburn in the game in the first half.
His two saves to deny Will Buckley from range, followed by a dangerous Magennis header, were pivotal as the Spanish goalkeeper's shot-stopping prevented the hosts from finding a way back into the match.
Phil Parkinson: "I thought for long spells we played well. We had some good moments in the first half but our final ball let us down tonight. A lot of our best performances were at the back and the wide areas in midfield when we needed to produce.
"We didn't produce that final, telling pass which could lead to a goal and that was the one disappointing thing tonight. There were so many good aspects of our play and we got into a lot of good areas, but we know we need to show more quality when we get into those areas and that's what cost us tonight."
Tony Mowbray: "Sometimes it's good to win ugly and the team did that. We dug in today and really grafted.
"I felt if we stayed the same formation at half-time we would have lost a goal. We changed at half-time but we're happy and we'll take the points. I'm not happy with the performance but sometimes you have to do it [that way]."
Bolton travel to Rotherham United after the international break on Saturday, October 20. Blackburn, meanwhile, host Leeds at 12pm on the same day.