It was a warm and dry evening as the Rovers fans took to the Ewood Park pitch for our 2015 game, and there was an extra special surprise for them when they marched onto the pitch, with the Premier League Trophy on display to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club’s title winning season. The players were certainly inspired by its presence and proceeded to entertain their enthusiastic fans with an incredible 10 goal thriller of a game, with the never say die attitude of the Away team allowing them to come from 4 goals down to grab a 5-5 draw!
Date: Thursday 23rd April 2015
Venue: Ewood Park
Blackburn Rovers (Home) vs Blackburn Rovers (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legend: Damien Johnson
Match Officials: Ben Wiseman, Niall Eaves, Dave Wolfenden & Matt Phillipson
It was the Home team who kicked off proceedings, playing from left to right, and they started well, playing the ball around confidently and forcing an early corner from the lively winger James Gilmour. However the Away team in Lime Green came right back at them, however their No 18 Chris Wilkinson’s effort was fired wide.
It was the Home team that broke the deadlock on 6mins though. Alex Smal beat the offside trap to race onto a clever through ball from Sam Cunningham, his right foot effort was well saved by Away No 1 Thomas Pomfret, however the GK could only parry it to James Gimour and the pacy midfielder made no mistake from 6 yards with his right foot (1-0).
The Home team were flying now and they doubled their lead less than 2mins later, No 2 Lars Erik Sandvik’s pinpoint through ball found that man James Gilmour again, and the impressive No 14 showed his pace and skill to run in on goal and smash an unstoppable left foot shot, low past the Away GK Pomfret for his 2nd goal of the game (2-0).
The Away team responded well and some impressive passing play created some good chances; 1st up No 18 Chris Wilkinson was denied by a great tackle by Home CH Paul Old, then from an interception by the Home Legend Damien Johnson. Next some clever play by Away Captain Scott Mitchell allowed the striker to go clear in the box and it looked like the Away team would get their reward. However under pressure from H5 Steinar Larsen the striker couldn’t get a clean shot away and his effort bounced off the inside of the post and ran along the line before being claimed by stand-in Home GK Peter Weymouth. It didn’t look like it was going to be the Striker’s night!
It was an excellent game now, with the Home defence holding firm under attack while the Away team pressed strongly, with Dalton, Legdon and Bellamy impressing for the team in Green. The Home team responded well though, and their classy midfielder Sam Cunningham forced a freekick on the edge of the box. He took the kick himself, and his curling high effort looked destined for the roof of the goal, however an incredible finger tip save from Thomas Pomfret denied the No 7.
The Home GK Peter Weymouth then showed his value to his team, making an impressive save to deny A9 Andy Bellamy when his rasping shot looked like it was goal bound. The lively A7 Tom Dalton was next to force an opportunity, however his powerful shot was too high.
Despite the Away team’s pressure it was the Home team who scored next though, increasing their lead right on half-time. Home CH Paul Old made a surging run up the left wing and played a searching through ball in behind the defence, unfortunately there was a slight mix up in communication between the Away No 5 Christian Preston and Away GK Thomas Pomfret, and the ever alert Home striker Alex Smal nipped in between them to fire home from inside the box (3-0).
The ref’s whistle blew shortly afterwards and the Home team left the pitch 3 goals to the good, however the Away team had played very well themselves, creating plenty of chances and were confident they could get something out of the game in the 2nd half.
Half Time: Blackburn (Home) 3-0 Blackburn (Away)
The 2nd half started with a bang and the Home team created a great chance within seconds of the restart. No 10 Curtis Parkinson found Alex Smal in space in the box and the Captain's low shot was initially well saved by GK Pomfret, however it looped up into the air and looked goalbound until Away No 15 Oliver Clark came from nowhere to hook the ball clear just as it looked like crossing the line. It was an incredible, goal saving intervention and typified the fighting spirit of the Away team!
However the goal wasn't long in coming, and after Paul Old played another pinpoint pass in behind the defence on 47mins, Home No 16 Steven Hughes raced clear before smashing the ball low into the goal (4-0).
Home No 14 James Gilmour was impressing in midfield now, with his mazy dribbles testing the Away defence, and a fierce left foot free-kick from the midfielder brought out the best in Tommy Pomfret, the Away GK diving high to his right to parry a fierce left foot effort over the bar.
However the Away team got a foothold back into the game on 60mins. Andy Bellamy's freekick was initially blocked, however the striker got to the rebound 1st, before being upended by a defender and winning a penalty. Away No 18 Chris Wilkinson stepped up and fired the spot-kick high into the net, before racing away to share an emotional celebration with his Father, who was watching from the front row. There was no doubting how much the goal meant to him (4-1)!
The comeback was on and the Away team reduced their deficit further on 70mins. A great ball into the box from No 17 Sam Hatton was headed back into the path of No 10 Richard Legdon by Andy Bellamy, the midfielder's effort was well saved by Home GK Weymouth, however he showed his alertness to gather the rebound and play the ball back to Chris Wilkinson, who showed great composure to slot the ball home left footed (4-2).
The Away team had their tails up now and they grabbed another goal on 75mins. A corner on the right was fired into the box by Andy Bellamy and Tom Dalton rose highest to power an unstoppable header into the net to reduce the deficit to just one goal (4-3).
And incredibly the Away team drew level on 77mins! Great work by Hatton and Wilkinson created a chance for Stuart Gornall just inside the box, however his effort was blocked and when the rebound came out to Richard Legdon he showed fantastic skill to power an effort into the top corner of the net from 20 yards (4-4).
With both defences tiring the chances kept coming at both ends and only the frame of the goal stopped the Away No 9 Tom Dalton firing his side into the lead. At the other end a great one handed save by Away keeper Pomfret denied the Home No 10 Curtis Parkinson.
The Away team then had a great chance to go into the lead when Hatton's goalbound effort was handled on the line, however this time Chris Wilkinson's spot kick was just too high and the scores remained all square with less than 10mins to go.
Back came the Home team and when James Gilmour raced clear it looked like he'd put his side back in front, however GK Tommy Pomfret made another incredible stop to keep his side in the game. Then Oliver Clark started a quick counter attack and the Away team's Richard Legdon found himself in on goal and he showed his ability to round the last Home defender and fire home to put his side into the lead on 85mins (4-5)!
However the Home team showed fantastic determination themselves and their tireless efforts were rewarded with a last ditch equaliser. A short corner was played to Steven Hughes and his dangerous delivery into the box was met perfectly by Curtis Parkinson, who headed into the net from close range (5-5).
Despite creating some late chances, neither team could break the deadlock and a breathless encounter was brought to an end by the ref's whistle minutes later. After an amazing end to end 2nd half the game ended all square at 5-5 apiece and in the end it was definitely a fair result. The watching fans had been treated to an incredible match, and each and every one of our Rovers players could feel extremely proud of their efforts.
Full time: Blackburn (Home) 5-5 Blackburn (Away)
Man of the Match (Home): Paul Old
Man of the Match (Away): Thomas Pomfret
Moment of the Match: Chris Wilkinson
Home Team: Peter Weymouth (Replacement GK), Lars Erik Sandvik, Damien Johnson (1st half), Paul Old, Steinar Larsen, David Bolland, Sam Cunningham, Jack Livesey, Alex Smal (C), Curtis Parkinson, Adam Archer, James Gilmour, Steven Hughes, James Williams
Home Mascot: Ashton Leadly
Away Team: Thomas Pomfret, Gareth Pearson, Billy Eckersley, Christian Preston, Scott Mitchell (C), Tom Dalton, Steve Charnock, Andy Bellamy, Richard Legdon, Chris Wilkinson, Stuart Gornall, Oliver Clark, Seamus Bolger, Sam Hatton
Away Mascot: Noah Pearson