Our 2016 game at Ewood Park was originally set to take place in late April, however due to an unseasonal snow shower the game was re-arranged for Tue 10th May and the Rovers fans in attendance were delighted that temperatures were a bit more Spring-like for their big game! The rain was falling in Blackburn, but playing conditions were still perfect and we were treated to an entertaining, and extremely close game with the Away team led by Legend Kevin Gallacher edging the result 2-3 against a Home team featuring Legend David Dunn.
Date: Tuesday 10th May 2016
Venue: Ewood Park
Blackburn Rovers (Home) vs Blackburn Rovers (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legends: David Dunn & Kevin Gallacher
Match Officials: Ben Wiseman, Marlon Gupta & Matt Phillipson
The Away team kicked the game off under the floodlights at Ewood Park sporting the club’s Red change strip and they certainly started quickly enough, scoring with the 1st chance of the game!
The goal came about after a smart corner kick tactic succeeded. The ball was driven low to the edge of the box, found the feet of Away No 11 Ian Marshall who laid off the ball to his Legend Kevin Gallacher, and the Scottish striker’s low shot evaded a sea of Home defenders’ legs to open the scoring with just 5 mins gone (0-1).
It was the Away team who were in control of the game but the Home team had a big shout for a penalty when their striker Alex Smal raced into the box and tried rounding the goalkeeper, but the referee judged there to be no contact and gave a goal kick.
Straight down the other end, Away No 11 Ian Marshall found himself in shooting range but Home No 1 Oliver Clark comfortably saved his left-footed strike.
A big chance fell to Home No 10 Nathan Thornhill when he found himself free at the back post following a clever pass from Home No 7 Andrew Harland, however the Away GK and captain Peter Weymouth managed to stop the strike going in with his right foot.
The Home team were pressing hard for the equaliser now and from the following corner a header from Home No 8 Christian Preston was tipped onto the crossbar before Away No 2 Gareth Pearson was spared an OG next to his name when his headed clearance was cleared off the goal line by legend Kevin Gallacher.
Despite the Home team’s efforts it was the Away team who increased their lead in the 33rd min, a fantastic outside of the foot cross by Away No 11 Ian Marshall found Michael Gallagher in space and the pacy No 7 scored a simple tap in from the 6 yard box (0-2).
The Home team’s Andrew Harland nearly found a way back into the game after a skilful, mazy run ended with him firing in a long distance shot that beat the keeper but couldn’t beat the post and bounced away to safety.
A goal was coming for the Home side, however a low diving save by Away No 1 Peter Weymouth saw Home No 8 Christian Preston’s curling effort denied.
That was the last effort of the 1st half, and the referee called time on a strong Away team attacking performance, however the result was still all to play for with the Home side constantly attempting to find a way back into the game.
Half Time: Blackburn (Home) 0 - 2 Blackburn (Away)
Following motivational speeches from Home Legend David Dunn and Away Legend Kevin Gallacher, both teams came out for the 2nd half in positive spirits and it was the Home team who started the proceedings looking determined to get themselves back into the match.
They didn’t have to wait long for their 1st goal of the game as well, Home legend David Dunn spotting the goalkeeper slightly off his line and sending a high curling effort into the top corner in the 50th min (1-2). It was certainly a moment of class from Dunny!
Usually games get more end-to-end in the 2nd half due to tiredness, but not this one. With both defences well organised and chances at a premium this became a much tighter affair and the main battle mostly occurred in the middle of the park.
However the Home team were still pushing hard for an equaliser and a fantastic reflex save at his near post from Away GK Peter Weymouth, to stop a fierce volley from Home No 17 Jack Feehan, prevented the game from being all level again.
Despite this scare the Away side’s 2 goal lead was soon restored when Away No 14 Dave Taylor managed to beat the goalkeeper with a superb 30 yard effort in the 64th min (1-3).
It was nearly 1-4 when Away No 7 Michael Gallagher broke free from the defence but Home No 1 Oliver Clark stopped his strike quickly by rushing out to meet the danger.
The Home side thought they were back in it when Home No 17 Jack Feehan laid the ball off to No 11 and Captain Scott Mitchell, his shot was parried out into the path of No 14 Andrew Thornhill who fired into the back of the net, but his effort was controversially ruled offside by the linesman.
With only 5mins remaining the Home side did get back on the scoresheet though. A deflected cross from Home legend David Dunn found No 10 Nathan Thornhill in the box and the midfielder fired a low shot into the bottom right corner (2-3). An emotional moment followed when No 10 Nathan Thornhill, No 11 Scott Mitchell and No 14 Andrew Thornhill sprinted over to the Home technical area to celebrate with Manager Thomas Pomfret. After winning the man of the match award for his performance in goal last season Thomas has spent the last year recovering from a cancer scare and it was a fantastic gesture for the trio to celebrate their strike with their honorary Manager.
Unfortunately for the Home side there was no way back into the game. Minutes after their strike the referee signalled the end of the contest, with the Away side edging the result 2-3. It had been a tightly contested game that could have been won by either team. The players left the pitch to a huge round of applause and the watching fans deservedly gave the Rovers Legends David Dunn and Kevin Gallacher an extra special reception as a thank you for their fantastic support.
Full Time: Blackburn (Home) 2 - 3 Blackburn (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Andrew Harland
Man of the Match Away: Dave Taylor
Moment of the Match: Nathan Thornhill and Andrew Thornhill
Special Contribution to Football Aid Award: Home Manager, Thomas Pomfret
Home Team: Oliver Clark, Philip Parker, David Dunn, Keith Butler, Andrew Maltby, Daniel Carroll, Andrew Harland, Christian Preston, Alex Smal, Nathan Thornhill, Scott Mitchell (C), Andrew Thornhill, Mark Feehan, Christopher Pickles, Jack Feehan
Home Manager: Thomas Pomfret
Home Mascot: Liam Fleming
Away Team: Peter Weymouth (C), Gareth Pearson, Kevin Gallacher, Paul Old, Keith Proudfoot, Dave Taylor, Michael Gallagher, Danny Cheng, Mark Winstanley, Glen Mullan, Ian Marshall, Dave Taylor (A6), Billy Eckersley, Stuart Green, Danny Cheng (A8)
Away Mascot: Isabelle Mullan
Match Report written by Matt Annis