Championship round-up: Blackburn and Birmingham among those to win

Championship round-up: Blackburn thump Birmingham to pick up their fifth straight win and move into third… while Blackpool beat Peterborough, Huddersfield down Bristol City and Forest defeat Hull

  • Blackburn are now just a point of the automatic places in the Championship 
  • Tony Mowbray’s side picked up a fifth straight win by beating Birmingham 
  • Elsewhere, Blackpool beat Peterborough and Huddersfield downed Bristol City 
  • Bournemouth lost at Middlesbrough, while Nottingham Forest beat Hull City 

Time for a good news story.

In these times of rising Covid case numbers, football postponements and little solace being offered by England’s cricketers in the Ashes Down Under, here was an afternoon to forget about those and enjoy the re-emergence of Blackburn as a credible footballing force.

They swept aside Birmingham City for their fifth straight win to move up to third in the Championship, just one point behind Bournemouth in second and firmly in the mix for a return to the Premier League in their tenth season since relegation.

Blackburn Rovers thumped Birmingham to record a fifth-straight win and move up into third

Blackburn (3-4-2-1): Kaminski 6; Lenihan 7, van Hecke 6, Wharton 7; Nyambe 7, Travis 7, Rothwell 7 (Johnson 75, 3), Pickering 6; Khadra 8 (Butterworth 69, 5), Buckley 7 (Gallagher 63, 5); Brereton Diaz 7

Substitutes not used: Pears (GK), Ayala, Davenport, Clarkson

Goalscorers: Buckley 6, Khadra 52, Brereton Diaz 60 pen, 79

Booking: Buckley

Manager: Tony Mowbray 8

Birmingham (3-5-2): Sarkic 5; Sanderson 6, Roberts 4 (Bela 37, 5), Friend 5; Graham 5 (Colin 46, 5), James 5, Sunjic 5, McGree 5, Pedersen 5; Deeney 4, Aneke 6 (Jutkiewicz 67, 5) 

Substitutes not used: Etheridge (GK), Woods, Hogan, Hall

Booking: Sunjic

Manager: Lee Bowyer 5

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 12,148

Surrounded by clubs buffeted by parachute payments and able to keep players on bloated top-flight salaries, Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray is having to do it a different way.

But on this evidence, he is doing it extremely well with an energetic mix of loanees and homegrown players.

Bournemouth’s defeat to Middlesbrough at lunchtime and West Brom’s draw on Friday had offered encouragement and the home side wasted little time in settling to their task.

And as befitting a team in form, they scored with their first attack with little more than five minutes played.

Full-back Ryan Nyambe burst to the byline and goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dived out to stop the ball reaching Ben Brereton Diaz. 

Instead, his touch put it into the path of John Buckley, who made no mistake from about eight yards.

The home team had been completely on top, yet Chuks Aneke almost conjured a spectacular equaliser when he took aim and curled one against the angle of post and bar from 25 yards.

But Blackburn turned on the style in the second half. 

Joe Rothwell had already been denied by Sarkic before German Reda Khadra made the game safe.

Darragh Lenihan’s through ball was perfect as Khadra, the 20-year-old on loan from Brighton, got there before the goalkeeper and then had the composure to take a touch before stroking it home. 

Ben Brereton Dias scored twice at Ewood Park, with hosts Blackburn in for a special season

Then Brereton Diaz took over. Number 18 of the season arrived from the penalty spot after the Chile international had been upended by Sarkic.

Substitute Dan Butterworth rattled the crossbar with a Kevin De Bruyne style shot, before he turned provider for Brereton Diaz to head in from all of a yard for his 19th while there was almost a glorious hat-trick as his chip clipped the bar.

No matter, as with him in this form, he and Blackburn could still be in for a special season.

Blackpool 3-1 Peterborough

By Neil Goulding

Battling Blackpool completed a courageous comeback win to stun Peterborough at Bloomfield Road.

Siriki Dembele rifled the visitors into a deserved 11th minute lead with a sweet strike from a tight angle.

But winger Keshi Anderson levelled for the hosts just before the half hour mark, lashing home into the roof of the net from point-blank range.

And then second half substitute Sonny Carey bagged his first-ever league goal to put the Seasiders ahead with just three minutes remaining.

Jerry Yates (left) was on target for Blackpool in their comeback victory against Peterborough

There was even time for fellow sub Jerry Yates to find the back of the net as well, smashing home in the last minute to end a miserable seven-game winless run for the hosts.

Victory also ended a run of three successive defeats for Neil Critchley’s side as they registered their first home since a 2-0 victory over Preston North End on 23 October, nearly two month ago.

The visitors started the brightest and midfielder Harrison Burrows had a powerful left-foot shot charged down after six minutes, but just five minutes later and Posh were ahead.

Dembele latched on to a fine through-ball from Josh Knight and fired home to sun the hosts.

Striker Gary Madine powered a header agonisingly wide two minutes later from Ryan Wintle’s inswinging cross as the home side came within a whisker of equalising.

Jonson Clark-Harris smashed a left-foot shot high and wide as Darren Ferguson’s team looked to double their lead.

But it was Anderson who restored parity having moments earlier been thwarted by a smart save from keeper David Cornwell.

The Welsh shot-stopper produced an excellent save to deny Anderson, but the winger made no mistake at the second time of asking as he fired home from Josh Bowler’s pinpoint pass into the box.

Blackpool currently sit in 12th spot, with manager Neil Critchley impressing in the hot seat

Midfielder Jack Taylor had a goalbound shot charged down five minutes after the restart, before Bowler went close with a curling shot which was deflected wide for a corner.

Harrison Burrows had a shot blocked on the edge of the box as Posh kept pushing, while Shane Lavery had a strike charged down as the Seasiders also looked to bag the lead.

Carey missed a great chance to put the home side ahead with 13 minutes remaining, but he shot over from Reece James’ perfect cut-back.

But he had a second bite of the cherry and he fired them in front with a clinical strike – and Yates was on hand at the death to cement a fine fightback.

Carey also blasted wide in injury-time, but Critchley’s charges had done enough and deserved their welcome win.

Bristol City 2-3 Huddersfield Town 

By Harry Wright

Danny Ward made amends after missing a penalty to fire Huddersfield Town to a first away win in eight by beating Bristol City 3-2 at Ashton Gate.

Andreas Weimann opened the scoring for the Robins inside two minutes before his effort was cancelled out by Duane Holmes before half-time.

Ward, who saw his sixth-minute penalty saved by Lee Nicholls, set up Danel Sinani to put the Terriers in front before Town’s top scorer doubled the lead before Wiemann’s second of the game late in stoppage time.

The game was stopped momentarily in the second half as home supporters threw missiles at Huddersfield’s Sorba Thomas as he attempted to take a corner, forcing Dean Whitestone to take the players over to the dugouts to find a solution.

Huddersfield picked up a first away win in eight after they beat Bristol City at Ashton Gate

Weimann opened the scoring after just 90 seconds when Alex Scott and Antoine Semenyo won the ball back high up the field and the latter’s cross was perfect for the Austrian to tap home at the back post.

The visitors had a golden chance to strike back almost immediately when Zak Vyner was adjudged to have fouled Lewis O’Brien following Daniel Bentley’s smart save from Ward.

Ward stepped up to take the penalty but the Robins’ captain dived away to his left to rebuff the striker’s spot kick.

Play-off chasing Huddersfield were level through Holmes on 41 minutes. The superb flowing move from front to back saw Harry Toffolo pick out Holmes who waltzed into the box and slotted past Bentley.

Danny Ward made amends after missing a penalty to fire the visitors to the superb victory

The visitors were ahead inside a minute after the break, when Ward slipped in Sinani and the Luxembourg international fired into the bottom corner to put Huddersfield ahead for the first time.

After an eventful afternoon, Ward also got his name on the scoresheet to secure the points for Carlos Corberan’s men as he headed home Thomas’ deflected cross at the back post on 55 minutes.

Wiemann halved the deficit deep into stoppage time with his ninth of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent Huddersfield moving two points from the top six.

Earlier today, promotion-chasing Bournemouth continued their woeful recent record, going down 1-0 at Middlesbrough. 

Nottingham Forest mounted a second-half comeback to beat Hull, meanwhile.

Keane Lewis-Potter netted the opening goal for the visitors just a couple of minutes before half-time, leaving Forest with it all to do after the break.

They rose to the challenge, though, with Lewis Grabban converting from the penalty spot and Brennan Johnson scoring the winning goal on 72 minutes. 

Nottingham Forest fought back to beat Hull, with Lewis Grabban netting from the penalty spot

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article