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Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Bolton Wanderers: Ratings

Another injury time fuck up means we're almost playing with a minus one handicap these days. Groundhog Day comes to mind as it's my job to pick the bones from a painful reverse against our beloved neighbours from Dingleshire...

Michael Steele/Getty Images

BEN AMOS - 7

Didn't have an awful lot to do in all honesty, except for keeping out a point blank header from Jordan Rhodes, which he excelled in making sure he didn't bundle over the line. Was alert to make a smart block from Chris Brown too that kept the scores level at the time. His kicking was assured again and could do very little about Rhodes' heart breaking winner.

JOSH VELA - 6.5

Very solid first half with some reasonable forays forward but was overran towards the end of the match as Gary Bowyer kept switching his wingers Craig Conway and Ben Marshall. This gave him two headaches instead of one.
Still defended manfully but could've offered more going forward on the whole, typified by the one occasion we got in behind their backline when Vela sliced the ball pathetically into the stand.

PADDY McCARTHY - 8

An excellent debut in which he won almost every aerial duel. A brave and no nonsense defender whose first thought is to clear his lines. Clearly a big fan of the old adage, 'if in doubt, the ball goes out'. When Tommy Spurr came on and wound up his long throws this became a problem however, as this weapon was as much of a threat as a corner.
Who said the days of Rory Delap style long throws were dead? Very encouraging game though for a player who has missed the best part of two years through injury.

MATT MILLS - 6

If he's not hurtling towards the referee at break neck speed to dispute a decision, he's embroiled in a wrestling match with their strikers. Won only half as many headers as McCarthy and looked back to his clumsy worst at times. To his credit however, he made a big, brave block towards the end and was part of a defence that kept Rovers to a minimum of 2 clear cut chances and a 93 minute clean sheet, so I can't be too harsh.

TIM REAM - 6

Didn't do an awful lot wrong again and as lively as Conway and Marshall were, his positioning and timing of challenge meant they never did too much damage. Still needs to offer more in the opposition half though.

SAIDY JANKO - 4

Just not his night. Wasn't involved enough and when he was, wasted what chances he did have to make an impression with overplaying or poor decision making. Still think he will be a great asset in the last 9 games of the season and one who has the raw tools to improve his game way beyond his current showings.

NEIL DANNS - 5

Battled all night but was chasing Tom Cairney's shadow for most of it. We all know he hasn't had the best six to eight weeks of form and he looks in desperate need of a rest. His head never goes down and he made some important interceptions but we need our central midfielders to really start stamping their authority on games and Danns just isn't cutting it at the moment.

GILES COKE - 6.5

Started as he meant to go on with a couple of thunderous challenges early doors, real 'reducers' as Ron Atkinson coined them. Clearly he is fairly limited on the ball but generally made the right decisions, barring a couple of times when he was robbed of possession. Faded towards the end but a decent enough debut for the lad in what seems like a team full of strangers at the moment.

LIAM FEENEY - 5

Fatigue finally caught up with our Liam as he toiled away with very little reward. The corners he did earn us through his hard work and intelligent wing play he then proceeded to waste with piss-poor delivery. When was the last time we scored from a corner? Anyone? He needs to recharge the batteries and sit it out on Saturday against his Millwall, his former club. But players always score against their former club don't they...

EMILE HESKEY - 6

Won his fair share of flick on's for Adam Le Fondre which worked well as a tactic in the first half hour. His hold up play was decent enough and he showed a delightful cushioned touch to play in Le Fondre (or maybe Feeney) at the start of the second half but it came to nothing. Put a good shift in overall but Craig Davies looked a much more menacing threat when he replaced him.

ADAM LE FONDRE - 7

Snatched at a couple of half chances that flew over the bar in the first half but showed his famed predatory instincts late on when his instinctive flick forced Jason Steele into his first proper save of the match at his near post.
Still needs to work on his link up play with his fellow forwards, something that was really clicking into gear to be fair before Zach Clough's season was ended. Not surprising really is it when he's played with Heskey, Gudjohnsen, Clough and now Craig Davies. We've never been able to give him a chance to develop a partnership up top due to a combination of bad luck and necessary rotation.

SUBS:

DEAN MOXEY - 7

Did pretty well when he came on and offered us a bit of thrust in our best spell between 70 and 80 minutes.
May still have a future here if we use the wing back system more regularly next season as this would be his best position for me, as he's proven himself to be a liability at left back.

CRAIG DAVIES - 7

Outmuscled Doneil Henry at times when he came on but never looked like scoring his one-on-one with Steele when the ball broke kindly to him not long after coming on. Davies is clearly the more mobile, pacier option than Heskey and he should start against Millwall. Unless his hamstrings give way between now and Saturday that is...

UNUSED SUBS:

ANDY LONERGAN (good to see him back)
LIAM TROTTER (he's back)
TOM WALKER
EIDUR GUDJOHNSEN
ROB HALL (bet he enjoyed that last minute winner, seeing as he didn't play...)

NEIL LENNON - 6

I can see why he kept Feeney on the pitch until the end as he never seems to tire and he is Lennon's little mascot after all.But his woeful delivery from almost all of our 9 corners meant not one turned into a serious goal scoring opportunity. Only for the very last corner did Lennon switch it to Tim Ream and by then it was too late.

Not sure why Barry Bannan wasn't used except that maybe he felt he needed a breather after playing every game so far and to take a look at Coke. Bannan certainly wasn't injured.

Also thought he could've given young Tom Walker a 10 minute cameo at Feeney's expense to offer a different type of threat.

I suppose it would've been a commendable away point and performance for Lennon to laud, were it not for another last minute abomination.