April 16, 2013
Rhodes sinks former club
Jordan Rhodes came back to haunt his former club as the free-scoring striker grabbed the only goal to sink Blackburn's fellow npower Championship strugglers Huddersfield.
Rovers paid a club-record £8million to take Rhodes from the John Smith's Stadium in August, where he netted 87 goals in 148 games.
Having scored when the sides played out a 2-2 draw on the east side of the Pennines in November, the Scotland international claimed a 25th for his current employers - finishing smartly with his back to goal in the 36th minute after caretaker manager Gary Bowyer saw Blackburn take control of a contest played at a frantic tempo.
Huddersfield made a far better fist of things after half-time, substitute Jermaine Beckford bringing an excellent stop from Grzegorz Sandomierski, but Blackburn held out on what proved to be a fruitful night for teams at the wrong end of the table.
This defeat along a win and a draw for Wolves and Peterborough respectively means Mark Robins' Terriers drop to third-bottom on goal difference and two points behind their opponents, who edge up one place to 19th after a second consecutive victory.
Gael Givet made his first Rovers start since December's 2-0 loss at Blackpool in place of suspended centre-back Grant Hanley - one of four changes made by Bowyer.
Robins' only alternation saw Keith Southern come into midfield for Oscar Gobern, who dropped to the bench.
During a feisty opening lacking clear-cut chances, referee Darren Drysdale showed leniency towards a number of robust challenges before Terriers defender Calum Woods became the first player into the book for clattering through returning Rovers' full-back Markus Olsson in the 16th minute.
A moment of genuine quality arrived midway through the half as Blackburn worked the ball left via a pair of 50-50 challenges for Josh King to unleash a swerving 25 yarder that Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies pushed behind.
Lee Williamson forced Town skipper Peter Clarke to head a dinked cross behind following some clever footwork and the former Sheffield United midfielder saw his volley blocked from the resulting corner.
Clarke's fellow centre-back Anthony Gerrard was fortunate to escape censure when he prevented Leon Best from racing clear with half an hour played, the latest indication of the hosts gaining the upper hand.
Such pressure told as Rhodes once again demonstrated his supreme poachers' instincts, hooking home a close range volley after Scott Dann headed David Jones' corner back towards goal.
Displaying a verve seldom seen this season, Blackburn surged forward in search of a second but Huddersfield avoided further damage before the break.
Robins sought to remedy a toothless Terriers attack by sending on Beckford for midfielder Oliver Norwood at half-time and the ex-Leeds striker saw Rovers goalkeeper Sandomierski save his 49th-minute header, albeit in routine fashion.
At the other end, Best dragged a volley wide from Rhodes' cushioned header and the Republic of Ireland striker went on to test Smithies on the half-volley from 20 yards with an hour played.
Despite those opportunities, Blackburn's earlier assurance had deserted them and Jamnes Vaughan sprung the offside trap in the 69th minute before his touch to let him down.
Sandomierski was fully extended by an acrobatic Beckford volley on the turn and Rovers were increasingly pinned inside their own penalty area.
On-loan Chelsea defender Todd Kane executed an excellent tackle on Town winger Sean Scannell with no margin for error inside the box in stoppage time, while Blackburn sub David Goodwillie almost applied late gloss to the scoreline.
|Blackburn Rovers||Huddersfield Town|
|Jordan Rhodes (37')|
|Blackburn Rovers||Huddersfield Town|
|29 Grzegorz Sandomierski||1 Alex Smithies|
|5 Gael Givet||5 Peter Clarke|
|16 Scott Dann||6 Anthony Gerrard|
|19 Todd Kane||3 Paul Dixon|
|17 Lee Williamson||2 Callum Woods|
|36 David Jones||24 Keith Southern|
|14 Marcus Olsson||20 Neil Danns|
|6 Jason Lowe||8 Adam Clayton|
|9 Leon Best||4 Oliver Norwood|
|11 Jordan Rhodes||18 James Vaughan|
|15 Joshua King||7 Sean Scannell|
|30 Sebastian Usai||Ian Bennett 13|
|23 Karim Rekik||Joel Lynch 33|
|8 David Dunn||Murray Wallace 15|
|12 Morten Gamst Pedersen||Scott Arfield 16|
|24 Josh Morris||Oscar Gobern 10|
|21 Nuno Gomes||Alan Lee 19|
|25 David Goodwillie||Jermaine Beckford 21|
|Morten Gamst Pedersen for Leon Best (72)||Jermaine Beckford for Oliver Norwood (46)|
|David Goodwillie for Jason Lowe (72)||Oscar Gobern for Keith Southern (62)|
|David Dunn for Joshua King (83)||Alan Lee for Adam Clayton (82)|
|Scott Dann (52)||Callum Woods (17)|
|Keith Southern (35)|
|Paul Dixon (68)|
|Jermaine Beckford (87)|
|· Squads: Blackburn Rovers | Huddersfield Town|