Date: 24th October 2012 at 10:47pm
Written by:

Grant Hanley’s fifth-minute strike was enough to give out-of-form Blackburn victory over Wednesday at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.

Defeat for Wednesday stretched their winless run to ten matches in all competitions and saw them drop below Peterborough United in the league table on goal difference.

Victory for Rovers moved them up into the Championship play-off spots and gave Eric Black his first win since taking control of the Lancashire team on a caretaker basis.

It was the proverbial game of two halves, with the hosts dominating long spells of the first 45 minutes while Wednesday certainly had the better of the second half. The only difference was Rovers found the back of the net when it mattered and Dave Jones’s side didn’t.

The Owls boss made three changes to the side that drew with Leeds on Friday night. Gary Madine led the attack while Jermaine Johnson returned and Martin Taylor also started in defence.

Wednesday suffered an early Rovers onslaught when the sides met in the Carling Cup in Lancashire last season, with the hosts storming into a 3-0 lead after just seven minutes.

Although the start wasn’t as blistering, with the Owls starting well in the opening exchanges, Blackburn still managed an early opener through Hanley, who tucked in what turned out to be the decisive goal following good work by David Dunn.

Black’s men dominated exchanges for long spells after, with Wednesday struggling to get control of the ball, and when they did they could fashion no chances at the other end.

Jordan Rhodes flashed an effort over the bar as Rovers looked to double their advantage, but their visitors did slowly start to get some momentum.

First Miguel Llera curled a free-kick around the wall and just wide of Blackburn stopper Paul Robinson’s goal, and then Michail Antonio had a glorious chance to level but powered his effort wide when he should have done better.

Rovers carved out more chances of their own, with the best going to Ruben Rochina, and Jones will perhaps have been happy to see his side in at half-time just the one goal down.

The visitors improved greatly in the second half, however, although Blackburn looked a side nervous on their one-goal advantage.

Wednesday were shooting towards their loud travelling support behind the goal in the second half and Llera almost gave them something to cheer but he directed his header wide from a Paul Corry free-kick.

The Owls were getting closer and the leveller almost came from the most unlikely source. Lewis Buxton wrong-footed his marker on the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful effort that flashed wide of Robinson’s goal but also wide of the post.

As Wednesday surged forward, Rovers always looked to capitalise on the break and their best chance of making it 2-0 went to Rochina, only to see Owls stopper Chris Kirkland equal to his effort.

Jones threw on Rodri to add more attacking options and the forward momentum continued for Wednesday as Ross Barkley fired wide.

The game could have been done and dusted, however, had it not been for Llera, who cleared a Morten Gamst Pederson free-kick off the line.

Wednesday couldn’t carve out any more clear-cut chances, despite the addition of five minutes stoppage time, and the hosts hung on relatively comfortably for the three points.

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Olsson (Pedersen 74), Givet, Lowe, Dunn (Rochina 35), Rhodes, Dann, Etuhu, Hanley, Kazim-Richards (Murphy 83). Substitutes: Kean, Formica, Gomes, Rosado.

Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Jones, J Johnson, Barkley, Semedo, Corry (Rodri 76), Antonio, Madine. Substitutes: Davies, Mattock, Pecnik, Mayor, Maguire, O’Grady.