Bent double beats Blackburn

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:27

Bent double beats Blackburn

Blackburn’s decision to leave their two top scorers, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes, among their substitutes seemed an odd one but manager Gary Bowyer looked like being rewarded for defensive tactics until Bent, on loan from Aston Villa, scored his first in the 68th minute.
The former England man then took his tally to three in four days with a second at the death.
Blackburn, 3-1 winners over Swansea on Saturday, had five men in midfield but were by-passed by crisp passing and intelligent movement that yielded a first chance for the Rams in the fifth minute.
Simon Dawkins cut the ball inside from the left wing and England Under-21 midfielder Will Hughes hit a fierce shot just wide from 25 yards.
Derby continued to have the majority of possession but a tendency to over-elaborate was allowing Blackburn to snuff out potentially dangerous situations.
Goalkeeper Jason Steele cut out a dangerous left-wing cross from Craig Forsyth with Derby’s top scorer Chris Martin lurking a couple of yards away and half-time approached with Blackburn growing in confidence.
Derby’s defence failed to deal with an innocuous high ball and winger Craig Conway hit a firm shot that Lee Grant palmed away at full-stretch.
Blackburn sent on Gestede in place of the limping Tom Cairney in the 43rd minute and the Frenchman’s aerial ability immediately caused Derby problems, only eased when Josh King was caught offside as he fired high into stand.
The game got testy when Martin was flattened by the arm of his Scotland team-mate Grant Hanley and the Derby man was unceremoniously dumped on the deck by him again within a minute of the restart.
A left-wing raid by Blackburn ended with Gestede glancing a header wide of the far post and it was Derby’s turn to threaten in the 63rd minute when Ryan Shotton had a shot well saved following a free kick.
Substitute Gestede, rubbing his shoulder, was himself replaced by Chris Brown two minutes later and Derby sent on Darren Bent in place of Steve Dawkins at the same time in the hope of producing greater fire-power.
Derby’s switch proved inspired as Blackburn defender Matt Kilgallon was forced into a dangerous header, sending the ball looping towards the opposite post, where Bent shrugged off two defenders to flick the ball home from point-blank range.
Brown had a shot superbly saved by Lee Grant and Martin was denied by Steele as a cagey game burst into life but it was Bent who applied the coup de grace in the third minute of added time after sub Mason Bennett broke clear on the left to set up another simple tap-in.

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