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Blackburn 0-1 Fulham Cham 05 1617 - This is Lancashire

last updated Monday 29th August 2016, 2:16 PM


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This is Lancashire


Blackburn Rovers (0) 0-1 (0) Fulham


Rovers will remain winless and rooted to the bottom of the Championship going into the international break after their returning midfielder Tom Cairney condemned them to a last-gasp gut-wrenching defeat.

Owen Coyle’s new-look side had kept high-flying and unbeaten Fulham at bay and missed two golden chances through Danny Graham before Cairney took advantage of a mistake in the 94th minute to fire his team up to second in the table.

In contrast Rovers, who deserved more, continue to prop up the rest and they will resume their campaign at QPR in two weeks’ time three points adrift of safety with five matches played.

Rovers boss Coyle made seven changes to the side which started the midweek EFL Cup 4-3 win at home to Crewe Alexandra with new boys Tommie Hoban and Derrick Williams handed debuts and Jason Steele, Gordon Greer, Ben Marshall, Dannys Guthrie and Graham recalled.

And in the first half man-of-the-match Hoban and Williams helped shore up a defence which had shipped 15 goals in the club’s first six games of the season.

Indeed apart from when Jason Lowe lost the ball 40 yards from his own goal and saw lively Cottagers debutant Neeskens Kebano force Steele into a flying save from distance, in the first half Rovers looked more solid, composed and compact than at any stage of the campaign so far.

In fact it was the first time since the season kicked off that they avoided conceding in an opening period.

And, watched from the directors’ box by their Premiership title-winning manager Kenny Dalglish, they could and should have taken a lead into the break.

The best and only opportunity of the half came in the eighth minute when captain Lowe played the ball down the line to Graham who took it under his control before cutting inside and firing left-footed inches over the bar.

Fulham, showing 11 changes from the team which started their 2-1 EFL Cup victory over Premier League new boys Middlesbrough, went closest through Kebano after he robbed the ball off Lowe.

But with rain beginning to lash down on to the pitch the chances increased after the restart.

The pick of which again fell to Graham who saw a first-time effort pushed past the post by David Button after Marshall’s through ball had dissected the defence of the club who are credited with interest in his signature.

Steele then saved comfortably from Kebano before Matt Smith got in front of Hoban but sent his header straight at the Rovers goalkeeper.

Hoban and Guthrie then needed lengthy treatment after a clash of heads. The former got to his feet but the latter had to be replaced by Darragh Lenihan and have 12 stitches in the dressing room.

Rovers were not getting much joy from referee Scott Duncan and, after his decision to book Scott Parker was met by ironic cheers, he failed to spot a foul on the edge of the area on Graham, who still managed to tee up Hope Akpan for a shot which was easily saved.

Anthony Stokes was then brought on for the hardworking Sam Gallagher and he saw an attempt spilled and then gathered by Button.

But with ‘Uncle Jack’s Barmy Army’ booming down from all sides of the ground Rovers were unable to find a winner.

Fulham, did, though, four minutes into the six added on at the end of a tight contest.

A Ryan Sessegnon cross was cleared by Gordon Greer but only as far as Cairney and he stroked the ball past Steele and into the far corner.























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