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Blackburn 3-0 Fulham Cham 31 1516 - Lancashire Telegraph

last updated Thursday 18th February 2016, 10:22 AM

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Paul Wheelock at Lancashire Telegraph

Blackburn (1) 3-0 (0) Fulham

ROVERS ended their nine-game winless Championship run in style as they put fellow strugglers Fulham to the sword.

There was only one team in it from the moment man-of-the-match Ben Marshall broke the deadlock in the 15th minute with his fourth penalty of the campaign.

But it was not until the second half that Rovers rammed home their superiority.

Shane Duffy doubled the advantage shortly after the hour mark with his first goal at Ewood Park and second of the season.

And it was left up to Danny Graham to apply the icing late on when he marked his outstanding home debut with his first goal for the club.

Rovers' joint biggest win of the campaign moved them eight points clear of the relegation places with a game in hand.

The Cottagers arrived in bitterly cold East Lancashire on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 derby victory at QPR.

And they started like a side with a spring in their step with Michael Madl seeing one effort cleared off the line by Darragh Lenihan before blazing another wastefully wide. He should have scored.

By that stage Marshall had taken a pass from the recalled Elliott Bennett and fired a rising drive over the bar.

But it was only after Rovers went in front for the first time at home since December 11 that they took complete control of the contest.

The fit-again Graham showed strength to hold the ball up on the byline.

That allowed Marshall to cut inside and run at Luke Garbett who recklessly brought the rampaging right-back down in the box.

Stephen Martin had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and top-scorer Marshall did the rest, cooly sending Andy Lonergan the wrong way to take his tally for the term up to five.

From then on Rovers bossed it with Corry Evans seeing a fiercely struck shot deflect behind before Graham held off his marker and stung Lonergan's hands.

Paul Lambert's tigerish team had a real zip to their play and it came as no surprise when Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic made a change, just 35 minutes into the match, with the hapless Garbutt being hooked.

Alexander Kacaniklic came on for the on-loan Everton left-back but he too was soon left trailing in his wake by the magic Marshall, whose cross to the back post was headed straight at Lonergan by the hard-working Chris Brown.

Simon Garner was welcomed on to the pitch at half-time after the club's all-time leading marksman and fellow Ewood great Bryan Douglas had buses named in their honour earlier in the day.

Garner and Douglas would have had a field day against a woeful Cottagers outfit.

But credit Rovers they made their expensively assembled opponents look distinctly second rate.

They just needed to cap it with a second goal and, after Graham just failed to turn in another Marshall cross, one duly arrived in the 62nd minute.

Bennett, who enjoyed his best display in a Rovers shirt, whipped over an inviting free kick into the area and there was Duffy to head in the goal he had been threatening all season.

Lonergan got his hands to the centre-back's powerful effort but he could only push the ball into the roof of the net at the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End.

With 'Paul Lambert's blue and white army' ringing around the ground Rovers fans were able to enjoy what was only their side's fourth home success of the season.

Only two teams have scored more times in the Championship than Fulham in 2015-16.

But, with Tom Cairney anonymous on his Rovers return, their 30-goal strike-force did not trouble Jason Steele until the 85th minute when the goalkeeper was forced to make a smart stop from Moussa Dembele.

Moments earlier Graham should have scored after cutting out Jamie O'Hara's blind pass across the box.

But he made no mistake three minutes from time when he rose highest to head Bennett's cross into the bottom corner.

And had it not been for Lonergan substitute Simeon Jackson would have added a fourth in injury-time.

Roll on West Ham United in the FA Cup.

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