Match Reports

Albion v Blackburn Rovers match report

ALBION were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn Rovers as the spoils were shared in their Sky Bet Championship encounter at The Hawthorns.

Craig Dawson headed the Baggies in front from Matt Phillips' corner just before the interval, his first goal of the season, but Rovers levelled in the 71st minute courtesy of Harrison Reed's 25-yard curling effort.

The visitors finished the encounter with 10 men and midfielder Richard Smallwood between the sticks after goalkeeper David Raya had to be stretchered off with all three subs used.

But it finished a point apiece, Tosin Adarabioyo going close in injury time and Blackburn scrambling clear another opportunity, as Albion ended a sequence of back-to-back defeats with a hard-fought draw. 

Bakary Sako was handed his Baggies bow in attack while there were also starts for Conor Townsend, James Morrison and Jake Livermore, who took the captain's armband.

And it was Townsend who enjoyed the only shot on target during an opening 30 minutes played out largely in the middle of the park.

Yet the encounter then came to life with incidents in quick succession at either end.

Firstly, Rovers saw handball appeals waved away after Townsend blocked Reed's cross in the penalty area, before Jay Rodriguez was sent clean through for the hosts and saw his shot parried by Raya before firing over the rebound from close range.

However, Albion did take the lead five minutes before the break, Dawson rising highest at the back post to head home Phillips' inswinging corner.

And that advantage remained in tact at the break thanks to Sam Johnstone, who stood up strongly to save from Joe Rothwell when sent clean through by Bradley Dack.

The visitors pressed immediately after the restart and Kasey Palmer blazed a clear opening over the crossbar.

Raya saved well from Phillips as a finely-poised encounter hung in the balance and both sides threatened, Darren Moore turning to Wes Hoolahan off the bench.

Dack curled a free-kick narrowly wide for Blackburn before the away side levelled courtesy of a fine long-range effort from Reed.

With eight minutes remaining, Rovers midfielder Smallwood was was forced to go in goal after Raya was stretchered off following a clash with Rodriguez.

Yet, despite seven minutes injury time, Albion could not force a winner - Adarabioyo heading narrowly wide from a corner and the visitors clearing a goalmouth scramble.

ALBION: Johnstone, Adarabioyo, Dawson, Bartley (Robson-Kanu 87), Phillips, Livermore (c), Morrison, Townsend, Barnes (Brunt 76), Sako (Hoolahan 60), Rodriguez.

Subs: Myhill, Mears, Field, Burke.

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