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Blackburn 2-1 Rotherham: FLW reports as Armstrong’s late strike snatches three fortuitous points for Rovers



At the end of the day, the only thing that decides the points and positions in a football table is the number of times a team can put the ball in the back of net across the course of a 90 mintues – plus stoppage time – and Blackburn Rovers will be incredibly thankful for that here.

In a game that Tony Mowbray’s side offer very little when many felt they should have laid down a marker in the race for the play-offs, Adam Armstrong did at least demonstrate his own immense value to the side, popping up at the perfect moment to snatch a late win that keeps them within touching distance of the play-off places, and surely leaves Rotherham wondering how they have come away empty handed, and with the spectre of the relegation zone looming ominously over them.

It was the hosts who enjoyed more of the possession in the early stages, but it would take them until just short of the quarter-hour mark to have their first sight of goal, when Sam Gallagher lobbed a volley onto the roof of the net from a lovely chipped pass from Harvey Elliott.

However, it was Rotherham who should have taken the lead just moments later, as Matthew Olosunde broke down the right into the area, but Michael Smith could somehow only drag the ball across the face of goal and wide from just a few yards out at the near post.

In a half of few chances, both sides would again threaten within a few minutes of each other as the game approached 30 minutes.

First, Barry Douglas would flash a first-time effort just wide from the edge of the area after a pull-back from Ryan Nyambe evaded everyone in the Rotherham box, while up the other end Thomas Kaminski got down well to deny Kyle Vassell, before the Millers striker was eventually flagged offside.

Olasunde meanwhile continued to pose a threat for the visitors down the right, and dragged an effort wide after twisting and turning his way into the Rovers area before Gallagher linked up well with Joe Rothwell for the latter to fire at goal, his effort beaten away by Viktor Johansson in the Rotherham goal.

But despite the attacking intent on show from both sides as the half drew to the close, chances would continue to be few and far between, with the one minute stoppage time rather reflective of the story up until that point.

Barring an effort from Armstrong lashed into the side netting early in the second half, it would be a familiar tale of few chances in opening exchanges of the half, only this time, it was Rotherham applying much of the early pressure, and unlike their hosts in the opening 45, they would make that tell on the hour mark.

With Blackburn struggling to get out from the back, with Olasunde continuing to cause all sorts problems down the right, the ball was worked in behind a slow to react Rovers defence, where Smith was on hand to atone for his earlier missed sitter by rolling the ball beyond Kaminski and into the bottom corner.

Worryingly for the hosts, they would struggle to produce much of a response, and when they did, it would go begging in hugely frustrating circumstances.

Breaking down the right, a pull back from Nyambe found Armstrong unmarked inside the area, but Rovers’ top scorer somehow managed to miss his kick, with the ball running to substitute Stewart Downing on the edge of the box, where the midfielder’s effort deflected behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Tony Mowbray’s side were then very nearly the architects of their own downfall, as a loose pass from Nyambe was pounced upon by Matt Crooks, but with the Rotherham man one on one with Kaminski, he could only put his effort wide of the post.

It was a let off that with ten minutes to go, Blackburn would take full advantage of. Picking up the ball in and around the edge of the area, Armstrong, whose decision to shoot on sight has been questioned by some recently, this time elected to play a perfect ball into the area, where Elliott was on hand to turn a curl an effort beyond Johansson and into the bottom corner to draw Rovers level.

Rovers then briefly thought they had a winner as the game entered stoppage when Amari’i Bell headed in from close range only to be flagged offside, while up the other end Freddie Ladapo put his header into the side netting after the hosts failed to clear their lines from a free kick.

But then, when a point apiece looked set and done, Armstrong picked the perfect time to end his three game scoreless run, and net a Blackburn winner that this time, did count.

Six minutes into seven added on, Rotherham failed to clear their own lines from a free kick, leading to a scramble in the area, from where the ball fell to the striker inside the six-yard box, and he picked the perfect time to shot this time, as tapped home a dramatic winner that somehow keeps Blackburn in the play-off chase, and leaves Rotherham looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation zone, but with at least plenty of heart to take from their performance against a top-six hopeful.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Blackburn 2-1 Rotherham: FLW reports as Armstrong’s late strike snatches three fortuitous points for Rovers

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