Report: Albion 3 Blackburn 0Albion made it back-to-back wins for the second time this season as they overcame Rovers in front of a packed Amex crowd.
Two goals from Ashley Barnes and a well-timed header from Jake Forster-Caskey ensured Oscar Garcia’s side took all three points, and the Albion coach had the added bonus of seeing Liam Bridcutt return to action following a lengthy injury lay-off.
After an impeccably observed minute’s silence, Albion started the brighter but it was the visitors who enjoyed the game’s first real opportunity when Lee Williamson dragged his shot wide from 18 yards.
Following the effort, Albion were unlucky not to take the lead as Craig Conway found himself on the end of a perfectly weighted Bruno pass, but he could only drive his first-time effort straight at Jake Kean.
The hosts were in the ascendancy though and the breakthrough came when Dickson Etuhu, on as a sub for the injured Williamson, brought down the lively Conway inside the area - leaving referee Andy D’Urso with little choice.
Having gone narrowly close only a few minutes earlier following an errant Jason Lowe back-pass, Barnes stepped up and fired his spot-kick past the wrong-footed Kean.
Moments later, Albion almost added to their lead after Etuhu, again, fouled Conway on the edge of the area but David Lopez’s effort flew wide.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Tomasz Kuszcazk called into action on a number of occasions as Gary Bowyer’s men pressed for an equaliser.
However, when Forster-Caskey arrived late to head in a Conway cross – his second goal in as many games - it gave Albion a comfortable cushion.
Rovers weren’t finished though and after Tommy Spurr’s header hit the bar, Kuszczak had to be at full stretch to turn a long-range Tom Cairney effort around the post.
Bridcutt handed Albion a timely boost as he made his long awaited comeback from his hernia injury, replacing David just after the hour mark.
Barnes then added his second 13 minutes from time when he pounced to chip his effort nicely over Kean after the keeper had spilled an Andrew Crofts volley.