Match Reports

Late Rovers penalty denies Albion victory

Brought to you by...

Albion drew for a fourth consecutive away match in Premier League 2.

By Luke Nicoli • 19 March 2021

By Craig Galloway
Ben Wilson put Albion in front after nine minutes.
  • Blackburn Rovers 1, Albion 1

A debatable penalty decision six minutes from time cost Albion the chance of taking a well-earned victory at high-flying Rovers.

The Seagulls were on course for three points and a third successive clean sheet, thanks to a ninth-minute goal from Ben Wilson, but the hosts netted from the spot when Jack Wakely was penalised for a foul on Sam Burns.

It looked harsh on the Albion centre-back who had headed a clearance away from danger, only for his momentum to then take out his marker. His protests fell on deaf ears and Connor McBride netted by sending Carl Rushworth the wrong way.

Blackburn sat second in the table before kick-off but it was Albion who looked the team pushing for top spot following a dominant opening to the game.

Indeed, the visitors made their intentions clear with just two minutes on the clock when Ed Turns hit the crossbar from close range.

By Craig Galloway
Albion celebrate going in front at Leyland.

The Seagulls continued on the front foot and broke the deadlock when Teddy Jenks drove forward before releasing Danny Cashman on the right. His cross into the box was headed against the bar by Marc Leonard but Wilson was on hand to prod home at the second attempt.

Stefan Vukoje then created panic among the Rovers' rearguard, having cut inside the box following a darting run down the left flank, but his effort flew narrowly over the crossbar.

The hosts came more into the game as the half progressed, enjoying good spells of possession, but Albion employed two solid blocks when necessary – and would have gained heart from two successive clean sheets at Chelsea and Man United.

By Craig Galloway
Craig Rushworth's goal didn't come under too much threat, until Blackburn's late equaliser.

Burns did break through Albion's backline on 29 minutes but his low drive was comfortably saved by Rushworth, while the Seagulls' next effort was an audacious 45-yard effort from Wilson that beat keeper Antonis Stergiakis, only to drift wide of his right-hand upright.

With the seconds ticking down to half time, Albion almost doubled their lead when Wakely fed the advancing Ayo Tanimowo on the right with a slide-rule pass. The right-back's low cross was then met first-time by Wilson, but the effort came back off the post and away to safety.

Albion had, so far, put in the perfect away performance and while the visitors were expected to up the ante in the second half, clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Stefan Mols stung the palms of Rushworth six minutes after the re-start while Albion's best effort came when Tanimowo met a deep Wilson cross at the far post, only for Stergiakis to spread himself well.

Rovers went close in their very next attack when McBride met a long ball over the top and delightfully brought the ball down, but Rushworth was equal to the effort before Ed Turns cleared.

By Craig Galloway
Blackburn found their equaliser from the penalty spot late on.

Albion looked comfortable in the closing stages and while they have now made it three successive away draws, the penalty decision ensured the long journey home would have been a frustrating one. 

Albion: Rushworth, Tanimowo, Wakeley, Turns, Furlong, Jenks, Leonard, Spong, Cashman, Vukoje (Yapi 86), Wilson (Ferguson 71).

Subs not used: Rees, Ella, Offiah.