Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Jordan Rhodes On Target As Blackburn Beat Watford

Jordan Rhodes continued his astonishing hot streak in front of goal as Blackburn finally hauled themselves into the promotion race.

Scotland international Rhodes netted his ninth strike in seven games as Rovers recorded back-to-back wins with this 1-0 win over Watford to lift them up to eighth spot after a slow start to the season.

The £8m hitman was perfectly placed to nod home in the 65th minute and his goal was enough to seal victory over a Watford side looking anything but promotion material despite sitting in the play-off places before kick-off.

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer said: "Jordan is a fantastic lad who works tremendously hard.

"He is a great finisher and he knows where the goals are. When it falls to Jordan, you hope he does what he does well - and he did.

"We are delighted with him. He has a fantastic ability to score goals and long may that continue.

"He deserves the plaudits for his ability as a finisher but, rightly so, he appreciates his team-mates' work to create chances."

Rhodes could have snatched an early opener when Corry Evans found him with a smart pass inside the box.

But the normally reliable hitman missed the target with an angled drive that rolled past Manuel Almunia's post.

At least he had a sight of goal in the first half. Watford's own regular scorer Troy Deeney was reduced to battling for the ball against a wall of Rovers defenders - with little support from his team-mates.

When he did get free in the area, he nodded a corner back across goal that presented a half chance for defender Gabriele Angella, which he put wide.

Deeney's work-rate created another Watford opening in the 55th minute as worked his way down the flank and aimed a cross to the back of the box.

Hornets left-back Ikechi Anya was steaming in unmarked but his stumbling finish bounced over the bar.

The fact Anya was proving to be the Hornets biggest attacking threat told its own story and it was the defender who gave Jake Kean his only other fright of the game with a fierce drive that fizzed past the post.

From that moment on it was the Rhodes show though. He had just hooked a volley straight at Almunia when he was scored.

Scott Dann flicked onTommy Spurr's long throw into the heart of the Watford defence and the freescoring striker ghosted in unnoticed to clinically head past the motionless Almunia.

Rhodes missed a chance to grab two goals for a second game in a row, having hit a brace at Bournemouth on Saturday, when glancing Ben Marshall's cross just wide.

And he was kicking himself after failing to beat Almunia in stoppage time when racing clean through, the keeper thwarting him by getting down quickly and sticking out a glove to hold his low drive.

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola said: "I am disappointed with the result and performance. I was expecting something more.

"We were not brilliant. A lot of that is a consequence of the fact there has been too many games and we could not play at the same quality.

"I was not expecting great quality but the way the game was going I didn't expect us to concede a goal."

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