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West Brom 2-2 Blackburn

By Mark Ashenden

Benni McCarthy
McCarthy gets his marching orders in the first half

West Brom and Blackburn shared the spoils in an intense and entertaining battle with Keith Andrews spoiling the home party with a last-gasp equaliser.

Blackburn took the lead with a Benni McCarthy penalty, but the South African was then sent off for a second booking.

West Brom hit back brilliantly in the second half with a Roman Bednar strike.

Jonathan Greening then threaded the ball to Ishmael Miller who spun and blasted in a goal that should have been good enough to win the game.

Both managers urged caution before the match with their teams hovering at the wrong end of the Premier League table, and it showed with the players not taking many risks in the opening exchanges.

With Ray Clemence in the stands keeping an eye on the England keepers, West Brom's Scott Carson had no chance with Blackburn's opener from the spot.

Ryan Donk was penalised for tugging the shirt of the hard-working Jason Roberts and although few players were appealing, the decision seemed a fair one.


McCarthy blasted low past Carson's out-stretched hand to give the away fans something to cheer, with Blackburn having gone four games without a win.

The smile on the South African striker's face was short-lived though when he was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Penalty decision was ridiculous - Mowbray

After receiving a yellow card for a rash tackle on Jonathan Greening, McCarthy then saw red after appearing to control the ball intentionally with his arm jumping for a high ball.

The Blackburn players were incensed but again, it seemed the referee was correct.

West Brom began the second half in lively fashion with Miller denied by the post and Blackburn defender Ryan Nelsen crashing his clearance against the bar.

It was a phenomenal escape but the hosts didn't have to wait long for a fully deserved equaliser.

Ince questions poor refereeing decisions

Miller found Bednar lurking on the edge of the box and the Czech striker stayed calm before slotting the ball inside the right post.

Blackburn looked deflated and Miller edged West Brom ahead with a fine strike just after the hour.

The impressive Greening threaded the ball through to Miller on the edge of the box, and after a turn and a thumping shot, the West Brom faithful were celebrating a magical goal.

But with just seconds left on the watch, Blackburn's players had the last laugh with Andrews scoring the dramatic equaliser.

The former MK Dons skipper picked up the ball outside the box and showed no hesitation in firing a rasping curling shot past Carson.

It was cruel on West Brom, but Blackburn boss Paul Ince will not mind one little bit.

Blackburn manager Paul Ince:

"The sending-off just ruins the game. After the penalty for us, the referee gave West Brom everything.

"Every free-kick just went straight to West Brom so, whether he felt he made a bad decision, I don't know. Everything seemed to go their way.

"The game is hard enough at the moment. The Premier League is a physical league, it is fast and furious, and people are going to make tackles.

"Give red cards for dangerous and malicious tackles where the studs are up, fair enough. It is not a game for women."

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:

"You prepare all week and then find yourself a goal down from a decision you never see given on a football ground.

"The cameras might show there is a pull or a tug but you don't give penalties for things like that in football. Refs do not give decisions like that. It bewildered me.

"In the real world, you don't get them given. If you want 7-7 games for all those decisions given in a game, that is what you are going to have. It is disappointing.

"It was also never a sending-off in a million years. Never in a million years."

West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk (Hoefkens 46), Olsson, Robinson, Koren, Greening, Morrison (Brunt 69), Borja Valero, Bednar, Miller (Moore 80).

Subs Not Used: Kiely, Cech, Kim, Pele.

Booked: Donk, Zuiverloon, Borja Valero.

Goals: Bednar 55, Miller 62.

Blackburn: Robinson, Simpson (Kerimoglu 46), Samba, Nelsen, Olsson (Pedersen 62), Emerton (Khizanishvili 77), Andrews, Grella, Warnock, McCarthy, Roberts.

Subs Not Used: Brown, Villanueva, Fowler, Derbyshire.

Sent Off: McCarthy (36).

Booked: McCarthy, Khizanishvili.

Goals: McCarthy 13 pen, Andrews 89.

Att: 24,976

Ref: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Blackburn's Jason Roberts 7.44 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
01 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
01 Nov 08 |  Football
Hero or zero?
01 Nov 08 |  Premier League

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