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BBC Sport's John Murray
"Another powerful performance from Blackburn"
 real 14k

Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"We fought for 90 minutes"
 real 14k

Blackburn's Matt Jansen
"When we got the fourth goal, that killed them off"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 20:38 GMT 21:38 UK
Grimsby fail to halt Blackburn
Matt Jansen shuts down Tony Gallimore
Two-goal hero Matt Jansen shuts down Tony Gallimore
Grimsby 1-4 Blackburn Rovers

Grimsby saw their hopes of the victory they needed to ensure their First Division safety slip through Danny Coyne's fingers at Blundell Park.

The Welsh goalkeeper, hoping to boost his chances of an international recall in front on national manager Mark Hughes, made an impact on the game for all the wrong reasons.

Coyne allowed David Dunne's innocent shot from the edge of the area to squirm through his hands and hand the initiative to Graeme Souness's promotion-chasing side on 34 minutes.

Up until then, there had been little to choose between the side looking to stay in Division One and one looking to escape it.

Blackburn's Craig Hignett
Craig Hignett leads another Blackburn attack

But Dunne's 17th goal of the season changed the face of the game as Blackburn began to stroke the ball around with increasing confidence.

Within five minutes of Coyne's howler, Rovers were two up as Israeli international Eyal Berkovic was given the freedom of the penalty area to head home Damien Johnson's pinpoint cross.

There was no way back from there for Lennie Lawrence's battling side, who probably have enough points in the bank to ensure survival but could do with one more victory to be certain.

Bolton, too, were hoping for a favour from the Cleethorpes side , with Blackburn gradually pulling clear of the Trotters in the chase for the second automatic promotion spot.

But Bolton fans would probably have stopped looking for score updates after Matt Jansen put Rovers out of touch 12 minutes into the second half.

Cornwall consolation

Jansen's strike capped a fine flowing move from the visitors, with Craig Hignett and Dunne instrumental before Jansen applied a clinical finish across the hapless Coyne.

To their credit, Grimsby refused to lie down and quickly pulled a goal back.

Luke Cornwall, on loan at Blundell Park having failed to make a breakthrough at Fulham, turned and fired clinically home after Pouton's deflected cross had been headed into his path by Steve Livingstone.

The fourth goal of Pouton's loan spell threatened a comeback, but Grimsby's intensifying chase for a second-half lifeline inevitably left gaps at the back.

Hignett came close to capitalising and putting the game out of reach again when his low shot was beaten away by Coyne.

But it was the deadly Jansen who completed the scoring three minutes from time when Berkovic played in substitute Marcus Bent and his low cross gave Jansen the chance to slide home his 23rd goal of a prolific season - and his eighth in nine games.

But the one statistic which really counts for Souness's side is the one which highlights they are now just two wins from a return to the Premiership.


Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Handyside, Groves, Donovan, Butterfield, Pouton, Campbell, Livingstone, Cornwall. Subs: David Smith, Jeffrey, Clare, Hyldgaard, Willems.

Blackburn: Friedel, Curtis, Johnson, Berg, Short, Hignett, Flitcroft, Dunn, Berkovic, Jansen, Hughes. Subs: Filan, Taylor, Gillespie, Bent, Keller.

Referee: S Mathieson (Stockport)

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