Full-time: Blackburn Rovers 0 Charlton Athletic 1
ROVERS’ four-match unbeaten home run came to an end as they crashed to a disappointing defeat to a struggling Charlton side that had not won in six.
Simon Church’s superb early strike was enough to separate the teams on an afternoon to forget at Ewood Park.
The winner came just eight minutes into the game.
Dale Stephens won possession in midfield and floated a delightful pass over the Rovers defence that split fit-again skipper Scott Dann and his centre-back partner Matt Kilgallon.
Church still had a lot to do.
But the Wales international, fresh from scoring the winner for his country last week, brought the ball down beautifully on his chest before dispatching it with the inside of his right foot past Jake Kean.
It was an excellent goal – and one which Rovers did not look like recovering from until the latter stages of the opening period.
Firstly Jordan Rhodes saw an instinctive volley from the edge of the box pushed around the post by Ben Hamer before strike-partner Leon Best blazed over on the turn after the underworked Addicks goalkeeper had failed to deal with a cross.
Despite the late pressure Rovers had badly lacked inspiration in the first half.
They attempted to up the tempo after the restart and Jason Lowe went close with a 20-yard volley that went inches past Hamer’s left-hand post.
But it was Charlton who wasted the best chance of the half when Stephens headed straight at Kean.
Rovers boss Gary Bowyer threw on Lee Williamson, Alan Judge and – for his first appearance of the campaign – DJ Campbell.
But his triple substitution proved in vain and the Addicks held on comfortably for their first away win of the season.
The loss leaves Rovers seven points behind the play-offs.
Rovers: Kean, Kane, Dann, Kilgallon, Spurr, Marshall (Campbell 84), Lowe, Cairney, King (Judge 77), Best (Williamson 66), Rhodes. Subs not used: Eastwood, Taylor, Marrow, Morris.
Charlton: Hamer, Wilson, Morrison, Wood, Wiggins, Pritchard, Cousins, Stephens, Stewart (Evina 75), Church (Jackson 82), Sordell (Kermorgant 66). Subs not used: Alnwick, Dervite-Vaussoue, Green, Gower.
Goal: Church 8.
Referee: Kevin Wright.
Attendance: 13, 915.
Comments are closed on this article.