Blackburn Rovers scorer was a shock to Boro keeper
NO-ONE was more surprised at the identity of Blackburn Rovers’ match-winner on Saturday than Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele.
Having spent two seasons training alongside Jason Lowe as part of the England U21s squad, Steele could never have imagined being beaten by the Rovers midfielder.
But that is exactly what happened when, with 14 minutes of a closely fought clash still to play, Lowe picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and sent a searing shot into the top corner.
It was the 22-year-old’s first goal for Rovers and one which ensured his side won 1-0 – much to his international team-mate’s disappointment.
“I’d never even seen him shoot, let alone score,” said Steele, who had earlier made a superb save to deny Jordan Rhodes.
“I’ve known Jason for a while now and he had a laugh at me at the end saying he’d never hit one like that in his life before.
“I don’t know, that’s football isn’t it? It’s hugely disappointing because I felt I was playing all right and thought it would take something like that to beat me.
“Unfortunately he came up with it to win the game.”
The victory ended Rovers’ three-match winless run and moved them up to ninth, four points off the play-offs.
Gary Bowyer felt his team merited the three points, saying: “I thought their goalkeeper made an outstanding save from Jordan Rhodes, we also had some other half chances in the first half, and I thought we had a great shout for a penalty. It was a tough game, though, there wasn’t much in it, that’s for sure.”
Boro caretaker manager Mark Venus said: “Blackburn kept the ball a bit better and were a bit more progressive.
“We came, got organised but probably didn’t make their goalkeeper make enough saves.”
Rovers’ young guns, meanwhile, have been drawn at home to Hull City in the first round of the U21s Premier League Cup. The last 32 tie will take place at Leigh on Tuesday, November 19 at 7pm.
Hull have already come through two qualifying rounds – beating Preston North End and Derby County – to set-up the encounter with Rovers.
The match will be decided on the night, with extra-time and penalties played if necessary.
Rovers Ladies, meanwhile, have progressed to the last eight of the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup with a 2-0 home win over Bolton Wanderers Ladies. Danni Young scored twice for John Prince’s side.
Rovers boss Prince said: “I’m really pleased with how we adjusted to the physical and competitive nature of the game.
“We showed a lot of character to match Bolton’s work rate and eventually our quality shone through.”
Rovers will be away to Blackburn Community Sports Club in the quarter finals.
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