BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer cut a delighted figure after his side gave their play-off hopes a big shot in the arm with a vital 1-0 victory at Reading on Saturday.

Full debutant Craig Conway’s first goal for the club proved enough to earn Rovers, who are now unbeaten in five matches, a win which closed the gap on the sixth-placed Royals to four points.

Bowyer said: “It’s a great win as it’s a difficult place to come and they are a very good team who will be in the shake up for the play-offs, if not automatic promotion.

“They’ve scored seven and five here recently but the lads took that challenge on, scored a great goal on the counter-attack and their goalie has made a couple of good saves in the first half.

“We were pleased with how we went about it and we kicked on in the second half to keep that clean sheet.

“We had to match everything they threw at us and I thought the lads showed great character and spirit.”

Reading manager Nigel Adkins paid tribute to Rovers’ resilience.

However he felt his side, who had won five of their previous seven games, should have been awarded a penalty when Matt Kilgallon seemingly handled the ball in the box in the second half.

Adkins said: “It was a clear penalty but give Blackburn credit they had something to hold on to, which they did.

“They showed great spirit so I’m not going to take anything away from them.”

Bowyer, who watched the match from the stands as he served a one-game touchline ban, said of the penalty appeal: “I haven’t seen it – and I’m not spinning the normal management spiel.”