Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Ryan Hedges came off the bench to keep Blackburn firmly in the play-off hunt with a dramatic late equalizer in an enthralling 2-2 draw away at Huddersfield.

Neil Warnock’s Terriers – who had won each of their last three games – took the lead through Matty Pearson’s header and doubled it by way of a smart finish from Jack Rudoni five minutes later.

Joe Rankin-Costello scored Blackburn's first at the John Smith's Stadium
Joe Rankin-Costello pulled a goal back for Blackburn at the John Smith’s Stadium

Joe Rankin-Costello pulled one back for Rovers with a delicious chip just over a minute into a second half in which they put their opponents under intense pressure, and when it looked as though they would fall to a damaging defeat, substitute Hedges popped up in stoppage time to secure a deserved point.

Blackburn stay sixth on 62 points with six games to play, ahead of the rest of Easter Monday’s action, with Huddersfield still in 19th, two points above the relegation zone with five games left.

How Blackburn salvaged a point from the jaws of defeat

Having lost three games on the spin in all competitions, Blackburn quickly seized control and had seen two shots saved by Town goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik within the first 15 minutes, during which they had over 85 per cent possession.

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Blackburn struggles to clear their lines from Jack Rudoni’s corner and Matty Pearson leaps above a crowd to head the ball home.

But Huddersfield soon made a mockery of that statistic, as they took the lead when Pearson leapt highest to head home at the far post after the visitors had struggled to deal with a Rudoni corner.

Blackburn did not let their heads drop and they illustrated their quality in the final third when Sammie Szmodics curled wide after a neat touch from Ben Brereton Diaz. However, they were soon left shell-shocked.

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Jack Rudoni slots home a second goal for Huddersfield against Blackburn.

Vaclik’s long goal kick was flicked on to Joseph Hungbo on the right, who came inside and laid the ball on a plate for Rudoni, whose clinical finish beat Aynsley Pears at his near post.

With Sam Gallagher on the bench, Rovers perhaps lacked a focal point and, although he was spotted warming up before the break, manager Jon Dahl Tomasson stuck with the same personnel after it.

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Blackburn pulls one back when Joe Rankin-Costello exchanges passes with Tyrhys Dolan and chips the ball over Tomas Vaclik.

That decision proved to be important as, after a fast start, Rovers pulled one back when Rankin-Costello exchanged passes with Tyrhys Dolan and expertly chipped the ball over Vaclik from a tight angle.

There was no let-up in relentless pressure from Blackburn thereafter, with Huddersfield pinned back into their own half. Vaclik denied Rankin-Costello twice and debutant Harry Leonard once, while Tyler Morton’s low drive evaded everyone in the box and cannoned off the base of the left-hand post.

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Blackburn equalize in second half stoppage time time when Ryan Hedges slots home the rebound to see Rovers come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Huddersfield.

But they continued to knock on the door until the end, when, with four minutes of injury-time to play, after Vaclik had once again denied Rankin-Costello, Hedges was on hand to find the net.

Player of the match – Joe Rankin-Costello

What’s next?

Both teams are back in action on Saturday April 15. At 3pm, Huddersfield travel to South Wales to take on Swansea, while at 7.45pm, Blackburn host Hull at Ewood Park, live on Sky Sports.

Saturday 15th April 7:30pm

Kick off 7:45pm

By cb2gp