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John Eustace sent off as Blackburn are frustrated by Coventry
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Blackburn Rovers manager John Eustace is shown a red card (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Blackburn Rovers manager John Eustace is shown a red card (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Blackburn missed the chance to secure their Championship survival as they could only draw 0-0 with 10-man Coventry.

John Eustace’s men were much the better side in a game that would have made them mathematically safe with a win, but missed a series of chances, the best of which fell to Sammie Szmodics in the first half, but the league’s top scorer missed the target.

They made most of the running in a game that became more fractious in the second half, when Eustace was sent to the stands for clashing with Kasey Palmer. Blackburn were also given a huge helping hand when Liam Kitching was shown a straight red card for a professional foul.

But despite having a numerical advantage for half an hour, Blackburn could not make the vital breakthrough, though Tyrhys Dolan rattled the post and Sam Gallagher poked wide at the death.

For their part Coventry were lacklustre but Liam Kelly hit the woodwork in the second half and they stood firm despite being second best.

Rovers should have been ahead in the 12th minute when Dolan’s first-time shot was brilliantly parried by Brad Collins as far as Szmodics who somehow blazed over from six yards.

Coventry missed a glorious opportunity soon after when Callum O’Hare’s pass split Blackburn’s defence but Haji Wright shot straight at Aynsley Pears.

Collins was required again to tip over Joe Rankin-Costello’s 33rd-minute volley before he diverted a Szmodics effort behind after a well-worked Blackburn move.

The pattern continued after the break when Gallagher’s diving header drifted just wide of the far post, before the game’s first flashpoint in the 50th minute as head coach Eustace was dismissed for pushing Palmer on the touchline who was holding onto the ball.

Coventry’s best chance arrived on the hour when Wright’s shot deflected into the path of Liam Kelly in the area and his poked effort hit the post before going agonisingly wide.

They were down to 10 in the 62nd minute when Kitching dragged Gallagher back when clean through, leaving referee Anthony Backhouse with no option but to produce a red card.

Rovers poured forward and Szmodics curled one just wide in the 67th minute before Dolan went even closer when he made space on the edge of the area before letting fly with a low drive that smacked the post before Coventry cleared.

Gallagher had a chance in the final seconds but prodded a cross agonisingly wide and they had to settle for a point.


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