Blackburn 1-0 Blackpool: Dolan's strike sends Rovers into play-off places
Blackburn moved into the play-off places with a dominant 1-0 win over struggling Blackpool.
Jon Dahl Tomasson’s men made it back-to-back single-goal victories but unlike the Swansea game, they were in control here and the outcome never looked in doubt once Tyrhys Dolan had emphatically put Rovers ahead with his fifth goal of the season just after the half-hour mark.
Substitute Tyler Morton missed a chance to make the game safe late on but Blackburn, backed up by a defence that had kept three successive clean sheets at Ewood Park before this, held on to move up to fourth.
For Blackpool, it is not difficult to see their problem. Although they put in a committed performance, one of the Sky Bet Championship’s leanest attacks failed to register a shot on target and they are now four points adrift of safety.
Blackburn were without injured top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz and handed Sammie Szmodics his first start since December. The Tangerines were able to recall Charlie Patino after suspension.
The visitors were unsurprisingly happy to sit back and challenge their hosts to break them down. Rovers found the going tough early on but Dolan almost broke the deadlock midway through the first half when he cut in from the left and whipped a 25-yard effort goalwards that goalkeeper Chris Maxwell had to tip over.
Dolan was not to be denied in the 31st minute, though, as Sorba Thomas did well to collect the ball on the right and stroked in a fine low cross that the forward hammered into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
The best that shot-shy Blackpool could muster was a wild strike from former Rovers loanee Ian Poveda that was never troubling the goalkeeper.
At the other end, Joe Rankin-Costello headed over after fine build-up play from Szmodics and Dolan.
Rovers were well in control but the visitors had a decent chance in the 63rd minute when Dom Thompson found space on the left and his cross found Josh Bowler but the midfielder sliced horribly wide.
The impressive Thomas sent in another smart cross with 19 minutes to go, finding Sam Gallagher in acres of space but the striker scuffed his shot and Blackpool could breathe again.
Substitute Morton should have put the game to bed in the 81st minute when he was played clean through but he clipped the ball over the onrushing Maxwell and past the far post.
Poveda sliced another wide in stoppage time after Rovers had blocked two efforts to howls of handball from the visiting support, but Blackburn held on and move into the coveted play-offs.