Yeovil Town slipped to a single goal home defeat for the fifth time this season as a Jordan Rhodes goal just before the hour gave Blackburn all three points today.
The striker’s goal, his 13th of another prolific season, was harsh justice on the Glovers who had struck the woodwork three times and were also denied a clear penalty when Ishmael Miller was brought down in the box by Grant Hanley with six minutes to go.
The defeat may also have come at a heavy cost as skipper Byron Webster went off injured after 35 minutes with a hamstring injury.
Manager Gary Johnson opted for two changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Barnsley last weekend. Keeper Marek Stech returned to the side for the first time since August after recovering from a broken hand, stepping in for Chris Dunn who failed to recover from a strain. Meanwhile Ed Upson dropped to the bench and was replaced by Liam Davis.
The first half won’t make many headlines in itself with both sides struggling with the end to end wind and giving away possession cheaply. Experienced midfielder David Dunn was conducting matters in the centre of the park but didn’t seem to have his shooting boots on in the first period.
Three times before the break, twice pulling efforts wide and then having a shot blocked, Dunn looked threatening but to be honest, neither side appeared to have that one clear cut chance to take the lead. Stech saved from Tom Cairney then saved with his feet from top scorer Rhodes.
Miller went closest with a shot that grazed the post but his chance wouldn’t have counted as an assistant referee’s flag was raised for offside.
Yeovil were forced into a reshuffle when Byron Webster limped off with ten minutes of the half remaining. Kevin Dawson came on in his place with Joe Edwards dropping to right back and Luke Ayling switching to a centre back role.
Yeovil came out after the break much more positive and playing at a higher tempo. Scott Dann almost turned a Miller cross into his own net but saw his clearance slide wide of the post. Then, from the ensuing corner, John Lundstram’s searing volley was tipped over by Simon Eastwood in the visitors goal.
The Glovers came even closer on 56 minutes when after Miller saw one shot palmed away by Eastwood, he then pulled the trigger again and saw his shot crash back off the crossbar.
Heartbreakingly, the visitors took the lead almost straight after. Breaking down the right flank, Dunn crossed for Jordan Rhodes who steadied himself before curling his shot into the top corner.
Stech parried a Dunn blaster before Joe Ralls’ shot from twenty yards cannoned back off the far post and to safety.
The game slowed down a bit with several changes for both sides and one sub, Blackburn’s Ruben Rochina made Stech tip his shot over. The hosts brought on James Hayter and Ed Upson late on, replacing Davis and Lundstram and Upson had one chance to add to his season’s tally but his shot went well wide.
Eastwood was then forced to smother a Grant effort that nearly squirmed from his grasp before Miller was then brought down in the penalty area by defender Grant Hanley but official Iain Williamson waved away the appeals.
Stech then made a terrific double save late on from Cairney and then Rhodes before Rochina curled a shot inches past the far post. But despite four minutes of stoppage time, Johnson’s men couldn’t find the equaliser and suffered their first defeat in five matches.