Rovers edge closer to safety

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Football News

Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen could hardly have picked a more perfect time to score his first Premier League goal as his side took a giant stride towards safety with a 2-0 victory over Wigan.

After four years and 111 league games, Nelsen finally got on the scoresheet when he rose in the box to flick Benni McCarthy's right-wing free-kick past Chris Kirkland in the Latics goal.

Nelsen's strike put the seal on a magnificent afternoon for Sam Allardyce's men who had grabbed the lead through McCarthy on the stroke of half-time and as a result of their win move above Hull and Sunderland into 15th place.

With just three minutes on the clock Antonio Valencia casually skipped past Stephen Warnock on the right and floated a shot over Paul Robinson which crashed down off the underside of the bar.

Wigan had a lucky escape in the 23rd minute when another deep Morten Gamst Pedersen cross eluded everybody until it fell to El-Hadji Diouf at the far post, and his header goalwards was hustled off the line by a slipping Lee Cattermole.

Just as the half seemed destined to end in stalemate, McCarthy rose to meet Pedersen's corner in the final minute and steered their potentially priceless opener past Kirkland.

Rovers took another huge stride towards safety on the hour when they grabbed their second goal, McCarthy flinging in a free-kick from the left and Nelsen rising to flick home.

Robinson denied Wigan an opportunity to reduce the deficit in the 65th minute with a series of fine saves which started when he tipped an Charles N'Zogbia header over the bar for a corner.

From Ben Watson's set-piece Emmerson Boyce saw his initial shot cleared off the line before Robinson parried Valencia's long-range follow-up then Paul Scharner's goalbound close-range header.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Chris Kirkland
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Emmerson Boyce
Blackburn Rovers
Paul Robinson
Lee Cattermole
Ben Watson
Premier League
El-Hadji Diouf
Paul Scharner
Ryan Nelsen
Stephen Warnock
Wigan Athletic
Charles N'Zogbia
Antonio Valencia
Hull City
Ben Watson
Paul Robinson

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