Rovers return to winning ways

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Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen put the seal on his side's long-awaited return to winning ways with the second goal in a 2-0 victory against Fulham at Ewood Park.

Nelsen applied the lightest of touches to Benni McCarthy's 24th-minute free-kick to put Rovers within touching distance of their first three-point haul since November.

Defender Chris Samba had settled the home side's nerves with a fortuitous 24th minute opener after he ricocheted home an attempted clearance by former Rover Damien Duff. To make matters worse for Fulham, who threatened little, Clint Dempsey suffered a potentially serious knee injury.

It proved a winning gamble for boss Sam Allardyce who dropped talisman David Dunn to the bench after the rigours of Thursday's Carling Cup defeat to Aston Villa.

Benni McCarthy brought the home fans to life in the 24th minute when he chested down a punt forward from Samba before firing a right-foot shot which Schwarzer did well to punch over the bar.

But Rovers went ahead from the resulting set-piece with McCarthy flinging the ball in and Damien Duff's boot off the line striking Samba and ricocheting back into the net.

Fulham came close to an equaliser in the 36th minute when Danny Murphy sent a free-kick in from the left and Dempsey reacted with his acrobatic over-head kick which struck the bar.

Home nerves frayed as Duff shot on target then Dempsey should have done better when he was sent clean through but curled his shot straight at Robinson.

Rovers went further ahead in the 54th minute when Nelsen got on the end of McCarthy's free-kick to finally all but end Rovers' long search for a league win.

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Ryan Nelsen

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