Bolton Wanderers 0 Blackburn Rovers 0

Last updated : 18 October 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Jason Roberts went from hero to villain after missing a glorious opportunity to hand Blackburn Rovers the points in their derby clash at Bolton Wanderers.

The Rovers striker had been the matchwinner in last season's corresponding fixture after coming off the substitutes' bench to grab a last-minute winner in a 2-1 victory at the Reebok.

But an unmarked Roberts fluffed the best chance of a disappointing game when he inexplicably headed Brett Emerton's inviting cross wide from just six yards out two minutes before half-time.

At the other end, Wanderers Andy O'Brien also wasted a great opportunity to Wanderers' eight-and-a-half year wait to beat their Lancashire rivals on their own soil.

Gary Megson's side have not defeated Blackburn at home in 11 attempts, but the defender missed a great chance to end the Reebok hoodoo when he completely missed Matty Taylor's inswinging corner on 53 minutes.

Rovers boss Paul Ince handed Robbie Fowler his first Premier League start since he ran out for Liverpool in May 2007. But the former Cardiff and Leeds hitman posed little threat in a game where chances were at a premium and both defences were on top.

Taylor's dangerous free-kick nearly caught Paul Robinson out on 18 minutes but the England goalkeeper managed to tip it behind. From the corner, O'Brien climbed highest to meet Gavin McCann's cross but flashed his header across the face of goal.
Emerton blazed over as the visitors began to gain a foothold in the game, and Carlos Villanueva then saw his sweet 38th-minute effort clip the crossbar as Blackburn looked to strike first.

That should have happened when Roberts looked certain to score, but he headed woefully wide before the interval.

O'Brien then failed to make any connection from Taylor's corner seven minutes after the restart.

Taylor went agonisingly close to opening the scoring after the best move of the match but the midfielder's effort curls just past the post on 72 minutes.

Gretar Steinsson then made a brilliant tackle to deny Roberts after the striker burst into the area a minute later, before Taylor blasted over after a well-worked corner between Gavin McCann and Johan Elmander.

Substitute Benny McCarthy nearly won it late on for Blackburn but he turned Emerton's cross into the sidenetting in the last minute.