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Sky Bet Championship

Ewood Park (ATT 12,230) 22nd January 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: R Madley

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Brighton and Hove Albion Brighton

Blackburn 1

J Rhodes (pen 45)

ft

Brighton 1

D Lopez (pen 90+7)

Championship: Injury-time penalty earns Brighton 1-1 draw at Blackburn

Last Updated: 22/01/13 10:46pm

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David Lopez: Scored a late equaliser for Brighton

David Lopez: Scored a late equaliser for Brighton

David Lopez's penalty deep into stoppage time earned Brighton a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park and denied Michael Appleton a first win as Blackburn manager.

Jordan Rhodes fired Rovers ahead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time and only a magnificent late Tomasz Kuszczak save prevented the in-form Scotland international striker from adding to his tally. It would prove a vital intervention in the Championship tussle.

In the last of five additional minutes, Blackburn substitute David Goodwillie untidily sent Lopez tumbling in the box, leaving referee Robert Madley with little option but to award a spot-kick.

Lopez picked himself up to coolly convert and move Brighton to within four points of the play-off places in seventh.

Having lost Appleton's first game at the helm, Blackburn are five points further back in 14th.

The Rovers boss made two changes in midfield as Simon Vukcevic and Ruben Rochina made way for Pedersen and Markus Olsson, while Brighton playmaker Vicente was handed his first league start of the season by Gus Poyet at the expense of Craig Mackail-Smith. Gary Dicker replaced Dean Hammond in the visitors' midfield.

Brighton dominated possession during the opening stages and Ashley Barnes might have put them ahead in the 10th minute, failing to connect with Lopez's corner having found space.

But life on the counter-attack suited Rovers and Kuszczak was forced to keep Lowe's prodded effort out of the bottom corner following a driving run from Kazim-Richards.

Blackburn appeared to grow into the contest and the pressure told as the half came to a close when El-Abd bundled Pedersen to the ground from Martin Olsson's left-wing delivery.

Referee Madley remained unmoved but his assistant was well placed to flag for a penalty that Rhodes duly dispatched, sending Kuszczak the wrong way for his fifth goal in as many league matches.

Having watched his team resume proceedings on the back foot, Poyet decided to act nine minutes into the second half by sending on Will Buckley and Mackail-Smith in place of Vicente and Andrea Orlandi.

Goalmouth action had become virtually non-existent by the time Kazim-Richards turned to curl a low 25-yard drive past Kuszczak but into the side-netting.

Kuszczak then had to push another Kazim-Richards over the bar, but the former Manchester United goalkeeper saved his best work for the 84th minute when he somehow clawed Rhodes' looping header out of the far corner.

Lopez headed onto the roof of an unguarded net when Kean punched uncertainly at the start of injury time but he would soon be the hero.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 43 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Charlton Athletic 42 42
21 Blackpool 43 42
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37