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Sky Bet Championship

Ewood Park (ATT 12,332) 1st April 2014 - Kick off 19:45

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Brighton and Hove Albion Brighton

Blackburn 3

J Rhodes (25, pen 86)
T Cairney (42)

ft

Brighton 3

D Rodriguez (17)
G Greer (79)
D Stephens (88)

Sky Bet Championship: Dale Stephens earns Brighton point at Blackburn

Last Updated: 01/04/14 10:19pm

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Dale Stephens: Hit the equaliser for Brighton

Dale Stephens: Hit the equaliser for Brighton

Substitute Dale Stephens rescued a point for Brighton in the 3-3 draw at Blackburn in the Sky Bet Championship at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

Both sides were looking to strengthen their play-off hopes and David Rodriguez helped Albion draw first blood with a low finish for his first goal in Brighton colours.

Rovers rallied and Jordan Rhodes diverted a Tom Cairney free-kick home from close range before Cairney got on the scoresheet just before half-time from close range.

But Brighton fought admirably and Gordon Greer's first of the season drew them level after 78 minutes before a breathtaking final few minutes that saw Rhodes score Blackburn's third from the penalty spot before Stephens headed in soon afterwards.

It was a result that ultimately damaged both teams' play-off ambitions, with Rovers seven points behind sixth-placed Reading and Brighton three points back from the Royals.

Cairney was the only change for Blackburn from the draw at Millwall and Grant Hanley's red card in that game was rescinded so he retained his place.

Oscar Garcia made two changes after defeat to Middlesbrough, including Rodriguez for the injured Will Buckley.

Former Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews flashed an early effort over for Brighton and Rhodes saw a shot blocked by Matthew Upson before the visitors struck.

The home side were undone after 17 minutes when a routine long ball was flicked on to Jesse Lingard who played in Rodriguez on the right of the area and the Spaniard lashed a shot inside Paul Robinson's near post.

Blackburn's response was swift. Rohan Ince needlessly gave away possession which resulted in a Rovers free-kick and Cairney's low effort was diverted in by Rhodes.

Rhodes flashed a header wide soon after and David Dunn forced Tomasz Kuszczak into a low save after 40 minutes before Rovers made their superiority count a minute later.

Tommy Spurr produced a lung-busting run down the left and his low cross was converted by Cairney from a tight angle.

Blackburn continued to dominate in the second half and almost scored when Bruno Saltor hooked a cross onto his own crossbar.

Kuszczak was called into action again moments later and produced a superb fingertip save to deny Craig Conway.

It was Robinson's turn to impress after 77 minutes when he adjusted brilliantly to palm Solly March's deflected drive away.

But the respite was brief as the visitors equalised a minute later when Greer flicked in a corner at the near post.

Rhodes picked himself up after being bundled over six minutes from time to coolly send Kuszczak the wrong way from the spot.

But the see-saw game took another twist three minutes later as Lingard crossed for Stephens who produced a stunning glancing header to rescue a point.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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