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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Cairney was the only change for Blackburn from the draw at Millwall and Grant Hanley's red card in that game was rescinded so he retained his place.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 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13

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