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MOWBRAY’S PENALTY REPRIEVE

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TONY MOWBRAY saw his Blackburn Rovers team survive a stoppage-time penalty-kick howler to win 3-2 at Stoke City.

The former Celtic and Hibs boss’ players had to hang on for the points after being 3-0 up shortly after the interval.

Saido Berahino squandered the opportunity to give his side a draw when he sent his effort crashing against the crossbar.

A relieved Mowbray said: “Goals change games and from being 3-0 up and being totally dominant in the game, and really should have been 4-0 up, to clinging on for our lives.

“I’m not being critical with them, it is young players knowing how to see games out.

“I think the first goal, from the crowd being against the team to driving them on and us really feeling as if we were playing against a Premier League side with them cheering the side on.

“It’s what we worked so hard for last year and I’m delighted that we got the three points.”

Berahino had earlier scored his first league goal since February 2016 to spark a spirited revival from the home side.

Boss Gary Rowett was unimpressed with his forward’s penalty-kick blunder and said: “If you pick the ball up and you take that responsibility, of course, your responsibility is to score it.”

Rovers looked to be coasting after goals from Bradley Dack, Danny Graham and Harrison Reed before the response from Berahino and Tom Ince.

Rowett’s men, relegated from the Premier League last season, are now 18th in the table and have the Championship’s joint-second worst defensive record, conceding 16 goals.

Mowbray’s side, now unbeaten in their last three outings, only had four shots on target, but were clinical and have moved up to 11th.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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