Bohinen digs Blackburn out of hole

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Booth 3 Blackburn Rovers 1 Bohinen 74 Att endance: 22,191
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The Independent Online
For an hour at Hillsborough yesterday the words of Lennon and McCartney were ringing true for Ray Harford. His football team, from Blackburn, Lancashire, had 4,000 holes in it, or so it seemed. Then came the Norwegian and the wood. Blackburn's tune suddenly changed.

Tim Sherwood hit a post. Lars Bohinen did too, but the woodwork merely deflected the Norwegian's follow-up into the Wednesday net. Blackburn had their first goal in five hours and 12 minutes. Their first win of the Premiership is still awaited. But the fourth point of their troubled season was snatched from what might have been a last-straw defeat for Harford.

Instead of calling for Harford's head, as they had done the previous Saturday, the Rovers followers chanted: "Now you're going to believe us. We're going to win the league." For the moment, beating the drop and the chop remains the realistic ambitions for Rovers and their Ray.

"We're clinging hold of anything at the moment," Harford confessed, when asked if Bohinen's 74th-minute equaliser could be a turning point for the champions of 1995, who remain bottom of the Premiership. "A couple of wins now and the picture could be different," he added.

The picture looked bleak, to say the least, until Harford summoned Yorgos Donis from bench duty just after the hour. The fleet-footed Greek winger breathed life and much-needed pace into a flagging team, prompting the attacking momentum which led to a goal for Bohinen two minutes after Harford's second substitute was pitched into the suddenly fluctuating fray.

With the exception of a tame Garry Flitcroft header, it had been virtually one-way traffic from the kick-off. Wednesday, without a win since 2 September, led from the third minute, when David Hirst crossed from the right and Andy Booth applied the finishing touch to his fifth goal since his pounds 2.7m summer move from Huddersfield. Hesitancy and lack of confidence was evident from back to front in the Blackburn ranks. Flowers fumbled. Sherwood and Flitcroft struggled to stem the blue and white tide in midfield. And Chris Sutton looked on in hope of a supply line materialising.

Ultimately, Blackburn were indebted to Flowers. He kept out a Graham Hyde diving header and a shot that ought to have given Benito Carbone, Wednesday's pounds 3m record buy from Internazionale, a debut goal. Wednesday should have had the points in the bag long before the cavalry arrived, in the form of Donis and Bohinen, to rescue Rovers.

Whether the relief proves merely temporary remains to be seen. Rovers still have no No 9. They have six Premiership goals now this season. So does Alan Shearer.

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