Blackburn Rovers 3 Huddersfield Town 1

Bellamy strikes at double to end goal drought
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The Independent Football

The Welsh striker's pace tormented the League One side all night as well as testing the judgement of the referee's assistants to the limit.

He and his team-mates were frequently frustrated by marginal decisions in favour of the Huddersfield offside trap, but there was no reprieve for Town in the 11th minute when he latched on to a return pass from Brett Emerton, proved too fast for the defence and slid a shot past Paul Rachubka.

"I think he was a bit too quick for the linesmen at times," said the Blackburn manager, Mark Hughes, delighted to see anybody finding the net after four Premiership games without a goal. "It's only his third game and it will take time, but we've seen a little glimpse of what he's all about and he's going to excite a lot of people at Ewood."

Perhaps with last year's exit at the hands of Bournemouth in mind, Hughes played something close to his full-strength side last night and also broke with his current Premiership habit by playing two men up front.

The combination of Bellamy and Paul Dickov frequently stretched Hudders-field, but Blackburn could not underline their superiority with a second goal until the second half.

From a corner curled in by David Bentley, the Georgian defender Zurab Khizanishvili scored with a powerful header - it was also Khizanishvili's first goal for the club.

In fairness to Huddersfield, they did not let their heads go down when Blackburn scored their second and made it a potentially nervous finish when the prolific former Preston striker, Pawel Abbott, took Chris Brandon's pass and fired home for his ninth goal of the season.

That could have been the signal for Rovers to panic. Instead, Morten Gamst Pedersen, the Norwegian winger, slid through a precise ball, Bellamy's speed and perfect timing did the rest and once more Rachubka was beaten.

"We kept doing things right and we knew it would work for us in the end," said Hughes, who must hope that Bellamy, in particular, works out just as well in Premiership games.

Blackburn (4-4-2): Friedel; Neill, Khizanishvili, Nelsen, Gray (Mokoena, 85); Emerton (Pedersen, 71), Savage, Tugay, Bentley; Dickov (Kuqi, 87), Bellamy. Substitutes not used: Enckelman (gk), Reid.

Huddersfield (4-4-2): Rachubka; Holdsworth, Clarke, McCombe, Adams; Mendes (Brandon, h-t), Worthington, Carss, Schofield (Hudson, 79); Abbott, Booth (Taylor-Fletcher, 79). Substitutes not used: Senior (gk), Collins.

Referee: L Probert (Bristol).