Andrews finds a 'fairytale' ending to rescue Rovers

West Bromwich Albion 2 Blackburn Rovers 2
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The Independent Online

This game was not just about the exasperation of both teams with a referee who relied on strict interpretation of the laws rather than custom and practice. Despite the controversies and post-match whining, there was much to savour from a contest which Blackburn Rovers saw promisingly set up for them – but later needed to salvage.

Albion, trailing to a 13th-minute penalty, rallied thrillingly in seven minutes around the hour to lead through Roman Bednar and Ishmael Miller's absolute stunner. But both sides remain winless between them since 4 October because Keith Andrews skidded in a last-minute 25-yarder when Blackburn were playing much better with 10 men than they had with 11.

Andrews played 41 games in League Two last season and kicked this campaign off in League One, his manager Paul Ince having known the Irish midfielder both from MK Dons and from when his own presence helped keep him in the shadows at Dave Jones' Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"It's a fairytale for me being in the Premier League," Andrews said after his first Blackburn goal. "I'm very grateful to the manager for showing belief. I'm not sure how many players have made that step up but I've always had confidence in myself."

Blackburn's first scorer, Benni McCarthy, jumped so high celebrating the equaliser that he may have broken a ceiling panel – confined as he was to the TV room after what he called a "diabolical" decision by Mike Jones – in only his third Premier League game – to add a highly contentious second yellow card for handball to the one he imposed for an earlier tackle.

With Albion aggrieved by the penalty awarded for Ryan Donk's tug on Jason Roberts' shirt, you could say the breaks evened themselves out. Could, but the mood was more one of carping.

Goals: McCarthy pen (13) 0-1; Bednar (55) 1-1; Miller (62) 2-1; Andrews (89) 2-2.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Carson; Zuiverloon, Donk (Hoefkens, h-t), J Olsson, Robinson; Morrison (Brunt, 68), Valero, Greening, Koren; Bednar, Miller (Moore, 79). Substitutes not used: Kiely (gk), Cech, Kim, Pele.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Robinson; Simpson (Tugay, h-t), Samba, Nelsen, M Olsson (Pedersen, 62); Emerton (Khizanishvili, 77), Andrews, Grella, Warnock; McCarthy, Roberts. Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Villanueva, Fowler, Derbyshire.

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).

Booked: West Bromwich Donk, Zuiverloon, Valero; Blackburn McCarthy, Khizanishvili, Roberts.

Sent off: McCarthy (36).

Man of the match: Miller.

Attendance: 24,976.

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