Roger Johnson rescued a draw for Wolves in their first match under new manager Dean Saunders, denying Blackburn a fourth straight win.

Rovers confirmed Michael Appleton as their new boss before kick-off and Jordan Rhodes's penalty put them ahead.

Wolves' Bakary Sako almost levelled direct from a corner but was denied by Danny Murphy's goal-line clearance.

But centre-back Johnson was on hand to nod in Jamie O'Hara's long pass and ensure the points were shared.

The draw means both sides rise one place in the Championship table - Wolves to 17th and Blackburn to 12th.

Blackburn blunted

Roger Johnson's equaliser stopped Blackburn chalking up a fourth straight win for the first time since October 2007.

Appleton, who was confirmed as Henning Berg's successor two hours prior to kick off, will inherit a Rovers team full of confidence, having won three and drawn one of their four matches under caretaker boss Gary Bowyer.

Saunders, meanwhile, can take satisfaction from ending a run of four straight Wolves defeats and watching a much-improved showing from a side embarrassed by non-league Luton in the FA Cup six days previously.

The former Wales striker arrived to an excellent welcome from the home supporters.

His players seemed to relish the occasion to impress the new man too, making the brighter start and going close three times in a frenetic two-minute spell early in the game.

Kevin Foley headed wide from a Stephen Ward cross, Jake Cassidy's effort from 12 yards was blocked and Johnson went close with an acrobatic volley.

Seconds after Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had prevented Scotland international Rhodes from netting when through one-on-one, Blackburn's Jake Kean pulled off the save of the match, plunging to his left to deny Foley's hooked attempt from close-range.

Then, against the run of play, Blackburn went ahead. A free-kick on the right touchline was taken short to Ruben Rochina, who danced past winger Sako and went down under minimal contact inside the box.

A penalty was awarded, initially by the assistant referee, and Rhodes kept his cool to fire Rovers in front from the spot for his 14th goal since joining Blackburn at the end of August.

It sparked the visitors into life and Rochina, now being booed after every touch, tested Ikeme with a two shots from distance either side of the interval.

At the other end, Sako's set-pieces continued to be a constant threat. Murphy was required to head a corner off his own line, while Johnson again headed off target moments later.

But Wolves and Johnson would not be denied for much longer.

Substitute O'Hara made an instant impact, his centre from deep headed home at the far post by the former Birmingham defender to level proceedings.

The contest became more and more feisty as it wore on, with players from both sides becoming involved in an increasing number of petty incidents and collecting a series of yellow cards.

Wolves, buoyed by their equaliser, looked the more likely to snatch a winner at the death, but neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the final 15 minutes and the 100th meeting between two of the most famous names in English football would end in a draw.

Wolves manager Dean Saunders: "I couldn't have asked for any more. I thought we would have had a bit more pressure on us tonight, but we played really well.

"The young linesman couldn't wait to give the penalty, it's not a penalty. The lad's kicked [Bakary] Sako's legs - I have to say it was an irresponsible challenge from Sako, putting his leg in, but he's a winger.

"But what a ball from Jamie O'Hara [for the equaliser], it was a centre-half's dream, Roger Johnson picked the flight up and it's a great header. Sometimes you get the substitutions right and sometimes you get them wrong."

Blackburn Rovers caretaker manager Gary Bowyer: "I thought it was a very hard-working point. With Dean [Saunders] coming in, we knew it would be a battle and that they would be up for it from minute one.

"That showed in the first 10 minutes, where they put us under a lot of pressure, but we coped admirably. We got the penalty, which was a penalty, and Jordan Rhodes was magnificent.

"The referee took ages before he was allowed to take it, but he slotted it away nicely. We just got done by one long pump into the box, but I can't fault the players. They've been magnificent for us for the four games and they need to now kick on."

Lineup, Bookings (8) & Substitutions (6)

Wolverhampton

  • 13 Ikeme
  • 11 Ward
  • 14 Johnson
  • 16 Berra
  • 23 Zubar (Peszko - 67' )
  • 32 Foley
  • 08 Henry Booked
  • 10 Sako
  • 26 Davis Booked (O'Hara - 74' Booked )
  • 29 Doyle Booked
  • 35 Cassidy (Ebanks-Blake - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 31 De Vries
  • 05 Stearman
  • 25 Batth
  • 07 Peszko
  • 24 O'Hara
  • 27 Forde
  • 09 Ebanks-Blake

Blackburn

  • 34 Kean
  • 03 Mn Olsson Booked
  • 16 Dann
  • 22 Kane
  • 31 G Hanley (Givet - 81' )
  • 06 Lowe
  • 13 Murphy Booked
  • 33 Vukcevic (Pedersen - 56' Booked )
  • 11 Rhodes
  • 23 Rochina (Morris - 80' )
  • 39 Kazim-Richards Booked

Substitutes

  • 30 Usai
  • 05 Givet
  • 12 Pedersen
  • 24 Morris
  • 38 Rosado
  • 21 Nuno Gomes
  • 25 Goodwillie
Ref: Whitestone
Att: 20,264

Match Stats

Shots

11 10

On target

5 7

Corners

8 2

Fouls

17 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:04 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +3:17

Josh Morris challenges Slawomir Peszko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Karl Henry takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:37

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jake Kean takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:24

Josh Morris takes a shot. Blocked by Roger Johnson.

90:00 +0:25

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is ruled offside. Jake Kean restarts play with the free kick.

87:53

Martin Olsson challenges Slawomir Peszko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Bakary Sako.

87:10

Jake Kean takes the free kick.

87:10 Booking

Booking Kevin Doyle shown a yellow card.

87:02

Foul by Kevin Doyle on Jake Kean, free kick awarded.

85:48

Colin Kazim-Richards takes a shot. Stephen Ward gets a block in. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake concedes a free kick for a foul on Jason Lowe. Morten Gamst Pedersen restarts play with the free kick.

82:18 Booking

Booking The referee books Jamie O'Hara for unsporting behaviour.

82:16 Booking

Booking Morten Gamst Pedersen booked.

80:58 Substitution

Substitution Gael Givet is brought on as a substitute for Grant Hanley.

78:30

Jake Kean restarts play with the free kick.

78:30 Substitution

Substitution Josh Morris joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ruben Rochina.

78:30 Substitution

Substitution Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaces Jake Cassidy.

78:30

The referee blows for offside.

75:51

Jamie O'Hara gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Colin Kazim-Richards. Free kick crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

74:40

Unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Grant Hanley results in a free kick. Bakary Sako takes the free kick.

73:32

Assist on the goal came from Jamie O'Hara.

73:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Roger Johnson - Wolves 1 - 1 Blackburn Roger Johnson scores a headed goal from close in. Wolverhampton 1-1 Blackburn.

72:52

Stephen Ward restarts play with the free kick.

72:52 Substitution

Substitution Jamie O'Hara replaces David Davis.

72:52

Ruben Rochina challenges Stephen Ward unfairly and gives away a free kick.

72:09

Kevin Doyle takes a shot. Save by Jake Kean.

71:15

Todd Kane has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

69:25

Foul by Ruben Rochina on David Davis, free kick awarded. Roger Johnson takes the direct free kick.

66:40

Unfair challenge on Danny Murphy by Kevin Doyle results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.

66:40 Substitution

Substitution Slawomir Peszko joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ronald Zubar.

65:14

Scott Dann takes the free kick.

65:14 Booking

Booking David Davis is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

65:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Colin Kazim-Richards by David Davis.

61:51

Corner taken by Bakary Sako from the right by-line to the near post, Jordan Rhodes makes a clearance. Ronald Zubar produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

61:51 Booking

Booking Martin Olsson is shown a yellow card for dissent.

60:09

Free kick awarded for a foul by Karl Henry on Ruben Rochina. Jake Kean restarts play with the free kick.

57:55

Foul by Colin Kazim-Richards on Karl Henry, free kick awarded. The ball is delivered by Bakary Sako, Roger Johnson has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.

55:52 Substitution

Substitution Simon Vukcevic goes off and Morten Gamst Pedersen comes on.

54:39

Corner taken left-footed by Bakary Sako, clearance made by Scott Dann.

54:22

Unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle by Todd Kane results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David Davis.

53:03

Jake Cassidy takes a shot. Grant Hanley gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Bakary Sako, clearance made by Danny Murphy.

51:41

Danny Murphy fouled by Bakary Sako, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy. Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Jordan Rhodes misses to the right of the target.

50:37

Bakary Sako gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Simon Vukcevic. Jake Kean restarts play with the free kick.

48:41

Simon Vukcevic takes a shot. Blocked by Karl Henry. Corner taken left-footed by Simon Vukcevic from the right by-line, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.

47:51

Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Save made by Carl Ikeme.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:39 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +1:59

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Simon Vukcevic played to the near post, Kevin Doyle makes a clearance.

45:00 +0:32

Shot on goal comes in from Ruben Rochina from the free kick.

45:00 +0:32 Booking

Booking Karl Henry receives a caution.

45:00 +0:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Karl Henry on Todd Kane.

40:49

David Davis has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

39:13

Colin Kazim-Richards has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

37:59

Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Carl Ikeme makes a save.

36:23

Karl Henry restarts play with the free kick.

36:23 Booking

Booking The referee shows Danny Murphy a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

36:08

Danny Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on David Davis.

35:07

Colin Kazim-Richards is adjudged to have handled the ball. Christophe Berra takes the direct free kick.

30:04

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Carl Ikeme.

29:20

Grant Hanley is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Bakary Sako crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Jake Kean.

27:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Karl Henry by Colin Kazim-Richards. Stephen Ward restarts play with the free kick.

26:16

Assist by Ruben Rochina.

25:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Wolves 0 - 1 Blackburn Penalty taken right-footed by Jordan Rhodes and scored. Wolverhampton 0-1 Blackburn.

24:45

Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Ruben Rochina by Bakary Sako.

23:27

Foul by Stephen Ward on Simon Vukcevic, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Simon Vukcevic.

22:25

Unfair challenge on Jordan Rhodes by Roger Johnson results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.

21:32

Ruben Rochina fouled by Kevin Foley, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.

18:58

Kevin Foley takes a shot. Save made by Jake Kean.

18:09

Jordan Rhodes is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Carl Ikeme.

17:22

Jordan Rhodes takes a shot. Save made by Carl Ikeme.

16:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ruben Rochina by Kevin Doyle. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.

15:43

Effort on goal by David Davis from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

14:17

Corner taken left-footed by Bakary Sako from the left by-line to the near post, Colin Kazim-Richards makes a clearance. Bakary Sako takes a short corner.

13:37

Bakary Sako takes the outswinging corner, Colin Kazim-Richards makes a clearance.

12:55

Ruben Rochina challenges Stephen Ward unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Christophe Berra.

10:37

Free kick awarded for a foul by Bakary Sako on Todd Kane. Free kick taken by Todd Kane.

9:56

Jordan Rhodes is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Stephen Ward.

9:22

The official flags Kevin Doyle offside. Jake Kean takes the free kick.

8:43

Direct free kick taken by Stephen Ward.

8:43 Booking

Booking Colin Kazim-Richards is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

8:24

Foul by Colin Kazim-Richards on Karl Henry, free kick awarded.

7:03

Effort from deep inside the area by Roger Johnson misses to the right of the target.

6:25

Jake Cassidy takes a shot. Blocked by Jason Lowe. Corner from the right by-line taken by Bakary Sako, Danny Murphy makes a clearance.

5:36

Grant Hanley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle. Free kick crossed left-footed by Bakary Sako.

4:52

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Kevin Foley misses to the right of the goal.

4:19

Foul by Colin Kazim-Richards on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded. Roger Johnson takes the direct free kick.

3:21

Bakary Sako challenges Todd Kane unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.

2:54

Foul by Ruben Rochina on Ronald Zubar, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Carl Ikeme.

1:40

Karl Henry concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Vukcevic. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.

0:25

Bakary Sako takes a corner.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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