Jordan Rhodes earned Blackburn a draw with Blackpool as both sides moved five clear of the relegation zone.

David Dunn failed to hit the target with two first-half chances and Matt Phillips fired just over for Blackpool.

Gary MacKenzie put the visitors ahead after the break with a close-range finish following Tom Ince's corner.

But Rhodes headed in from Todd Kane's ball to earn a point for Rovers in their first game since Michael Appleton's shock dismissal.

Out of form Lancashire sides

  • Blackburn Rovers are without victory in nine (D4, L5) since ousting Arsenal from the FA Cup in February
  • Blackpool have earned one win in seven games under Paul Ince

Appleton left Blackpool in January after only 57 days to join Blackburn, but lasted just 10 days more than that at Ewood Park.

Both of Appleton's former sides started the game four points above the drop zone in what was Gary Bowyer's first in charge since beginning his second spell as caretaker boss at Blackburn.

It was also Blackpool manager Paul Ince's first return to Ewood Park since he was dismissed as Rovers boss in 2008, but it was the hosts who got off to a better start with Dunn skimming the top of the net before shooting wide.

The Seasiders finished the first half strongly as Phillips' long-range effort whisked past the post with Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean furious with his defence for not closing the forward down.

The hosts started the second half more brightly and had two early chances, with David Jones squandering the first when he rounded Gilks only to fire over.

Shortly after, Kane crossed for Josh King, but his volley went into the ground and spun over the bar before Blackpool responded with Ludovic Sylvestre forcing Kean into a decent stop.

Then the opener came for the visitors just after the hour as Ince's corner was headed at the back post by Alex Baptiste. Kean pushed the ball away but on-loan MK Dons defender MacKenzie controlled and finished from three yards.

That strike looked set to prolong Blackburn's recent woes, but Rhodes dived in with 11 minutes remaining to ensure the points were shared.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Blackburn caretaker manager Gary Bowyer:

"There's a lot of respect there for Michael Appleton and it was a decision that shocked the players

"To their credit they got on with their work and had a right good go.

"I thought we started nervously which was to be expected a little bit with what's gone off at the football club, but once they settled down they showed a good composure to make some passes."

Blackpool boss Paul Ince:

"It's a fair result.

"The first half was poor really, the players got involved in the occasion rather than actually playing the game - it was all about headers and tackles and getting knockdowns.

"Second half they've had two good chances and Gary will be disappointed for one of them not to go in.

"Once we got the goal I was thinking we were going to go on and win it comfortably.

"Instead of staying on the front foot, which got us the goal in the first place, we started defending deeper and deeper."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Blackburn Rovers

  • 34 Kean
  • 16 Dann
  • 19 Kane
  • 31 G Hanley
  • 06 Lowe
  • 08 Dunn (Stewart - 89' )
  • 17 Williamson
  • 24 Morris
  • 36 Jones (Best - 71' )
  • 11 Rhodes
  • 15 King (Kazim-Richards - 61' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Sandomierski
  • 05 Givet
  • 12 Pedersen
  • 32 Stewart
  • 09 Best
  • 21 Nuno Gomes
  • 39 Kazim-Richards

Blackpool

  • 01 Gilks
  • 03 Crainey
  • 15 Baptiste Booked
  • 17 Basham (Grandin - 84' )
  • 39 MacKenzie Booked
  • 42 Broadfoot
  • 07 M Phillips (Futacs - 84' )
  • 14 Sylvestre
  • 16 Ferguson
  • 11 Ince
  • 38 Derbyshire (Delfouneso - 57' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Halstead
  • 05 Eardley
  • 20 Cathcart
  • 10 Grandin
  • 31 Angel
  • 40 Delfouneso
  • 43 Futacs
Ref: Russell
Att: 17,764

Match Stats

Shots

17 11

On target

6 6

Corners

2 4

Fouls

7 4

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:01 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +2:47

The ball is swung over by Josh Morris, save by Matt Gilks.

90:00 +1:34

Corner taken by Ludovic Sylvestre from the left by-line.

90:00 +1:20

Elliot Grandin takes a shot. Save made by Jake Kean.

89:32

Long distance shot from Scott Dann misses to the left of the net.

89:20

A cross is delivered by Cameron Stewart, clearance by Kirk Broadfoot.

87:37

Direct free kick taken by Josh Morris.

87:37 Substitution

Substitution Cameron Stewart on for David Dunn.

87:37 Booking

Booking The referee shows Alex Baptiste a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

87:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Colin Kazim-Richards by Alex Baptiste.

87:17

Nathan Delfouneso takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.

85:42

Tom Ince takes a shot. Jake Kean makes a save. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ludovic Sylvestre from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Jordan Rhodes.

83:15 Substitution

Substitution Chris Basham goes off and Elliot Grandin comes on.

83:15 Substitution

Substitution (Blackpool) makes a substitution, with Marko Futacs coming on for Matt Phillips.

80:47

Effort from the edge of the box by Leon Best goes wide of the left-hand post.

78:45

Assist by Todd Kane.

78:45 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Blackburn 1 - 1 Blackpool Jordan Rhodes finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Blackburn 1-1 Blackpool.

78:21

Colin Kazim-Richards sends in a cross, clearance made by Gary MacKenzie. Colin Kazim-Richards decides to take a short corner.

77:22

Ludovic Sylvestre concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Williamson. Josh Morris takes the direct free kick.

71:28

Tom Ince fouled by Grant Hanley, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson. Matt Phillips is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jake Kean.

69:59 Substitution

Substitution David Jones goes off and Leon Best comes on.

69:59

Foul by Scott Dann on Gary MacKenzie, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Matt Gilks.

66:35

Barry Ferguson concedes a free kick for a foul on Josh Morris. Free kick taken by Jason Lowe.

66:10

David Dunn takes a shot. Save made by Matt Gilks.

64:13

Assist by Alex Baptiste.

64:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Gary MacKenzie - Blackburn 0 - 1 Blackpool Gary MacKenzie fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-1 Blackpool.

63:48

Corner taken left-footed by Tom Ince to the near post,

61:19

Colin Kazim-Richards is penalised for a handball. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Tom Ince from right wing, save by Jake Kean.

60:46 Substitution

Substitution Colin Kazim-Richards comes on in place of Joshua King.

60:37

Matt Phillips sends in a cross, Grant Hanley makes a clearance.

60:16

Ludovic Sylvestre takes a shot. Jake Kean makes a save.

56:51 Substitution

Substitution Nathan Delfouneso is brought on as a substitute for Matt Derbyshire.

55:42

Joshua King produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

54:00

Effort on goal by David Jones from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

52:22

Lee Williamson takes a shot. Chris Basham gets a block in.

51:47

The ball is delivered by Joshua King, Kirk Broadfoot makes a clearance.

48:57

Effort from a long way out by Chris Basham goes wide right of the goal.

48:09

Barry Ferguson produces a left-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.

46:18

Lee Williamson takes a shot. Blocked by Gary MacKenzie.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +0:54 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

42:57

Effort on goal by David Jones from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

41:48

A cross is delivered by Tom Ince, clearance made by Grant Hanley.

41:01

Todd Kane concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Ince. Stephen Crainey takes the indirect free kick.

40:51

David Dunn takes a shot. Blocked by Gary MacKenzie.

39:56

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jordan Rhodes. Gary MacKenzie takes the indirect free kick.

37:34

David Dunn takes a shot. Blocked by Gary MacKenzie.

35:09

Barry Ferguson concedes a free kick for a foul on Jason Lowe. Free kick taken by Scott Dann.

34:46

Shot from long distance by Matt Phillips goes wide of the left-hand upright.

34:21

The ball is swung over by Todd Kane, Matt Gilks makes a comfortable save.

33:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Baptiste by Joshua King. Free kick taken by Matt Gilks.

32:09

Tom Ince fouled by Lee Williamson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Matt Phillips from left wing, clearance made by Jordan Rhodes.

28:36 Booking

Booking Gary MacKenzie is given a yellow card.

28:02

Jordan Rhodes takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.

26:55

The ball is crossed by Matt Derbyshire, comfortable save by Jake Kean.

24:15

Effort from outside the area by David Dunn goes wide right of the goal.

23:37

The ball is delivered by Chris Basham, save by Jake Kean.

21:32

Corner taken by Tom Ince, Matt Derbyshire has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.

20:20

Shot from outside the penalty box by Joshua King goes wide right of the goal.

19:40

Shot by Matt Phillips from just outside the area goes over the net.

17:56

David Dunn takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.

15:22

Outswinging corner taken by David Dunn from the right by-line. Close range shot by Grant Hanley misses to the left of the goal.

13:25

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Basham by David Jones. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Crainey.

8:18

David Dunn takes a shot. Save by Matt Gilks.

6:36

Matt Derbyshire takes a shot. Blocked by Grant Hanley.

3:38

David Jones concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Derbyshire. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Crainey.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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