BLACKBURN Rovers are up to seventh in the Premier League table after a Gabriel Tamas own goal and a stunner from Junior Hoilett gave them victory over West Bromwich Albion this afternoon.
Romanian central defender Tamas headed David Dunn’s cross past his own keeper four minutes before half time to break the deadlock.
Paul Robinson had to save from Peter Odemwingie and Jerome Thomas early on as the visitors started brightly, but West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill was required to keep out efforts from Martin Olsson and Chris Samba.
Roque Santa Cruz then tested Myhill after Tamas’ own goal had put Rovers ahead.
But the second goal did arrive only two minutes into the second half as Hoilett darted past Tamas and unleashed a powerful 25-yard effort that swerved past Myhill and into the net.
It was the Canadian’s first Premier League goal and it may be some time before he scores a better one.
Having made a good impression on his debut, Jermaine Jones almost blotted his copybook by conceding a penalty in the 68th minute for a lunge on Odemwingie, only for referee Mark Clattenburg to award a free-kick instead.
Thomas forced a good save from Robinson as West Brom tried to pull a goal back, but Rovers were able to record their third consecutive home win to move into the European places.
Rovers: Paul Robinson, Michel Salgado (Grant Hanley 76), Chris Samba, Gael Givet, Martin Olsson, Junior Hoilett, David Dunn (Steven Nzonzi 63), Jermaine Jones, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Niko Kalinic (Jason Roberts 63), Roque Santa Cruz. Subs not used: Mark Bunn, El-Hadji Diouf, Mame Biram Diouf, Benjani.
West Brom: Boaz Myhill, Gonzalo Jara, Jonas Olsson, Gabriel Tamas, Marek Cech, Chris Brunt, Paul Scharner, Youssouf Mulumbu (Somen Tchoyi 57), James Morrison (Roman Bednar 76), Jerome Thomas, Peter Odemwingie. Subs not used: Scott Carson, Pablo, Gianni Zuiverloon, Nicky Shorey, Simon Cox.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg.