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Boss: Late fight was sparked by the Seasiders
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer pointed the finger of blame at Blackpool for sparking the double sending off that marred Saturday’s breathless 2-2 draw between the sides at Bloomfield Road.
A full-blooded Lancashire derby exploded in the final five minutes of normal time as DJ Campbell and Jack Robinson were sent off following a 21-man melee in the Blackpool box.
Rovers substitute Campbell – making his first return to his former club – was surrounded by three home defenders, including left-back Robinson, after challenging goalkeeper Matthew Gilks for a loose ball.
The ex-Seasiders striker appeared to motion to head-butt Gary Mackenzie before raising his hands to both Robinson and Kirk Broadfoot after they had pushed him in the face.
Every outfield player – as well as unused Rovers sub Leon Best, who raced on to the field in an attempt to restrain Campbell – then got involved.
Campbell and on-loan Liverpool defender Robinson were red-carded and there appeared to be more trouble as the pair headed down the tunnel.
But Bowyer insisted matters would never have got out of hand had the Blackpool trio not confronted his forward in the first place.
“DJ went in on Gilksy, he was entitled to go for it, but it was the reaction of the Blackpool players afterwards that has caused two players to be dismissed from the field of play,” said Bowyer, who admitted Best – who was booked – should not have run on to the pitch in the incident.
“Gilksy and DJ are mates so DJ is not going to hurt one of his mates.
“Three players have grabbed hold of DJ and until I see it again on the video initially that’s what we’ve been told by DJ.
“He was entitled to go for it. Gilksy had no problems with him and they would have sorted it amicably.
“It’s the reaction of the others that makes it’s something you don’t want to see.”
Rovers grabbed a point when Seasiders sub Steve Davies headed a Tom Cairney free kick into his own goal deep into injury-time.
Bowyer said: “The game had everything and in the end I think we are going away with the point that we thoroughly deserved.
“Yes it is an own goal, it is a bit of luck at the end, but I think over the course of the game it was the bit of luck that we deserved.”
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