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Go Ahead Eagles 4 Blackburn Rovers 2
9:14pm Friday 3rd August 2012 in Football
MORTEN Gamst Pedersen showed what he still has to offer as he made a scoring return to Blackburn Rovers' first team tonight.
Rovers Norwegian hasn't played in a competitive game for the club since last season's relegation and is understood to be a player the club are willing to offload this summer.
The news of Pedersen's availability has met with mixed response from the Ewood faithful, having spent eight years at the club, and he showed the quality he still possesses with a fierce 20-yard free kick in last night's 4-2 defeat to Dutch outfit Go Ahead Eagles.
Few players in the Championship have the quality Pedersen can deliver and, with his experience also invaluable, there will be a lot hoping the club reconsider his future.
David Goodwillie also scored a brilliant long range strike, after the hosts had raced into a 2-0 lead, but a Grant Hanley own goal in the second half saw the Eagles retake the advantage.
Manager Steve Kean was missing the match for personal reasons, while midfielder Danny Murphy was rested from the trip as a precaution after feeling a pain in his metatarsal.
It will be a comfort to the travelling Rovers fans that they still have the likes of Murphy, Dickson Etuhu and hopefully a couple more additions to come into the side, because last night's display was not good enough against a side paid substantially less than they are.
The Eagles, based in Deventer, over ran Rovers in midfield for large periods as many of Kean's fringe players once again failed to make the most of their opportunity.
Defensively it was a horror show as Eagles got down Rovers' flanks at will, with makeshift centre half Bradley Orr clearly out of position. If Rovers aren't going to sign another centre half, they need to recall Ryan Edwards from Rochdale sharpish.
Rovers' squad included several players not yet seen this summer, with Pedersen and Mark Bunn starting after injuries and Simon Vukcevic named on the substitutes bench for the first time.
It is difficult to see many of the starting XI pushing for a place in the team for the Championship opener at Ipswich, with perhaps only David Dunn and Bradley Orr the exceptions.
The lack of match practice for many of them showed as well as Rovers struggled to get their game going against a mediocre Dutch second tier outfit.
Ruben Rochina, Edinho, Pedersen, Grant Hanley and Goodwillie have all been used sparingly in the pre-season campaign to date and it showed.
In fact, it was the hosts who dominated the opening exchanges as they raced into a 2-0 lead within 20 minutes.
The opener came on 15 minutes as Xander Houtkoop was given the freedom to fire home after Adam Henley had misjudged a cross from the right.
Just four minutes later, the lively Joey Suk rifled home a second goal from close range after Jarchinio Antonia exploited the space down the left to send a deep cross into the box.
It got worse for Rovers on the half hour mark as Bunn limped out of the action shaking his head, to be replaced by Jake Kean.
Only a brilliant point blank stop from Kean prevented Jop Van der Linden from making it 3-0 before the break with Goodwillie having Rovers' first attempt of note in the dying seconds as his header was saved.
The Scot got Rovers back into the game seconds later with a sublime curling 25-yard strike that flew into the top corner. It was perhaps more than the visitors deserved.
Rovers were back in it just minutes after the break as Pedersen rifled home a free kick. Parity didn't last though as Hanley turned into his own net after Houtkoop's shot had struck the post.
Vukcevic made a welcome second half appearance and almost scored with his first touch as his lob was just hacked clear by a covering defender.
Marnix Kolder made it 4-2 on 71 as the home fans sang 'always look on the bright side of life' to their visitors.
Rovers: Bunn (Kean 30), Morris, Henley (Nunes 66), Hanley, Orr, Rochina (O'Sullivan 77), Dunn (Vukcevic 67), Pedersen (Petrovic 61) Olsson (Ribeiro 66), Goodwillie, Edinho (Jorge 35) SUBS: Robinson, Dann, Formica, Givet, Gomes, Lowe
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