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FULL-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 3 Leyton Orient 2
BLACKBURN Rovers advance to the fourth round of the Carling Cup tonight after a five-goal tie with Leyton Orient.
First-half Rovers were clearly the dominant side possession-wise allowing very little time on the ball for Orient apart from a few attacking runs.
However for Blackburn, with so many changes made from Saturday’s excitement against Arsenal, things were moving at a much more subdued pace.
Carrying on his brilliant form as a second-half sub on Saturday, Martin Olsson provided most of the pace on the pitch often playing high up the field.
Early attempts by Rochina and Vukcevic were struck wide as Rovers looked to gain the first goal but with little promise.
The best chance came from a Vukcevic cross which found the head of Gael Givet. Orient keeper Lee Butcher had to go full-stretch to stop the shot burying into the top corner.
However, Rovers did take the lead just before half-time after a challenge on an attacking Olsson saw him brought down inside the box by Omozusi.
Unlike the two spot-kicks against Everton this time the ball found the back of the net after Jason Roberts hit home.
The start of the second half saw Steve Kean looking to add a little more pace to his side with the switch of Junior Hoilett for Blackman.
Things were beginning to pick up a bit for Orient with more time on the ball allowing a run wide of goal for striker David Mooney. However, Bunn was quick to close down the angle of the shot, managing to stop it at his feet.
Rovers almost went 2-0 up at fifty-nine minutes after a floating chipped cross from Rochina was tipped goalwards by the head of Vukcevic but once again Butcher tipped it wide.
Orient quickly responded after the ensuing goal-kick was brought down the wing and across to Mooney only for his shot to be stopped by Mark Bunn.
Things were definitely heating up as a series of chances from Rovers looked to gain their second goal with some good play inside the box between Hoilett and Vukcevic.
However, Orient quickly fought back with another play down the wing by George Porter found Mooney on the end of his pass across goal to take the score to 1-1.
Rovers again took the lead after Jason Roberts’ shot was saved by the Orient keeper only to be knocked into the path of Reuben Rochina for easy tap-in on the seventieth minute.
Scything through the Orient defence with a brilliant run Hoilett almost had the score to 3-1 but his blistering shot was parried away fantastically by Butcher.
A third goal for Rovers wasn’t far off though as a failed clearance from Orient saw the drop to Simon Vukcevic inside the box to score his first goal of the season seventy-five minutes in.
In the closing stages of the game Orient were working hard to claw back another goal. With a few promising attempts in the first-half Dean Cox answered the call after his shot around Mark Bunn went in off the post five minutes from time.
Rovers almost answered the goal in kind after some clever play between substitute Yakubu and Roberts forcing Butcher to save yet another dangerous shot on goal.
With four minutes added on the clock Rovers held tight to finish on a 3-2 victory to advance to the fourth round of the Carling Cup.