Half-Time Report: Dale Stephens stunner puts Charlton Atheltic ahead

Dale Stephens
© PA Photos
Blackburn Rovers are frustrated in the first half by Charlton Athletic as Michael Appleton searches for his first win in charge.

Charlton Athletic contained Blackburn Rovers for much of the opening 45 minutes and took full advantage to take the lead going into the break.

Rovers boss Michael Appleton employed a new 4-2-3-1 formation, opting to play Ruben Rochina behind lone striker Jordan Rhodes.

Charlton shaded possession in the early stages but it was Blackburn who had the first strike on goal when Simon Vukcevic fired wide from range.

Danny Murphy also failed to hit the target with a free kick as Charlton restricted the home side to efforts from distance.

Charlton burst forward on the counter and took the lead midway through the first half when Dale Stephens slammed into the top corner from just outside the area.

It was nearly 2-0 just moments later when Johnnie Jackson's shot from close range was well-saved by Jake Kean.

Blackburn went close soon after when Colin Kazim-Richards had a strong header well-saved before Charlton scrambled clear a dangerous corner.

The visitors held firm in the closing stages to keep alive their chances of recording a third successive league win.

Blackpool boss Michael Appleton on the touchline against Wolves on December 21, 2012
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