The festive season was not the most wonderful time of the year for us hardy North Enders and while the fans were in good cheer at Ewood Park on Saturday there was no jingle bells here either as the two sides fought out a dour draw
In recent times it is a while since we have lost a game against our “friends” from East Lancashire and although Rovers stunned the large travelling support with an early goal there was something about the muted atmosphere in the home end which showed that they did not have the confidence or the belief that they could go on and win it this time either.
Fifteen minutes later the majority of them were not surprised when Josh Harrop – a player I think must surely be pushing for a more regular start in the first team – smashed in an equaliser from the edge of the area which sent the North End fans wild in an almost packed lower and upper tiers of the Darwen End.
After this early excitement the game petered out and in general it was a game of few clear cut chances at either end as both sides looked nothing better than mid table sides the positions they currently occupy in the league table.
Before the game the marquee signing of Scott Sinclair had lifted the mood of the away fans.
It was hoped that he could spark a little life into our flagging season which has now seen just two wins from the last 11 league games and although his introduction into the fray 10 minutes from time did lift the spirits of the crowd temporarily we were still unable to penetrate a tight Rovers defence.
At the end of the game it was the home side who were pressing the most for a winner.Importantly though the draw meant that the workplace bragging rights stayed on the white side of the fence with North End having not lost on four recent trips here and with the hard fought draw also stretching our unbeaten sequence in this Lancashire derby now to seven .