Many Blackburn fans prioritised the bragging rights of 34 years over a trip to Wembley with the FA Cup and after a poor attendance of only 8635, a following of 20,735 fans showed up for a season record attendance. For the first time this season, Ewood Park was filled with atmosphere, pride, hope, passion, pain, euphoria and love in a time period of 97 minutes.
Rovers received an additional player early on in the derby as for a second time, a chicken was released to roam on the green of Ewood Park. The crowds were entertained as the chicken taunted the steward before finally being caught.
The home fans deflated like a ballon when Jason Shackell put the visitors in the lead in the 32nd minute, and struggled to find an opportunity for the remainder of the first half. Dunn had Rovers best shot which flew a foot over the cross bar. Leon Best was replaced by youth star Josh Morris at the beginning of the second half which saw Cameron Stewart, who had been struggling on the wing slip into a more comfortable centre forward position.
The second half saw a stronger Rovers side attack Grant's goal, but remained unlucky. Burnley's Mee was booked for a foul on Dunn. He then proceeded to go in for a late challenge on Grant Hanley and to Rovers delight, was shown the red card.
Rovers continued to put pressure on Burnley's goal before Nuno Gomes came on for derby lover Martin Olsson in the 87th minute. A minimum of 6 minutes added time lead to a deafening roar of support from the home fans to encourage a final chance in the game.
The 96th minute saw the hero, the legend, the almighty dingle destroyer David Dunn slot the ball into the right hand side of the goal making the scoreline 1-1 leaving Burnley fans shocked and Blackburn fans euphoric. Ewood Park erupted with a volcano of love for local hero Dunny just minutes after he'd been announced man of the match. Burnley fans had taunted David Dunn with mock tears (with reference to Dunn's tears of heartbreak post Milwall match in midweek) but Dunn was spurred on and wiped the smiles of the Burnley fans smug faces by taking away their most likely opportunity to prove victorious over Rovers.
|Dunn celebrates in front of the travelling rivals
Despite only managing to take a point from the derby, the late equaliser not only made up for the FA cup defeat, but felt like a win in itself. Rovers fans oozed euphoria as the derby extraordinaire and fan favourite Dunn managed to claim his prize with not only man of the match, but the goal that meant Burnley had once again failed to beat Rovers.
The equaliser was incredible, and the adrenaline and pride I felt during those last few minutes of the match are indescribable. The atmosphere, fight and passion in the game allows for one of my most memorable trips to Ewood.
However, although we have managed to hold on to our bragging rights of 34 years, we are potentially in trouble and do seriously need to start picking up points if we are to remain in the championship.
The worry of relegation is for another day though. Today is for David Dunn, who represents loyalty, passion, love, and Jack Walker himself. The man bleeds blue and white and thoroughly deserved a full 90 minutes, man of the match, and the equalising goal, because he does hate Burnley.
If we are to remain in the second tier of English football, David Dunn needs a place in the squad every week from now in, and a crucial part he will play. His love for Rovers is unquestionable proven by his tears of heartbreak and disappointment on Wednesday and his excitement and ecstasy today.