Blackburn Rovers bow for ex-Coleraine star Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons.
Brad Lyons.

Brad Lyons made his first appearance in a Blackburn Shirt as he was brought on late in the U23’s scoreless draw with Arsenal at Ewood Park last night.

The former Coleraine man replaced Daniel Butterworth in the 88th minute.

In 119 appearances, Lyons scored 19 goals for the Bannsiders.

He wasn’t the only Northern Ireland connection on the pitch however as Daniel Ballard played the full 90 minutes fresh from helping Northern Ireland U21’s claim a famous victory over Spain last week.

Ballard captained Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup final last season is hoping for more success under the guidance of new manager and Gunners legend Freddie Ljungberg.

Rovers had the better of the clash, missing a number of chances through poor finishing and some good goalkeeping by visiting keeper Deyan Iliev, whilst the Gunners struggled to really test Andy Fisher.

Blackburn manager Damien Johnson also give an Under-23 debut to Jack Rodwell and he came close to scoring midway through the first half when Iliev made a superb save to keep out his header.

Arsenal came closet to scoring on 86 minutes as Robbie Burton fired just past the post after a fine counter attack.