Benni bags a brace

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McCarthy blasted home after Gretar Steinsson fouled David Dunn but replays suggested the ball was won cleanly.

Bolton were again unfortunate when Kevin Nolan struck the bar but Kevin Davies fired them level following a punt forward from Ivan Campo.

McCarthy netted after Cahill fouled Dunn, David Bentley headed in the third from Dunn's cross and Morten Gamst Pedersen swept in a fourth at the end.

Blackburn’s first victory in five games - which completed the double over their local rivals - boosts their hopes of qualifying for the Uefa Cup, while Bolton will reflect on a week of mixed fortunes.

Boss Gary Megson rested half the team which achieved a superb draw at Atletico Madrid to progress in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.

Those that were retained had not even broken sweat when Jussi Jaaskelainen parried McCarthy’s effort inside the first 10 seconds.

Bolton almost had an early goal of their own when El Hadji Diouf's shot was kept out by Friedel after Davies flicked the ball on following a throw-in.

After that bright opening, the first half became niggly, punctuated by badly timed challenges and accusatory insults.

There was more uproar when Dunn went down under a challenge from Steinsson on the left edge of the area and, after the protests had subsided, McCarthy cracked the ball in just to the right of centre.

However, totally against the run of play, Rovers were back in front when Cahill took out Dunn from behind, and McCarthy again belted in a spot-kick.

Four minutes later the game was over as a contest when Bentley headed in at the far post from Dunn's cross from the left.

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