Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Aug 09 at 18:07 PM

Report: Rovers 0 West Ham United 0

Blackburn Rovers had to settle for a point as they were held to a goalless draw by West Ham United.

For the third successive Premier League match, it was the team in blue and white that once again enjoyed the better chances and possession but against a stubborn West Ham the clinical touch in front of goal was missing once again.

It was a welcome first point of the season for Sam Allardyce's side, but it was a match that Rovers should have taken more than a point from.

West Ham the better of the first half chances, Carlton Cole wasting their best effort on 20 minutes when he blazed over after riding a series of challenges.

Pascal Chimbonda impressed on his debut with some vital first half blocks, whilst at the other end he forced a save from Robert Green with a strike from the edge of the box.

Chris Samba almost broke the deadlock before the break, but his effort from inside the area was deflected narrowly wide.

The second half saw Cole fire narrowly over just two minutes after the restart, but from then on it was Rovers who had the majority of possession and all of the chances.

Substitute Junior Hoilett looked lively for the last half hour and could have capped the display with a goal. Through on goal he lifted the ball over the advancing Robert Green but it agonisingly landed on the roof of the net.

In the final moments fellow sub Niko Kalinic made space for Hoilett but the Canadian dragged his effort wide. Whilst an important block from Collins stopped Kalinic from opening his account.

Watch the match highlights on Rovers Player

Before the game Sam Allardyce made three changes from the side that lost narrowly to Sunderland in the league seven days ago. Injuries ruling out Ryan Nelsen,El Hadji Diouf and Franco Di Santo meaning a debut for Pascal Chimbonda and first league starts for David Dunn and Vince Grella.

Benni McCarthy was also absent due to an ankle injury.

With resources stretched, Sam opted to play the same system that had served the club well in the Carling Cup at Gillingham - 4-2-3-1. Pascal Chimbonda coming in at left back, two holding players in midfield in Steven Nzonzi and Vince Grella, with David Dunn at the head of the three behind striker Jason Roberts with Pedersen and Andrews backing up.

The first applause of the game was actually for an event off the field. Five minutes in and a certain long haired former Turkish midfielder was spotted making his way around the perimeter of the pitch.

To a man the home stands stood and applauded Tugay as he made his way to the tunnel area.

But on field there was little in the way of action, Rovers had threatened with balls in the box, but both Roberts and Samba saw chances snuffed out.

It was at the other end where the first true chance of the game came. Carlton Cole, who has had an excellent start to the season for both club and country, showed great skill and persistence to hold off two markers before making his way into the area. Taking advantage of some hesitant defending from Samba he looked to lift the ball over Robinson from a narrow angle but it sailed over the bar.

That prompted a spell of pressure from the visitors that Rovers withstood well. Pascal Chimbonda impressing with two important blocks in quick succession to deny Chilean Luis Jiminez.

Rovers' best chance of the first half fell to central defender Chris Samba. From a ball into the area, it fell to the big man who let fly, but with the ball heading towards the top corner it deflected off Julien Faubert and behind for a corner kick.

Andrews saw a shot blocked by Collins, whilst a forward foray from Chimbonda saw him force Robert Green into a save.

Both sides resisted temptation to make changes at the break as the visitors went close from the offer. Again it was Carlton Cole who cut inside onto his left foot but put his strike from the edge of the area a yard over the bar.

From that point onwards the majority of play was centred towards Robert Green's goal. Rovers being patient in possession, slowly building their attacks.

The introduction of Junior Hoilett on the hour added some pace to proceedings, the young Canadian linking up well down the right with Lars Jacobsen who again put in a strong display down the right.

A jinking run from Dunn saw him tee up Hoilett, but on his weaker left foot he fired into the side netting.

But with 13 minutes remaining the young Canadian had Rovers' best chance of the game.

Breaking from a West Ham attack, Morten Gamst Pedersen quickly switched play to David Dunn who immediately spotted the run of Junior Hoilett. His pinpoint pass dissected the West Ham defence sending Hoilett clear on goal.

But Robert Green stood tall reducing Junior's options and although he lobbed the Englishman he looked on as the ball agonisingly landed on the roof of the net.

As West Ham retreated further in the last ten minutes, space and chances were at a premium. Sub' Nikola Kalinic did create some space for fellow sub Hoilett, but his bobbled shot across the bows went narrowly wide.

Then in the final throes a charging run from Samba into the box sent a low cross but James Collins just got to the ball ahead of Kalinic to make an important clearance.

So Rovers pick up their first point of the season, but like the matches against Sunderland and Manchester City, they were left frustrated that they hadn't claimed more.

ROVERS: Robinson (c), Jacobsen, Samba, Givet, Chimbonda; Grella, Nzonzi (sub Hoilett 60 mins); Pedersen, Dunn, Andrews; Roberts (sub Kalinic 75 mins).

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Emerton, Khizanishvili, Olsson, Salgado.

WEST HAM: Green, Parker, Cole, Upson (c), Noble, Jimenez (sub Dyer 67 mins), Spector, Collins, Faubert, Collison, Stanislas.

Subs not used: Kurucz (GK), Gabbidon, Kovac, Nouble, Tomkins, Hines.

Booked: Dunn (Rovers), Collins, Noble, Parker (West Ham)

Attendance: 23,421

    Latest Match Reports