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Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Jan 10 at 17:00 PM

Report: West Ham 0 Rovers 0

Rovers had to settle for a share of the spoils at West Ham United as the two sides played out a goalless draw at the Boleyn Ground.

The first half was devoid of chances until Morten Gamst Pedersen came close to adding to his recent goalscoring form, but whilst he saw his free-kick beat Robert Green, it crashed off the crossbar.

The second half was infinitely better in terms of chances, and it was Sam Allardyce's side who had the majority of them.

Green denied Martin Olsson with a stunning save before Rovers thought Gael Givet had scored from the resulting corner but Carlton Cole cleared off the line, but only after Mark Noble appeared to block it with his hand.

Jason Roberts who had the best of the chances, but after turning Tomkins we could only fire straight at Green.

Robinson denied Diamanti as the home side pressed for a late undeserved winner, but it was Rovers who had to settle for just a point. But after ten consecutive defeats at the Boleyn Ground, a point is certainly welcome.

That point sees Rovers enter the top half of the table for the first time this campaign.

Watch the match highlights on Rovers Player

Unsurprisingly Sam Allardyce made just the one change from the side that defeated Wigan Athletic 2-1 in midweek. Chris Samba returning to the centre of the defence after his one-match ban, Junior Hoilett the man who made way with Martin Olsson moving up to left wing.

Once the applause for the introduction of new West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan had died down what followed was a very scrappy affair under a subdued atmosphere.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action for the majority of the half, Rovers doing well to stifle any West Ham attacks, whilst never really threatening with anything themselves.

The first save of note came just past the half hour when a Alessandro Diamanti free-kick was kept away at the near post by Paul Robinson.

At the opposite end Robert Green had to back pedal to tip behind a Morten Gamst Pedersen corner kick.

The nearest either side came to breaking the deadlock came two minutes before the break from Morten Gamst Pedersen.

The Norwegian had netted in his last three league outings and was the width of the crossbar away from making it four after his 25 yard free-kick beat Green but not the crossbar.

Both sides made changes just before the hour mark, West Ham introducing Carlton Cole, whilst Keith Andrews came on for the already booked Brett Emerton.

Givet headed a Diouf free-kick wide, whilst James Tomkins saw an effort deflected over the bar as the chances eventually started to arrive, but it was visitors Rovers who started to take command and certainly had the best of them.

having three gilt-edge chances to take the lead in a three minute spell, Rovers should have won the game. On 73 Martin Olsson was denied by Robert Green with a strike from the edge of the area, the ball was arrowing towards the top corner until the England goalkeeper dived full length to tip the ball behind.

From the resulting Pedersen corner kick Gael Givet thought he had given Rovers the lead when he fired through the crowd, but Carlton Cole cleared off the line with suggestions that Mark Noble had connected with his hand on the way towards goal. The Rovers players appealed but the officials waved their claims away.

But it was Jason Roberts' chance on 76 minutes that should have counted, a ball forward from Keith Andrews saw the Rovers striker go head to head with James Tomkins, Roberts got the better of him to have just Green to beat but he failed to do so with the West Ham number one diving to his right to make the save.

Paul Robinson was immediately called upon to make a save of his own, Diamanti with a 30 yard free-kick that arrowed towards the top corner until Robinson's timely tip over.

Sam Allardyce threw on Junior Hoilett in a bid to get the winner, and the young striker came close after Morten Gamst Pedersen crossed well, but Matthew Upson got a vital interception. Then after a Pedersen thrown Hoilett headed onto Samba but Green kept the ball out.

West Ham threw everything forward in the four added minutes, but Rovers stood strong for another point on their travels, and a point to take them to 10th place.

WEST HAM: Green, Kovac (sub Cole 58 mins), Upson, Noble (c), Spector, Faubert, Behrahmi (sub Parker 70 mins), Nouble (sub Sears 78 mins), Tomkins, Collison, Diamanti.

Subs not used: Stech (GK), Da Costa, Ilunga, Stanislas.

ROVERS: Robinson, Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen (c), Givet, Diouf (sub Hoilett 84 mins), Emerton (sub Andrews 58 mins), Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson, Kalinić (sub Roberts 71 mins).

Subs not used: Brown (GK), Reid, Di Santo, Salgado

Booked: Emerton (Rovers)

Attendance: 33,093

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