Blackburn 0-0 West Ham

29 August 2009 04:11
Blackburn 0 - 0 West Ham By David McIntyre Jason Roberts (left) holds off West Ham defender James Collins Neither side could break the deadlock in a dismal game at Ewood Park. Blackburn substitute David Hoilett had the home team's best chances after twice being found by David Dunn. But he fired wide from close range and was then unlucky with a clever chip from outside the area which beat keeper Rob Green but went over the bar. Carlton Cole went close for West Ham in the first half when he raced away from three Rovers defenders but was unable to get his shot on target. A point at least saved Rovers from a defeat that would have meant they had lost their opening three league games for the first time since 1947. But that was little consolation for their supporters, many of whom made their disgust clear at the final whistle. 606: DEBATE Give your views on this match West Ham were also unimpressive but boss Gianfranco Zola, who was "completely shocked" by crowd trouble during the midweek game against Millwall, will have been cheered by his team's spirited display. Manager Zola is short of options in attack and was unable to complete the signing of striker Alessandro Diamanti from Italian side Livorno in time for him to be included in the Hammers squad. That meant Cole operated as a lone frontman, with on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Luis Jimenez pushing forward to support him. Allardyce pleased to get first point Cole did unsettle the Rovers defence at times and created the best chance of the first half. The former Chelsea man collected Scott Parker's pass and sneaked between Lars Jacobsen and Vince Grella before out-sprinting Chris Samba and firing high and wide from an awkward angle. The home side struggled to get going and new signing Pacsal Chimbonda, making his Blackburn debut, twice had to move across from left-back to superbly tackle Jiminez as he was about to shoot. Blackburn's best opening of the first half came when Samba headed Dunn's free-kick towards Jason Roberts, who stretched to poke the ball into the side netting. Rovers themselves lacked a cutting edge up front and missed Benni McCarthy, who sat out the game because of an ankle problem. Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce introduced Canadian-born forward Hoilett - known as Junior rather than David - on the hour-mark. Zola promises better form to come The 19-year-old had an opportunity to open the scoring but shot wide of the near post from the edge of the six-yard box after latching onto Dunn's pass. Hoilett then returned the compliment by picking out Dunn, whose tame shot was comfortably held by Green. That prompted Allardyce to send on £6m summer signing Nikola Kalinic for his home debut. The lanky Croatian striker offered Rovers an aerial option, but their best chance in the closing stages came when Dunn again set up Hoilett - this time on the break following a West Ham attack. Dunn looked up and found Hoilett with a fine pass with the outside of his right foot and the youngster did well to lift the ball over Green, but also lifted it over the bar. Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen tried his luck with a late free-kick, which also went over. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce: "We're building well, but the results are not reflecting that. "We're creating chances but not taking them. At least we have got the defensive side sorted and we got stronger as the game went on and could have won it. "We played the way we did because of the players we had available - and we played it very well. All you punters and supporters out there, leave it to me. I'm the expert, not you." • West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola: "It was difficult because this was our third game in six days and the other day against Millwall we played for 120 minutes, and it was a very exhausting game. "We found that in the second half our performance dropped a bit, but we defended well and deserved a draw, and I'm happy with that. "In the first half we played quite well and Carlton Cole had a clear chance for us. But in the second half they also had a clear chance, so it's a good point for us."

Source: BBC_Sport