English Premiership

Blackburn held by Hammers

2010-12-18 20:03
Blackburn Rovers logo (File)
Blackburn - Caretaker Blackburn manager Steve Kean did little to boost his chances of being given the job on a permanent basis after a miserable 1-1 draw with bottom-placed West Ham on Saturday.

Kean, who replaced Sam Allardyce following his shock sacking, saw his side jeered off after being held by the struggling Hammers.

It was the least West Ham deserved, as manager Avram Grant picked up a precious point that could prove crucial in their fight for survival.

Substitute Junior Stanislas was West Ham’s hero as he cancelled out Ryan Nelsen’s opener for Blackburn.

But this result will do little to please the home fans.

Whether for or against Allardyce, Rovers' supporters have been united by apprehension after this week's events and the messages from the club's Indian owners.

A week ago, Kean was merely another cog in the Blackburn machine, now he is their main man in one of the world's most demanding industries.

Few managerial notices get thrown straight in at the deep end, yet just 16 months on from arrival at Ewood Park as first team coach, Kean has been handed his big break.

The 43-year-old Scot's managerial debut was always going to be overshadowed with the bizarre circumstances surrounding Allardyce's dismissal.

Yet there was a strange atmosphere at Ewood Park. After three home wins on the bounce, this wasn't a team struggling in a fight for survival, in contrast to Hammers boss Grant, under pressure after just two wins this season.

Grant's task hadn't been helped by the injury blow to goalkeeper Rob Green. The England goalkeeper missed out as he undergoes a minor operation so Belgium's Ruud Boffin was handed his Hammers Premier League debut.

An abject first half prompted frustrated Blackburn fans to immediately let their feelings known over the new owners, chanting: "There’s only one Jack Walker", in reference to the former chairman who led Rovers to their success in the 1990s.

Kean must have delivered some hard words at the interval as Blackburn came flying out of the traps in the second half.

It was no surprise to see Rovers, who came out with more intent, take a 51st minute lead through Nelsen's third goal of the season.

Brett Emerton delivered a fine cross where the New Zealand defender's shot was initially saved by Boffin, only for the Rovers captain to react first by kneeing home the scrambled opener.

Grant, in a desperate need for goals, sent on Carlton Cole and Stanislas as they looked to inject some life into his side.

But after Matthew Upson has struck a post in the 71st minute, it was a matter of time before the visitors drew themselves level, with Stanislas providing.

Scott Parker's driving run saw the ball rebound off Gael Givet, only for the young striker to curl home a fine effort for this first goal of the season.

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