Blackburn Rovers 1 Hull City 1: Garcia goal fuels Hull's journey of discovery

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The Independent Online

So far so good for Hull City's voyage into the unknownwaters of the Premier League, with their opening-day win followed by a well-earned point here. What excitement there was in a generally dull affair was compressed into two minutes late in the first half and City got their eventual reward with Richard Garcia's swift response to Jason Roberts' goal for Blackburn.

"We could have gone on to win the game, but I'm ecstatic with a point," said the City manager, Phil Brown. "It's a great point on our journey."

There was predictably huge travelling support from Hull, although there was little to stir them initially apart from the giddy feeling of being at an away Premier League ground as equals for the first time.

Only gradually did the Tigers show their claws, first through an attack triggered by Geovanni's lovely pass, which could have ended with a goal for Marlon King if he had reacted quicker to Dean Marney's cross, and then by forcing Paul Robinson to save at Craig Fagan's feet after Stephen Warnock's weak back-header.

It was not much, but it was as good as anything that Rovers had produced. The game changed its complexion in the 38th minute, however, when Steven Reid, playing in the potentially problematic David Bentley role wide on the right, was given far too much time to measure a curling ball into the path of Roberts. With the City defence waiting in vain for an offside flag, Roberts took one touch and flicked it past Boaz Myhill with the outside of his right boot.

The lead lasted less than two minutes and disappeared in a messy moment for Robinson, the England goalkeeper making his home debut. Fagan seemed to have put his cross far too deep, but Garcia was lurking unmarked beyond the far post and sent his header looping over Robinson into the far side of the net.

Unfortunately that two-goal spark was not enough to ignite the rest of the game.

Blackburn lost David Dunn at half-time and with him went much of their midfield drive. Tugay was brought on for Aaron Mokoena and he almost coaxed something out of the quiet Roque Santa Cruz. He found him with a precise pass and the striker turned sweetly and shot just too high, then picked him out with a ball which Santa Cruz killed dead on his chest only to be flagged offside.

In between, Reid had to get in a well-timed tackle on Bernard Mendy, when the Hull substitute made a threatening run into the area. And Hull finished strongly with Robinson saving from Caleb Folan's volley and Sam Ricketts' low shot.

Blackburn's Paul Ince believed that his side had been affected by international duties in mid-week. "But overall I think that they deserved a point," he said of Hull. "I think they'll do well, they won't be easy to beat."

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