West Ham snatch priceless point against Rovers

Blackburn 1 West Ham 1

Substitute Junior Stanislas earned West Ham a priceless point with a 78th-minute equaliser at Ewood Park to deny Blackburn caretaker manager Steve Kean a win in his first game in charge.

With West Ham boss Avram Grant enduring another week of speculation about his future, it was an important match for both managers, and, after a woeful first half, it was Blackburn who made the breakthrough in the 51st minute thanks to the scrappiest of goals from Ryan Nelsen.

Defeat would certainly have been harsh on the visitors, who were easily the more creative side, and they got their reward when Stanislas fired an unstoppable shot into the far corner.

The point was not enough to lift West Ham off the bottom of the table but they did close to within two points of Wolves.

Staff at Ewood Park had spent all morning clearing the pitch, stands and surrounding areas of snow and their efforts were rewarded as the match was the only one of the scheduled 3pm kick-offs in the Barclays Premier League to go ahead.

Grant was forced into a change in goal after Robert Green underwent a minor operation to remove a cyst earlier this week, meaning a West Ham debut for 23-year-old Belgian Ruud Boffin.

It was the first time Green had failed to start a league game for the Hammers for almost four years, and Grant's problems continued to mount before kick-off as Valon Behrami, who had been a doubt, was replaced by Jonathan Spector at the 11th hour.

The first half was a poor spectacle, with Blackburn's bright start petering out and West Ham managing only sporadic bursts forward.

The first decent opening did not arrive until the 41st minute as Luis Boa Morte played in Frederic Piquionne on the left of the area but the striker fired his effort towards the near post and into the side-netting.

West Ham were by then looking quite dangerous and moments later it was Boa Morte on the end of a through-ball. This time he did find the target, forcing Paul Robinson into a good block.

Half-time came at the right time for Rovers, who had a new energy about them in the second half and soon gained the lead.

A shot from the lively Mame Biram Diouf was deflected behind by James Tomkins and, from the resulting corner, the ball was cleared to Brett Emerton wide on the right.

The Australian did brilliantly to work space for a cross, which caused havoc in the West Ham penalty area. Poor defending saw the ball drop to Benjani Mwaruwari three yards out only for the striker to completely miss his kick.

Waiting was Nelsen, though, and, after his first effort was superbly saved by Boffin, the Rovers captain forced the ball inside the right post off his thigh.

It was tough luck on the rookie goalkeeper, who did all he could but was let down by the men in front of him. Grant responded by bringing on Carlton Cole and Stanislas for Pablo Barrera and Spector, while for Rovers injury saw Christopher Samba replaced by Phil Jones.

Cole was immediately involved, appealing unsuccessfully for a penalty after a challenge by Gael Givet and then poking his shot wide under pressure from Jones following good work by Kieron Dyer.

That proved to be the last involvement for Jones, though, as he limped off barely 10 minutes after coming on, with teenager Grant Hanley given his chance by Kean.

Blackburn and referee Mike Dean earned the wrath of the West Ham fans when they failed to put the ball out after Matthew Upson went down clutching his face, and in the 71st minute the Hammers defender almost took revenge in the best possible way.

This time it was the Rovers defence that did not deal with a cross but Upson curled his shot against the outside of a post. The Hammers created another decent opening moments later, Piquionne heading Stanislas' corner over the bar.

They certainly deserved an equaliser, and 12 minutes from time they got one.

Scott Parker, so often at the heart of West Ham's best moments, drove into the box and Givet could only divert the ball into the path of Stanislas, who smashed his shot into the far right corner.

Blackburn had been poor but they upped their level again and thought they had gone straight back in front only for David Dunn to be denied by an offside flag.

Both sides pushed for a winner and Morten Gamst Pedersen almost caught out Boffin with an audacious 40-yard free-kick, while the Norwegian had the final chance with another set-piece from the edge of the area but sent his shot just the wrong side of the far left post.

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice