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Blackburn Rovers 1 - West Ham United 2

Ewood Park

Saturday 17th March 2007, 17:15

Attendance: 18,591

Rovers 1.v.2 West Ham

Our bottom three curse continued as West Ham United recovered from a goal down from Christopher Samba, his first for the club to secure a highly controversial 2-1 win thanks to a Carlos Tevez penalty followed shortly after by a Bobby Zamora goal that only once again pushes for claims that goal line technology is needed!

Early in the second half a whipped corner found Samba completely unmarked, the Hammered defence seemed to be marking their own players and "the Wall" powered home from close range to give Rovers the lead. After looking comfortable a break away from the Hammered resulted in Carlos Tevez being upended by Brett Emerton for a penalty. The Argentine stepped up himself to send Brad Friedel the wrong way to level the scores. Five minutes later and a moment of pure controversy decided the game and handed the Hammered a vital three points. After Tugay had cleared Lee Bowyer's back heel off the line Bobby Zamora followed up only to be denied by his own man Tevez on the goal line, somehow the officials felt the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal.

The ever ready to brandish cards Mr Howard Webb was up to his old tricks again as he issued nine cards including a red, this red going to David Bentley for a second booking deep into injury time for what he deemed a deliberate hand ball, was it really necessary? As it happens it appears the returning Lucas Neill pushed Bentley anyway so how much intent was there…

To be blatantly honest it wasn't the best of Rovers performances, but after looking more than comfortable against a struggling side we just couldn't recover from the shock of once again being on the receiving end of such a controversial decision which could when all is said and done costs us a European place. This is how important it is that some sort of goal line technology is introduced into the game. Until you are on the receiving end of things you don't appreciate how much it affects you!

The Match
At a rain sodden Ewood Park unsurprisingly with every touch Lucas Neill had the Ewood fans roundly boo him, but nevertheless it would be the Hammered that started the brightest with Carlos Tevez almost opening the scoring but Brad Friedel denied him.

It would be Rovers who had the ball in the net first though, or so we thought… David Dunn was adjudged to have impeded Robert Green, probably rightly so, so Matt Derbyshire`s effort into the empty net was ruled out.

A rush of blood to the head from Green saw him charge out to try and beat Benni McCarthy to the ball but Benni McGoalmachine easily got to the ball first, took it round the keeper and with him rushing to get back as Benni attempted to pick out a team mate the retreating Green cleared over his own bar for a Rovers corner.

The first of what would prove to be nine cards, eight yellow and one red issued by Howard Webb was given to David Bentley for a reckless challenge, the wet conditions even taken into account.

Stephen Warnock is proving some signing, and a trademark 60-70 yard gallop saw him leave Neill in his wake but he couldn't quite find the ball to an onrushing forward he would have like and the Hammered escaped.

The final, and best chance of the half came to Rovers and Morten Gamst Pedersen. The Norwegian really ought to have done better. Stevie Warnock's long ball somehow found its way through to Gamst off the wet surface and he went through one on one with Green, chipping it over the keeper as he narrowed the angle but the effort went wide.

Half Time - Rovers 0 the Hammered 0

The second half had barely begun when a good corner found an unmarked Christopher Samba who powered home his header in the 47th minutes as the Hammered defence just stood and watched. Rovers 1 the Hammered 0

At the other end of the field the Wall had to be alert to prevent Tevez at he looked to get in to bring the scores level.

As David Bentley again delivered expertly, this delivery was crying out for a touch but could only get one from the hand of Gamst as he threw himself to meet the cross. This went unspotted by the referee who awarded a corner.

Rovers Substitution: 64 mins Matt Derbyshire (Off) Jason Roberts (On)

As the Hammered broke from a quickly taken Tevez free kick Matthew Etherington found himself through on goal. Spotting the danger Friedel decided to rush out but was never getting there and Etherington lobbed over him but Stevie Warnock cleared to safety.

Brett Emerton seemed to be shepherding Tevez nicely but a rash challenge saw the Argentine go down and after a glance at his assistant Webb awarded the spot kick much to the annoyance of Rovers and a small kafuffle ensued with Emerton and Bobby Zamora picking up cautions along with Roberts. As the dust settled Neill picked up the ball seeming to want to take it but Tevez himself stepped up to send Friedel the wrong way in the 71st minute. Rovers 1 the Hammered 1.

The Hammered seemed to find a new confidence from their goal and after Zamora had easily turned Zurab Khizanishvili his cross found Tevez who's effort was blocked for a corner. The next passage of play eventually brought another corner after Friedel had turned over James Collins' header. This next corner resulted in the moment of pure controversy.

Just five-yards out Lee Bowyer attempted a back heel which was kept out by Tugay on the line, Friedel and the Rovers defence attempted to scramble the ball away to safety but Zamora got in a shot which was again cleared off the line, this time inadvertently by his team mate Tevez in the 75th minute. However, the referee's assistant awarded the goal and the Hammered has turned the game in a matter of minutes. Rovers 1 the Hammered 2.

Rovers Substitution: 79 mins Tugay (Off) Sergio Peter (On)

Rovers pushed for the equaliser but we seemed demoralised by the nature of both goals, the penalty was a penalty, maybe it was a trailing leg that fouled Tevez but it was a foul nonetheless but the players didn't think this so, the second "goal" knocked the stuffing out of us and despite Bentley's best efforts he was denied by Green.

With Rovers pushing forward we probably should have been caught out again but poor final passes and wasteful finishing spared us as the Hammered recorded their first away win of the season. To compound our misery Howard Webb did what he does best and issued a further card in virtually the final play of the match, this time handing Bentley a second yellow card for what he deemed a deliberate hand ball, which did look very much like a push from Neill into Bents in any case.

Full Time - Rovers 1 the Hammered 2
Goals:
Rovers - C Samba 47
The Hammered - C Tevez 71 (penalty), B Zamora 75


Rovers - B Friedel, C Samba, S Warnock, Z Khizanishvili, M G Pedersen, D Bentley, D Dunn, B Emerton , Tugay (S Peter 79), M Derbyshire (J Roberts 64), B McCarthy. Subs - J Brown, P Gallagher, S Henchoz

the Hammered - R Green, J Collins, G McCartney, L Neill, A Ferdinand, M Etherington, L Bowyer, M Noble (H Mullins 45), N Reo-Coker, C Tevez (L Boa Morte 84), M Harewood (B Zamora 56). Subs - J Walker, J Spector

What I noticed
* What can you say, we looked comfortable for long periods of the match, the goals, or maybe the nature of them especially the second saw us stunned into defeat.

* Stevie Warnock, my Man of the Match, showed once again just why I'm so glad that he is a Rovers player now. With almost any other manager bar Steve McClaren in charge I'd expect him to be in the England squad. If he doesn't selected Gareth Barry let alone Warnock or anyone else with Ashley Cole out for one game and Wayne Bridge both, opting for Phil Neville and Jamie Carragher as cover instead he doesn't have a prayer…

* As much as I rate Derbs and JR I think today is another example that perhaps we do need that further striker during the summer so many people are calling for?

* Once again the need for goal line technology has been highlighted. Having this kind of incident once in a season is unfortunate but we've had this scenario at least twice, maybe three times this, be it goals for or against. Until it happens to your team you don't appreciate how much this technology would aid you. If this costs us a European place it will costs us MILLLIONS and potentially more, maybe even players!

Star Player

Stevie Warnock, justed edged out the Wall for reasons mentioned.

Player Ratings


B Friedel 6

Couldn't be blamed for goals, had little else to do, but what he did he did well.

C Samba 7

Another fine display from the Wall, pushed Stevie Warnock for Man of the Match. Took his goal well also.

S Warnock 7

Got up and down well, looks fantastic coming forward, something we've missed for years. Can also defend.

Z Khizanishvili 6

Looked comfortable but lack of pace saw him exposed at times.

M G Pedersen 6

Din't really get into the game, had he scored things could have been so different.

D Bentley 6

A good game, fantastic delivery as ever. But for his harsh red card would have had a better rating.

D Dunn 5

Not one of Dunny's better days.

B Emerton 6

A little unlucky with the penalty but rashly dived in.

Tugay 6

Another not to have one of his better days but still showed some fine touches.

M Derbyshire 6

Derbs worked hard as ever but with little reward.

B McCarthy 5

Rarely got into the game and when he did didn't have one of his better days.

S Peter 5

After the promise of last week offered nothing when he came on.

J Roberts 5

Made little impact after his arrival.




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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 18 2007

Time: 1:28AM

Your Comments

Maybe showing Howard webb's image is a little unfair as he can't be entirely blamed for our defeat but the card happy ref and his officials certainly didn't help matters!
Hughes Da Man
Better change that score above guys - I'm sure you would prefer a 2-1 win but it wouldn't be right.
pompeygray
The deliberate mistake was spotted :) this is the reason why roverman usually does the match reports!
Hughes Da Man
Ah that's better.
pompeygray
Better for the Hammered and dare I say Portsmouth, not for Rovers though! I liked the Blackburn Rovers 2 West Ham United 1 better.
Hughes Da Man
An extremely poor performance. I noticed sparky just loves to blame the referees (even though this time the second one wasnt a goal). That's why a few days ago I mentioned we need a different kind of manager. We've already lost 14 (!!!) times this season. You cant blame the injuries every time we lose, simply because we are'nt the only club to suffer (Newcastle for example lost almost the entire squad). I just cant believe we hardly get a point at home to those poor sides.
IsraeliRover
Lets be fair here it wasn't an overly poor performances, not a great one by anymeans but for any suggestion this is Spakry's fault, not for me. The officials didn't help our cause and in all honesty we've not had the rub off the green as often as its gone against us. The difference with us and Newcastle is they have a massive squad full off players who could come in, it just so happens they've had an unbelievable time with injuries.
Hughes Da Man
I dunno what Webb was thinking on the day, cus he got most of the vital disisions wrong. The peno, Tevez and Emerton clipped toes IF that and the 2nd goal well you dont need me to tell you that didnt go in, but over all we didnt play that well in the second half, first half we should have been 3-0 up but we wasted our chances.
marshinrover
I'm still surprised on your thoughts on Sparky Israeli, I can't think of anyone more high profile than Sparky (again I stress that realistically would take the job) to do what he's doing. Two FA Cup semi finals in what three-years, a League Cup semi final, turned a relegation threatened side into a top a six side, and genuine top five or six regular contender in the future. Sparky may like to blame officials, but who doesn't? More often than not he has just cause doesn't he?!?!
Hughes Da Man
True marshin, we didn't play that well but didn't play bad enough to warrant defeat did we. But as you point out if you don't take chances, as we didn't you often get punished, and we did with some help from the officials. The Hammered will still go down on the evidence I saw, we HAVE to sort out our form against teams we SHOULD be beating or we'll no way finish in the top six.
Hughes Da Man
Surely blaming officials is only a problem if the issue is actually with the team. We beat West Ham on all accounts bar the scoreline on Saturday, and you surely can't begrudge blaming a defeat from an unjust penalty, a "non-goal", and an awful sending off on the officials? Three major errors, two goals for free, all thanks to bad decisions, i personally think Sparky showed a lot of restraint in his dealings with it, and a lot of other managers would have gone further with their condemnations.
Head Rover Heels
We looked toio casual but lets not escape the fact that we were robbed....OFFICIALLY!!!! I am yet to see a worse decision this seaosn. It is up there with the Roy Carroll line disputes! A draw would have been a fair result, in fact had West Ham been able to score all by themselves I probably wouldn't have begrudged them victory. However, such is the poor state of the Hammered is the fact they are unable to score by themselves. They needed the 12th and 13th man on Sat
roversman
 

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