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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Saturday, 23 August 2008 16:54 UK

Blackburn 1-1 Hull

By Caroline Cheese

Richard Garcia (left) celebrates his goal for Hull with Dean Marney
Garcia (left) planted a superb header over the keeper to equalise

Hull's bright start to life in the top flight continued as they earned a battling point at Blackburn.

The Tigers were almost faultless in defence, faltering only once when Jason Roberts sprung the offside trap and flicked the ball home on 39 minutes.

But Hull drew level almost immediately when Richard Garcia looped a header over Paul Robinson and into the corner.

Rovers dominated possession after the break but failed to create any clear-cut chances.

It was surely not the result the home fans expected after their spirits were lifted by an impressive 3-2 win at Everton on the opening day.

Blackburn happy with solid start

Manager Paul Ince received a rapturous reception from the home fans as he took charge of his first competitive game at Ewood Park.

But his side toiled for much of the first half against hard-working Hull.

Roque Santa Cruz, who committed his future to the club in midweek, was kept quiet by the outstanding Michael Turner and only Morten Gamst Pedersen threatened to break the deadlock in a turgid opening spell when he half-volleyed inches wide from the edge of the box.


The game sprung to life when Roberts easily beat the offside trap to latch on to Reid's lofted pass and flick the ball into the top corner.

But Hull hit back immediately, Fagan providing the cross from the right for Garcia to lift a precise header over Paul Robinson and into the far corner.

Blackburn were forced into a change at half-time with David Dunn - one of the few players providing a spark of creativity - forced off with an injury to be replaced by Brett Emerton.

Brown delighted with Hull's start

Rovers continued to have the better of the possession, but Hull - and in particular Turner - coped well in defence.

Santa Cruz twice threatened from distance, a thumping shot looping off a defender and into Boaz Myhill's arms before a curling right-foot effort fizzed narrowly over the bar.

But that was as good as it got for Blackburn and Hull might even have snatched a late winner when Caleb Folan - whose goal sealed the opening day win over Fulham - put a well-struck volley into the keeper's arms and then Sam Ricketts' low effort was also collected by Robinson.

Nonetheless, a sizeable travelling support went home happy after seeing their side make it four points from six in an encouraging start to the season.

Blackburn boss Paul Ince:
"Players have been away on international duty, and the performance wasn't the best.

"I had about an hour with my players yesterday, and I think it showed in the second half. We played into Hull's hands. They deserved their point."

Hull boss Phil Brown:
"There was a bit of momentum with Blackburn and it was important we got something.

"I'm ecstatic with a point. If we continue with that passion, drive, commitment, togetherness, we'll be OK.

"But it does come down to that little bit of quality in the final third. We had opportunities, one or two half-chances, but we wasted them."

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Reid, Mokoena (Kerimoglu 67), Dunn (Emerton 46), Pedersen, Roque Santa Cruz, Roberts (McCarthy 81).
Subs Not Used: Simpson, Treacy, Derbyshire, Brown.

Goals: Roberts 38.

Hull: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Anthony Gardner, Dawson (Mendy 58), Garcia (Barmby 78), Ashbee, Marney, Fagan, Geovanni (Folan 65), King.
Subs Not Used: Brown, Windass, Duke, Halmosi.

Booked: Ashbee.

Goals: Garcia 40.

Att: 23,439

Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Hull's Sam Ricketts 8.50 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

see also
Premier League as it happened
23 Aug 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
23 Aug 08 |  Football
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day

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