West Ham 2 Blackburn 1
West Ham started with last year's established midfield of Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Mullins and Etherington. As rumoured Sheringham was picked up front with Zamora, and McCartney stayed in for the suspended Konchesky. Despite his apologies to Pardew after the Chesterfield game Paintsil was dropped from right back and Spector was given the nod.
In Pardew's pre-match comments the manager explained how West Ham's lack of touch up front had been a factor in our inability to score and he expected Sheringham and Benayoun to provide this for West Ham.
West Ham's first chance came in the 8th minute from a corner, when Ferdinand flicked the ball back from the near post to Zamora, at the back post, who then headed wide. In the fifteenth minute Sheringham worked the ball on the edge of the area to Mullins who then shot straight at the keeper. A minute later Zamora pulled the ball back from the touch line and a diving keeper almost palmed the ball into the path of Sheringham. Blackburn failed to clear the ball and it finally fell to Reo-Coker, on the edge of the box, who shot just wide. West Ham's pressure paid off two minute's later when Pardew's assessment of Benayoun and Sheringham proved correct as the two combined for a goal. Benayoun dinked a little cross from the right of the penalty box for Sheringham to head it home.
Blackburn's only real chances came from three Peter and Bentley free-kicks all from a little wide of the West Ham penalty area and all of which were fired wide.
For the first twenty five minutes of the second half Blackburn dominated possession. In the 56th minute McCarthy even put the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled offside. However despite their possession they didn't create many more chances. In the 75th Green pulled off a brilliant close range save, the ball was then cleared and Zamora found himself clean through on goal but shot tamely at the keeper.
In the 76th minute Harewood came on for Sheringham. Harewood made an immediate impact by firing a cross into the near post, although Zamora was just beaten to the ball for a corner. From the corner Mullins arrived in the five yard box to get West Ham's second. Bowyer then came on for Benayoun and late on Dailly replaced McCartney.
Just into the two minutes time added on McCarthy shot from the edge of the area. Green parried the shot and Bentley ran on to get a goal for Blackburn. Then in the dying seconds Jeffers just headed over.
We looked a little nervous for a lot of the second half but we are out of the relegation zone!