Zamora returns to secure Fulham point

Fulham 1 Blackburn 1

Bobby Zamora’s equaliser secured a point for Fulham, who still await their first Premier League victory under manager Martin Jol.

The Whites dominated much of the game but were unable to find a winner after Zamora cancelled out Ruben Rochina’s spectacular opener.

Zamora made a welcome return from injury and was partnered up front by £10.6m signing Bryan Ruiz, who made his debut following his pre-deadline move from Dutch club FC Twente.

It was a tough introduction to English football for Ruiz and the Costa Rican was taken off at half-time having struggled to get into the game.

Scott Dann made his debut for Blackburn following his £6m move from Birmingham and the centre-back almost presented Fulham with the opener on 22 minutes.

Dann gave the ball straight to Zamora, who then appeared to be fouled in the area by Michel Salgado only for referee Howard Webb to award Rovers a free-kick because the Fulham forward handled the ball as he was felled.

The decision was harsh on Jol’s men and came shortly after Whites defender Aaron Hughes limped off and was replaced at right-back by Stephen Kelly.

And the home side’s afternoon took another turn for the worse when they went behind to a stunning strike by Rochina in the 32nd minute.

Junior Hoilett teed up the young Spaniard, who let fly with a brilliant 30-yarder that flew past keeper Mark Schwarzer and went in off the underside of the bar.

But Fulham hit back only five minutes later. Danny Murphy’s ball found Zamora, who breezed past a weak challenge from Gael Givet before curling his shot in off the post.

Zamora was partnered by Moussa Dembele in a second half Fulham bossed in terms of possession but struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Aside from his first-half aberration, Dann was hugely impressive at the back for Rovers, helping them secure their first point of the season.

That may ease some of the pressure on former Fulham assistant boss Steve Kean amid speculation about the Scot’s future as Blackburn manager.

Striker David Goodwillie wasted an opportunity to ease even more of that pressure on Kean when he dragged a late shot woefully wide after finding himself through on goal.

Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson, on the other hand, did his beleaguered boss proud by superbly tipping away Clint Dempsey’s 90th-minute effort.

Blackburn ended the match with 10 men because they had used all three of their substitutes before Hoilett went off on a stretcher following a sickening collision with Schwarzer in stoppage time.

It happened after Kelly’s error meant Schwarzer had to rush from his line to prevent Hoilett latching onto Robinson’s long kick.