The club that Jack rebuilt continues to prosper on its solid foundations. Blackburn supporters will raise a glass to Sir Jack Walker on Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of his passing, having begun the season with another Ewood Park victory.

They may also choose to toast the Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, whose inexplicable 14th-minute blunder presented Nikola Kalinic with the first goal of the Premier League season and the solitary one in the match.

Blackburn's top-half finish last season was forged on their home form – Everton are the only team to have won at this Lancashire stronghold this year – and this time David Moyes's side were unable to overcome their robust hosts.

"Our home record is telling everybody it ain't going to stop," was a smiling Sam Allardyce's warning of the physical welcome awaiting here. "We have started this year where we finished off last year – we battered Arsenal in the end – and this time around we played very well in stages and defended exceptionally well in the latter stages of the game."

Everton lacked the slickness that sealed the 3-2 victory in the corresponding fixture four months ago, when Mikel Arteta provided a matador's interpretation of the midfield art amongst Blackburn's bulls.

Allardyce's tactical victory here included positioning the emerging centre-back Phil Jones as a defensive midfield buffer. This was surprising given it meant last season's player of the year, Steven Nzonzi, began on the bench, but it was also a masterstroke as wave after wave of attacks crashed on Jones the rock.

Nzonzi was thrust into action early as the injury-plagued midfielder David Dunn departed in the ninth minute with what appeared to be a groin . niggle. Last season Dunn proved the richest source of goals for Rovers with nine in 20 league starts and his loss caused a reshaping of the side.

It mattered not, however, as Everton's longest unbeaten run for 24 years was unpicked by a howler. The Croat Kalinic, a £6m signing from Hajduk Split last year, will not score an easier goal all season.

The USA international Howard leapt to intercept a header forward by El-Hadji Diouf but somehow let it squirm out of his grasp as he planted his feet. Kalinic showed remarkable alertness to swivel and hook the ball into the empty net in a flash.

It was enough to terminate Everton's 11-game sequence without defeat, their best since 1986. Blackburn also missed the better chances thereafter as the subs Nzonzi and Mame Biram Diouf failed to display the same assurance in front of goal.

"These things happen but obviously it cost us dearly," bemoaned Moyes, the Everton manager. "Tim has been really good for us but it was the deciding moment of the game. It was a real physical battle and that goal changed things a little bit and gave them something to hang on to."

Only twice did Everton force Paul Robinson into action during the first half but shots from Tim Cahill and Stephen Pienaar both lacked venom.

There was no lack of it in Morten Gamst Pedersen's late challenge on Arteta, however, which merited the first of three cautions from Phil Dowd. Significant previous between the pair – Arteta poked the Norwegian in the eye early in April's away victory on the same ground – spiced things up whenever their paths crossed.

But there was no such piquancy in the visitors' attacks until Phil Jagielka stung Robinson's fingertips with a long-range drive in injury time.

THE FANS' PLAYER RATINGS AND VERDICTGORDON MOULDEN, Observer reader I wasn't looking forward to this season so it was good result. Rovers started very brightly until we scored then Everton dominated the game territorially, but for all they huffed and puffed they couldn't blow the house down. Everton's trio of Arteta, Cahill, and Pienaar bossed the midfield. We were typically battling, dogged and determined but once Dunn had gone off injured our creativity dried up. We are desperate for a creative midfielder and a goalscorer but the current owners won't chuck money at new players because we are in a state of flux with our ownership situation .

The fan's player ratings Robinson 7; Salgado 8, Samba 8, Nelsen 8, Givet 8; Jones 7; E-H Diouf 6, Dunn n/a (Nzonzi 7), Pedersen 7, Olsson 5; Kalinic 6 (M Diouf 60 n/a)

JOE JENNINGS, It was a disjointed performance as you might expect at this stage of the season. David Moyes needs to pick players for talent rather than blind loyalty such as he does with Phil Neville and Leon Osman. We've probably got the best team since we won the league in 1987 but we need to develop the mental belief that will separate us from becoming winners. Just when you think Moyes is developing as a manager there is a performance like this that is negative and lacking in ideas. When things go wrong you see Moyes's negativity coming through and he resorts to playing long-ball.

The fan's player ratings Howard 4; Neville 5, Distin 5, Jagielka 6, Baines 6; Osman 4 (Beckford 59 6), Arteta 7, Fellaini 7 (Rodwell 78 n/a), Pienaar 5; Cahill 5; Saha 6 (Bilyaletdinov 73 6)


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