Edun strikes late on to give Town a point after Edwards opener
Goals at either end of the game from Gwion Edwards and Tayo Edun gave Town a share of points as Paul Hurst’s tenure as Blues boss got underway.
Edwards gave Town the perfect start but Blackburn were ahead at the break through goals from Danny Graham and Bradley Dack.
It looked enough to give Rovers the win but Edun, who only arrived on Friday, found the net from 30 yards on 90 minutes.
The 2018/19 Championship season got going at Portman Road with a touch of the past and a first look at the future.
Former Town skipper and now Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray got a warm ovation from the home fans as he entered from the tunnel before the Blue Army got to their feet to welcome Hurst.
The new Town boss gave debuts to Edwards, Ellis Harrison, Janoi Donacien and Trevoh Chalobah and Blues got off to a dream opening, Edwards heading in at the far post from Freddie Sears’ cross after just five minutes.
Blackburn were level on 19 minutes though, Richard Smallwood’s delivery was never really dealt with by the Town defence, Bart Bialkowski couldn’t force the ball away and Graham struck from close range.
David Raya in the Rovers goal was off his line to clear from Harrison, Edwards unable to take advantage 40 yards out, and on 28 minutes Rovers were ahead, Graham releasing Derrick Williams down the left channel and Dack arriving perfectly to smash the ball in from close range.
Harrison picked up a yellow card for a rash challenge before Town were forced into a first change with Luke Woolfenden replacing the dazed Jordan Spence.
Harrison stretched the Blackburn defence as he looked to get on to a loose ball, Darragh Lenihan clearing at full stretch, then Williams averted the danger as Edwards threatened at the far post.
Cole Skuse was just wide with a header from Sears’ cross in the closing stages of the first-half, Harrison denied by the advancing Raya, before Edwards ended the half with a shot over the bar from the angle.
Dack went down under Chalobah’s challenge in the box as the second-half got underway but the penalty appeals were half-hearted, even from the Rovers fans.
Flynn Downes made way for a fifth debutant on the hour, with Edun entering the fray after arriving yesterday on a season loan from Fulham.
Former Town loanee Dominic Samuel was replaced by Kasey Palmer in Blackburn’s first change, Luke Chambers alert to the danger from Graham as Rovers looked to extend their lead.
Harrison did well to lose his marker and whip in a terrific cross but Town couldn’t capitalise, then Blackburn broke at the other end but Corry Evans fired well over.
Charlie Mulgrew sent a free-kick over from 25 yards, then Palmer had a great chance to put Rovers in command but he failed to beat Bialkowski from six yards.
Ben Morris replaced Sears for the closing stages, the Academy graduate immediately in the action with a cross from the right that Harrison tried to flick goalwards, Lenihan making the block.
Morris was then denied himself by Raya after cutting in from the right, Woolfenden heading over from Harrison’s pull-back as Blues pressed for an equaliser.
Edwards had the crowd on their feet five minutes from time with a sensational 60 yard run that would have brought an early contender for goal of the season if his shot had not been deflected over.
In added on time though Edun found the net from 30 yards, his shot beating Raya to get the Hurst era up and running.
Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Spence (Woolfenden 37), Chambers, Knudsen, Edwards, Chalobah, Skuse, Harrison, Sears (Morris 78), Downes (Edun 60). Subs not used: Gerken, Roberts, Dozzell, Kenlock. Booked: Harrison, Chambers.
Blackburn: Raya, Nyambe, Williams, Smallwood, Samuel (Palmer 61), Graham (Nuttall 67), Mulgrew, Dack (Conway 82), Lenihan, Evans, Bennett. Subs not used: Leutwiler, Rothwell, Bell, Travis. Booked: Bennett, Lenihan, Smallwood.