Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bolton 4 West Ham 1

With Ashton, Harewood, and Yossi not starting, with Ferdinand in midfield and with Newton and Ward starting it was not suprising that West Ham looked all at sea at the start of this match. And as the half progessed they seemed to become less and less sure of the formation.

Bolton opened the scoring in the twelfth minute when a long ball into the box was flicked over Hislop, cannoned back off the post and Stelios ran past a static West Ham defence to put the ball in the back of the net.

In the 30th minute, following a number of unforced errors in defence and an awful clearance from Hislop, a 20yrd shot was deflected by Stelios into the net.

In the last few minutes Okocha had two long range shots saved well by Hislop and on the brink of half time Speed scored an overhead shot from close range. In truth Bolton could have been up by at least six at the break.

In the second half Ferdinand dropped back into defence and Benayoun and Dailly came on for Newton and Ward. With this more familiar line-up West Ham began to look their normal selves. In the 75th minute after good work from Etherington on the wing, the ball was pulled back to Yossi, who shot at the keeper and Sheringham scored from the rebound, two yards out. Any slight hopes West Ham had of a comeback were dispelled however almost immediately, when Pedesen drifted on to a ball on the edge of the area unmarked and shot past Hislop.

Obviously Pardew was looking to rest players in this game but his starting formation was naive at the least. West Ham went into this game as the in form team in the league. This game can only have dented their confidence.


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