Monday, May 01, 2006

West Brom 0 West Ham 1

West Ham started the game without Etherington, Konchesky, Ferdinand and Harewood but within 20 minutes the inevitable happened and Ashton looked to pull a hamstring. He was immediately replaced by Sheringham.

Kyle Reid got his first senior start for West Ham on the left wing and managed a couple of decent crosses in what was a disjointed first half. With the Baggies already relegated and the Hammers trying to avoid injuries the half lacked any really passion.

West Brom's best chance fell to Kanu when Dailly under no pressure in the right back position decided to roll a ball square to Kanu, who then only had Hislop to beat but smashed the ball over the bar from just outside the box.

West Ham scored four minutes before the break when Zamora received the ball on the left touch line and ran straight at the West Brom defence. He managed to dribble into the box before finally being tackled, however the ball fell to Reo-Coker who scored from eight yards out.

West Brom tried a little harder in the second half and managed to pressure the West Ham box. Their best chances however came from penalty appeals. On 64 minutes Kanu had a good shout when Dailly decided that having set him up for an open goal in the first half he would give him a penalty chance in the second. Luckily for the Hammers Graham Poll pretended not to see Dailly's foul. Two minutes later Kanu again seemed to be fouled in the box, this time by Ward, but Poll again sided with West Ham.

West Brom continued to look productive getting the ball in the box, especially from corners and from a number of Greening crosses, but never looked like they could finish their chances. West Ham managed to defend most of these crosses well. On 78 muinutes however, from a left wing Greening cross, Ellington had a good chance with his head but unchallenged put the ball way over the bar.

On 85 minutes Harewood also had a good chance with his head, from a Reo-Coker cross, but headed straight at the keeper. Two minutes later the Baggies finally got the ball in the back of the net, but only after Wallwork had controlled the ball with his hand, and the goal was disallowed.

West Ham didn't really break a sweat in the second half, they seemed content to sit back and soak up West Brom's blunt attack. On 90 minutes West Ham did break forward with pace but Harewood's smashed shot was well saved. That was the last of any real action and West Ham came away with a deserved win.

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