Sunday, September 10, 2006

West Ham 1 Villa 1

West Ham started the game with Tevez, Mascherano and Etherington on the bench.

Villa made their height advantage count in the first half causing West Ham problems in the air, particularly from corners. Their goal came in the fourth minute from a right hand corner, Carroll did well to block a three yard header but Ridgewell was first to the rebound to score from a couple of yards. On the 15th minute Angel should also have scored from a corner when he rose unopposed and headed over from just 4 yards out. In the 35th minute Angel had another chance when he met a left wing cross with his head on the edge of the box, but just put the ball over the bar.

West Ham's best chance fell to Harewood in the 7th minute when Sorenson miskicked with his left foot straight to Marlon 4 yards out. Harewood, with only the keeper to beat, poked the ball just past the right post. The only other real chance for the Hammers came from a surging run by Reo-Coker who ran from the half way line to the edge of the box, but his hurried toe-poke missed outside the left post by about 4 yards.

It took West Ham just 5 minutes to draw level in the second half. Reo-Coker pulled back a cross from the touchline that a Villa defender just beat Zamorra to. From the resulting corner Bowyer's deep ball was met by Konchesky on the edge of the box. His header back into the penalty box just brushed Zamorra's thigh to divert the ball wide of the keeper. Almost straight from the kickoff Petrov managed to evade the West Ham defence and chip Carroll only to see Mears brilliantly clear the ball off the line. In the 55th minute Barry fired in a shot from out wide on the left. Carroll at full stretch managed to palm the ball wide, the ball was fired back across the box but Davies just couldn't reach the cross.

In the 60th minute Tevez came on for Harewood. In the 70th minute Tevez managed to beat a defender on the right wing and pull a nice ball back from the touchline into the box, but none of the West Ham midfield anticipated the ball and it was easily cleared.

Having looked ineffective in the first half West Ham had the better of the second but never really looked like winning the game.

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