Saturday, November 11, 2006

Middlesbrough 1 West Ham 0

Anton Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora both failed to recover from ankle injuries in time for this game. Collins replaced Ferdinand and Sheringham and Harewood started up front as Pardew returned to a 4-4-2 formation.

Boro had the better of a pretty dismal first half. In the 7th minute Rochemback shot over the bar and, two minutes later, Pogatetz headed wide. In the 22nd minute Morrison managed to beat Ehterington on the Boro right wing but his shot sailed wide. In the 30th minute Yakuba shot from the edge of the penalty area but Green managed to tip the ball wide. Two minutes later a Downing shot was also saved by Green. Just before half-time a Collins mistake let Yakuba through but Gabbidon just managed to recover in time.

West Ham's only real efforts were an early shot from Sheringham, which flew over the bar, and a Harewood shot in the 15th minute, which failed to trouble Schwarzer.

The second half started a bit more lively. In the 48th minute Rochemback shot over the bar and West Ham broke immediately through Etherington. His cross into the area was lunged at by Harewood but the striker just failed to reach the ball. . In the 57th minute Sheringham held the ball up well on the edge of the area before setting up Harewood for a volley but Harewood fired over the bar.

In the 63rd minute Tevez was brought on for Harewood. Tevez immediately made a run down the right into the box but his shot was blocked by Pogatetz. Maccarone was then brought in for Rochemback and Boro changed to a 4-4-2 formation. In the 77th minute Benayoun pulled back Downing on the edge of the area, Benayoun was booked and Boro won a free-kick. James Collins just managed to head the free-kick wide. From the corner Maccarone managed to drag the ball past Green and shot from a tight angle to score for Boro.

West Ham's inability to score away from home proves costly again. Against a poor Boro team West Ham should expect to come away with at least a point.

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