Saturday, January 13, 2007

West Ham 3 Fulham 3

West Ham started with Tevez and Cole up front. Reo-Coker reclaimed his place in central midfield alongside d├ębutante Quashie. The back four were McCartney, Gabbidon, Collins and Dailly.

If West Ham thought their season was cursed the opening minutes of this game would have done a lot to confirm their suspicions. First, in the tenth minute Collins, was injured and replaced by Spector, then, two minutes later, Tevez was forced off with a calf injury and was replaced by Zamora. Three minutes later Fulham won a corner which was taken by Wayne Routledge. The corner flew to the far post where Tomasz Radzinski scored left-footed from six yards.

On current form and commitment you would have expected West Ham to have folded after such a disastrous start but the Hammers fought back well and in the 27th minute got a deserved equaliser. Carlton Cole headed the ball onto Zamora in the box and his right-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area 6 yards out flew into the bottom right of the goal.

West Ham then had the better of the first half and came close when Yossi Benayoun crossed into the box and Luis Boa Morte shot left-footed from the left side of the penalty area 12 yards out but missed right of the post.

If the first half started badly the second half couldn't have started better for West Ham. Straight from the kick off Bobby Zamora passed to Benayoun in the area and Benayoun clipped the ball left footed from the left side of the penalty area 18 yards out into the top right of the goal.

West Ham's lead however only lasted for 14 minutes until McBride took advantage of West Ham's inability to defend in the air. Moritz Volz crossed the ball into the box and McBride headed in from the centre of the penalty area twelve yards out. In the 63rd minute though West Ham reclaimed the lead. Benayoun got his second, taking advantage of a mistake in the Fulham defence he pounced on the ball six yards out and shot left-footed into the bottom-right of the goal.

In the 75th minute the luck swung back Fulham's way as Zamora was sent off for a second yellow card. Then in the 81st minute Gabbidon was also injured and replaced by Newton.

West Ham were forced to defend for the closing minutes, McBride came close with another header and Carroll saved well with three minutes to go, then in the 90th minute West Ham failed to clear their lines and Christanval pounced to ensure the draw.

Oh well, at least the teams around us all lost.

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