Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunderland 2 West Ham 1

West Ham started with Spector in for Tomkins and Cole in for Boa Morte. Sears and Zamora both didn't make the squad.

West Ham made a good start to the game. In the ninth minute Parker broke down the left, cut the ball back to Ashton on the edge of the box. Ashton's shot had Gordon beaten in goal but the ball hit the left hand post. In the 11th minute Cole shot from 20 yards and missed left. In the 15th minute Noble drove forward for about 20 yards and shot right footed from 25 yards and his shot also flew left of the goal.

In the 17th minute West Ham were finally rewarded for their early pressure. Carlton Cole passed the ball back to Freddie Ljungberg. Ljungberg shot from the edge of the box, the ball seemed to take a deflection off a defender before shooting into the back of the net.

Sunderland came back into the game a little after the West Ham goal but the Irons looked comfortable until in the 29th minute Richardson made some good ground down the Sunderland left wing. His cross was back-heeled by Murphy on the near post and Jones tapped the ball home from four yards.

After Sunderland's goal they began to dominate the game and created a number of chances. In the 37th minute however Ashton found Cole on the left-hand edge of the box and Cole smashed the ball goalwards. Gordon in goal just managed to tip the ball over. From the resulting corner Spector almost scored but headed just wide.

In the end a half of non-stop action finished with the teams on level terms.

Pantsil came on for McCartney in the second half. For the first twenty minutes it was a relentless bombardment by Sunderland of the West Ham area. An already booked Carlton Cole tried his best to get sent off, throwing the ball away and arguing with the officials. In the 65th minute Curbishley was finally forced to bring Solano on for Cole.

In the 71st minute Pantsil collided with Spector and was replaced by birthday boy Tomkins. In the 77th minute Parker managed a shot on goal from the right side of the penalty area from 12 yards out but the shot was blocked by Evans.

In the 87th minute, with West Ham having used all their substitutions, Ljungberg seemed to pull a hamstring and West Ham had to continue the game with just ten men. Five minutes of extra time were then added on so West Ham faced a torrid end to the game as Sunderland pushed on for the win.

One minute after the five minutes of extra time should have finished Sunderland scored the winner. Andy Reid lashed the ball home right footed from 18 yards.

In the end it was a poor day for West Ham, losing to Sunderland and possibly losing Ljungberg for the rest of the season.


At 5:46 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

seeing WH come out swinging and ljungberg's fantastic goal so early into the game, i thought to myself, 'surely, they will win this one'. how could there be such a complete reversal of fortune

curbishley spoke about conceding early goals, maybe he could also try to tackle the needless fouls. it just seems as if Sunderland was fearless and the team playing to win the game the entire second half.

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Given the number of changes to the back 4 during the match it s remarkable that it took Sunderland til the 96 th minute to get their second. Seems very unlucky to have soldiered on with 10 men deep into a long period of stoppage time and not come away with something. Perhaps this offsets the bit of luck we had last week in Everton s second goal being disallowed,but it s still hard to accept it.


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