West Ham Snatch Late Draw In Difficult Match
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 05 Oct 2009 10:25:00
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A late stoppage-time Junior Stanislas equalizer rescued West Ham United from defeat at the hands of struggling Fulham.

The Hammers orchestrated the run of play throughout the first half, Carlton Cole collected a Matthew Upson ball and volleyed it narrowly over the bar after just seventeen seconds.

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Zoltan Gera forced a save from Robert Green in the sixth minute of play, in what would turn out to be a very scrappy first quarter of an hour of the match.

In the sixteenth minute, the deadlock was broken as striker Cole headed in Alessandro Diamanti's free kick from just six yards out. Just minutes later, James Tomkins headed wide from a Diamanti corner as the hosts grew in confidence and tried to stamp their authority on the match.

Fulham's first real chance came from a quick free-kick by Danny Murphy, but striker Andy Johnson missed the chance to level the scores.

Scott Parker was booked shortly afterwards for his part in a scuffle with Dikgacoi, with the Fulham player receiving a red card for hitting him in the face.

The second half was a completely different affair. With Fulham swapping Johnson for Baird and starting to take control of the match as early as the first minute, when Matthew Upson brought down Diamansy Kamara in the area and Murphy made no mistake with the penalty, sending Green the wrong way and the visitors level.

The Hammers started to get frustrated, and Luis Jiminez and Julien Faubert were both booked before the West Londoners took the lead from a Paul Konchesky corner that Gera was in position to knock in. West Ham, although stunned, made some attempt to get back into the match, with two Diamanti long shots whistling wide.

Both sides made changes later on in the match, with Parker coming off for Valon Behrami and Zavon Hines leaving for Junior Stanislas, and Fulham swapping Kamara for Eddie Johnson and Bjorn Helge Riise for Clinton Dempsey. West Ham started to attack with more urgency.

The hosts threw everybody forward, and their persistence paid off when Stanislas' twenty-yard effort deflected off Fulham defender Aaron Hughes and past an unfortunate Mark Schwarzer to level the scores with just seconds to go. Johnson had a clear chance to steal a victory when Green rushed out of his area, but was well closed down by Hammers defender Upson.


Despite the draw, the fans made their feelings clear about West Ham's second half performance and booed them off the pitch.

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