A point earned at freezing Fratton.
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 27 Jan 2010 15:43:00
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West Ham United remain sixteenth in the Barclay's Premier League table after grinding out a frustrating draw at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

The Hammers started the brighter of the two sides in a first half which saw long periods of inactivity that were interrupted by a couple of genuinely exciting moments at both ends of the pitch.

Both goalkeepers were equally as busy, but the first to produce a memorable save was Pompey's Asmir Begovic, making two fine stops to deny Frank Nouble and Alessandro Diamanti. Nouble's shot was blocked by the Bosnians legs and when the ball fell to Diamanti, Begovic flung himself to his right to push his shot aside.

However, Green made a fine save of his own a minute later when he dived low to his right to keep out Aaron Mokoena's shot. From the resulting corner, Mark Noble cleared off the line to deny a volley from Younes Kabul.

A frantic period of action came to an end when Begovic produced possibly the best save of the night when he tipped Jack Collison's goalbound shot past his far post.

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In the second period with both teams desperate for three points, it was Gianfranco Zola's men who took the lead when a cross from Diamanti was met by Kabul, whose attempted clearance only found the chest of Matthew Upson and the ball trickled over the line.

Shortly after, Zola introduced Carlton Cole for the first time since 28th November last year, as he came on to replace lone striker Nouble. The England strikers first contribution was to set up a shot for Valon Behrami, who blasted his attempt over the bar.

Seconds later it was substitute Danny Webber who snatched a point for the home side after Boateng appeared to catch Tomkins with a stray arm, but nothing was given by referee Andre Marriner. A pass from John Utaka set up the former Manchester United trainee, who finnished from 15 yards.

The closing stages of the match were tense, as both teams went in search of a winner. Green was again called on as Webber and Utaka went close, but West Ham Stood firm through four agonising minutes of added time to secure a share of the spoils.

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