East Enders lose plot

Sunderland 0 West Ham United 0

The first time Peter Shilton kept goal at Roker Park, in January 1967, the most cosmopolitan player on the pitch was Jim Baxter. Yesterday, 30 seasons on, and 10 days short of his 47th birthday, he watched from the substitutes' bench as West Ham's collection of foreign legionnaires laboured to provide even fleeting evidence that the expanding Premier League of nations has brought suitable enlightenment to the middle-to-lower orders.

Shilton was a 17-year-old Leicester lad in those days, when England were world champions with three graduates of Ron Greenwood's East End academy, Messrs Moore, Hurst and Peters. Yesterday, with the exception of Danny Williamson, the East Enders in the West Ham team were from the east end of Europe.

Yet Harry Redknapp's multi-national force came no closer to curing their collective aversion to travel. The Hammers have not won outside London for 10 months now and their less than impressive early-season form continued to be hampered by communication problems on Wearside.

Communication with the feet, as much as with the mouth, undermined their attempts to overcome Peter Reid's hard-working but hardly high-quality Sunderland side, never mind entertain the presumably slumbering Sky television audience. By the 90th minute they were more grateful than their hosts, and those unfortunate souls who paid to watch, to hear the blessed relief of Graham Poll's final whistle.

For all the early promise shown by the roving Paulo Futre, Tony Coton's goal was only threatened once: midway through the first-half, when the Portuguese forward set up Florin Raducioiu for a that shot curled over the bar from the edge of the area. In the end West Ham were disjointed from front to back, and hanging on for their point in the face of the home team's onslaught.

For the fourth time in five Premiership games Sunderland failed to score from open play. They could have hardly come closer than they did 10 minutes into the second-half, however.

Paul Stewart, three times an England international in the Graham Taylor era, shot past Ludek Miklosko and the ball was crossing the line as Williamson hoofed it clear. There were also claims for a Sunderland penalty, after Steve Jones caught Richard Ord with an outstretched boot, before West Ham had the consolation of a point in the bag.

At least Shilton had the compensation of a pay-packet. Apart from a few stretches and a token sprint up the touchline midway through the first- half, he was obliged to suffer with the rest of us. Even the last-minute introduction of a Ferdinand - Rio, distant cousin of Les, and Shilton's junior by 28 years - provoked only a muted response from the thining crowd.

"It wasn't the best of football matches, I don't think," Peter Reid said. We should have known it was going to be grim. The writing was on the team sheet when the name Rieper appeared.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Coton; Kubicki, Ord, Melville, Scott; Agnew (Russell, 73), Ball, Bracewell, Gray; Stewart, Quinn. Substitutes not used: Hall, Howey, Rae, Perez (gk).

West Ham United (4-4-2): Miklosko; Breacker, Bilic, Rieper, Dicks; Hughes, Bowen, Williamson, Dumitrescu (Rowland, 80); Futre (Ferdinand, 89), Raducioiu (Jones, 61). Substitutes not used: Lampard, Shilton (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Bishop's Stortford).

Bookings: Sunderland: Stewart. West Ham: Rieper.

Man of the match: Dicks.

Attendance: 18,642.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

Web Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – Up to £43k

£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Internal Project Manager - Business Analyst, Financial Services

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the best known and most pr...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer
 SQL, C#, VBA, Linux, SQL Se...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment