Football: Enter Morley the leveller

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The Independent Online
West Ham United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Norwich City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

THE EMOTIONAL outpourings from Graham Taylor on a rival channel were a counter- attraction of course, but the viewers who stayed with their satellites last night were amply rewarded when two of the most pass-conscious teams served up a treat and, following a grandstand finish, the right result.

Norwich City looked to have prevailed through Ruel Fox's volley from a corner in the 80th minute. They were only five minutes from win No 8 on their travels away in the Premiership when the West Ham manager Billy Bonds gambled with what he later called 'my last throw of the dice'.

In the few seconds it took for the substitute Trevor Morley to sprint into the penalty area, the Hammers were back on level terms. Ignored by the Norwich defence, he stooped to steer Steve Jones's cross from the right home with his head.

The finale was entirely faithful to what had preceded it. First the game went Norwich's way and then tilted back in favour of the home side before switching once more.

A magnificent prelude to the occasion was struck by both supporters who observed the one minute silence for Sir Matt Busby impeccably and in doing so heaped more shame and derision on those from Leeds United and the like-minded who defaced the great man's memory elsewhere over the weekend.

Once acknowledged, the fans cleared their throats in anticipation of what was to come. With Jeremy Goss back for his first appearance since Milan, Norwich looked more like the outfit that had journeyed successfully in Europe and an electrifying start bore that out. Fox, pushed into a central striking role in place of Efan Ekoku, was darting first here and then there and West Ham struggled to hold on. After only three minutes they went behind. The build-up involving Goss and Fox was incisive, but Chris Sutton's shot should not have posed too many problems. Instead Ludek Miklosko allowed it to squirm through his grasp.

It took the Hammers time to mount an effective response. Possession, yes, but little penetration before the 37th minute when Martin Allen, after he had been fouled by Goss, swiped a free-kick beyond Brian Gunn with the help of a generous deflection off Sutton.

Somewhat fortuitously, West Ham were level at half- time. It soon became better than that when 20 seconds after turning round Ian Bishop released Jones, who evaded Culverhouse and then finished coolly as Gunn advanced.

Back the game went Norwich's way when the impressive Sutton climbed above the Hammers' hesitant goalkeeper to meet Colin Woodthorpe's cross from the left. It was his 11th goal in 12 games and, according to the new Norwich manager, John Deehan, should have brought another win bonus. 'We let it slip and we must take a leaf out of Arsenal's book' he said. 'They don't concede three in a month.'

West Ham United (4-4-2): Miklosko; Breacker, Potts, Gale (Brown, 73), Rowland; Marsh, Allen, Bishop, Holmes; Jones, Chapman (Morley, 84). Substitute not used: Peyton (gk).

Norwich City (1-3-4-2): Gunn; Culverhouse; Newman, Butterworth, Woodthorpe; Goss, Crook, Megson (Ekoku, 77), Bowen; Fox, Sutton. Substitutes not used: Howie (gk), Polston.

Referee: J Worrall (Cheshire).

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