Football: Hammers give Hoddle horrors

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The Independent Online
Chelsea 1

West Ham United 2

WEST HAM scored their first away goals this season through their own endeavours yesterday, and in doing so doubled their number of goals for what up to now had been a pretty bleak Premiership campaign. This was not as big as surprise as it was to see Glenn Hoddle stride headlong into controversy afterwards with an uncharacteristic attack on the referee Philip Don.

Hoddle, no friend of the contentious headline writer and by no means the first to start an argument in the bar, had just had a bad day for his team compounded by the dismissal of his full-back, Steve Clarke, three minutes from time for a flying tackle on Martin Allen.

The Chelsea manager conceded that in that respect the referee's verdict was correct. Not so the seven bookings which, he claimed, ruined their attempts to bring some rhythm and flow to a game in which skill came a poor second to commitment.

'The new rules can be such a positive force for the game and there are some referees willing to show common sense, but others are not. Something has to be said because it is making a joke of the game and it is our livelihoods which are affected.

'If you look at the list of sendings off and bookings it is always the same officials who are chalking them up,' Hoddle said. While it was unusual to hear him speaking out in this way, he was entirely right to do so. Don, a World Cup referee, seems unwilling to allow any physical contact in a physical sport, and yesterday's match was the poorer for it.

Hoddle, however, wanted to take nothing away from West Ham, who were the better of two poor sides and deserved this success. There was additional pain for him in that both their goals came from midfield players he has long admired and who he wanted to bring to Stamford Bridge.

Allen claimed the first goal eight minutes after a desperately dull first half, when he forced home a header following John Moncur's corner. It was Moncur who scored the winner in the 67th minute when he darted through on to Don Hutchison's pass.

Chelsea showed more early promise, but were gradually dragged down by the 'Thursday night curse' which rules that those who see action in European fields that day will come to grief the following weekend.

They struck the bar through Anthony Barness in the 17th minute, but were unable to build on Paul Furlong's equaliser after Neil Shipperley had distracted Ludek Miklosko.

Chelsea (4-4-2): Kharin; Clarke, Kjeldbjerg, Johnsen, Sinclair; Rocastle (Lee, 78), Newton, Peacock, Barness (Shipperley h-t); Spencer, Furlong. Substitute not used: Hitchcock (gk).

West Ham United (4-5-1): Miklosko; Breacker, Potts, Martin, Rowland; Rush, Allen, Moncur, Hutchison, Marsh; Chapman. Substitutes not used: Bishop, Whitbread, Feuer (gk).

Referee: P Don (Middlesex).

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