Football: Hartson and Berkovitch boost West Ham

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The Independent Online
West Ham United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

John Hartson and Eyal Berkovitch scored the goals that gave West Ham a victory that could have turned into a rout before half-time, as Tottenham continued their sorry start to the season. For West Ham it was a second win; for Spurs a second setback.

Hartson capitalised on the first of a series of Spurs defensive blunders in the first half to put West Ham ahead after only four minutes. Stephen Carr tried to run the ball out of defence but lost it to Stan Lazaridis, who advanced before squaring the ball for Hartson to side-foot home.

Spurs' problems worsened when they lost their England defender, Sol Campbell, who limped off after 15 minutes. From then on they were saved from a rout by their goalkeeper Ian Walker. Up ahead, David Ginola was hardly involved and Les Ferdinand was overshadowed by his cousin, Rio.

Only two stunning flying saves from Walker kept out first Hartson and then Paul Kitson, and Rio Ferdinand and the Israeli Berkovitch, both went close.

Spurs picked up their efforts after the interval, but that only led to a fracas after an hour. Carr tangled with Berkovitch and John Moncur and a free-for-all ensued, the referee Steve Lodge consulting twice with his linesman before deeming Tottenham's Steffen Iversen and Steve Lomas, of West Ham, the guilty men.

Berkovitch marked his home debut with a goal 10 minutes later, rounding Ramon Vega to make it 2-0 after being fed by Lazaridis.

Although Les Ferdinand opened his Spurs account in the 83rd minute, his goal did little to make up for another Spurs performance that will have their manager, Gerry Francis, tearing his hair out.

West Ham United: Miklosko; Breacker, Potts, Rieper, Kitson (Hughes, 88), Hartson (Dowie, 86), Lomas, Ferdinand, Moncur (Lampard, 85), Lazaridis, Berkovitch. Substitutes not used: Rowland, Sealey (gk).

Tottenham Hotspur: Walker; Carr, Vega, Campbell (Clemence, 15), Edinburgh, Howells, Scales, Nielsen (Sinton, 77), Ginola, Ferdinand, Iversen. Substitutes not used: Calderwood, Fenn, Bardsen (gk).

Referee: S J Lodge (Barnsley).

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