Football: Wise rues unwise tackle

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The Independent Online
West Ham United. . . . .1

Chelsea. . . . . . . . .0

THE Hammers walked away from this London derby three welcome points to the good, and with some of their shattered confidence restored. Chelsea are mourning the end of a seven-match unbeaten run and contemplating life without their captain, Dennis Wise, for the next three games. By the tone of Glenn Hoddle's comment after the game - 'it was a good decision by the referee to send him off' - Wise would seem to have failed the test of leadership by example.

A minute after Trevor Morley scored the game's only goal, and seconds before the half-time whistle, Wise's two-footed tackle on David Burrows had Mr Hart reaching without hesitation for his red card. After being booked in his last three games, perhaps this was the inevitable climax for the visiting captain.

Ironically it was just as well for West Ham that Morley's glorious 25-yarder had preceded this, for they lost their way in the second half against Chelsea's 10 reshuffled men. The prime cause was that Hoddle, their manager, chose to move himself into a more forward position in midfield.

Hoddle almost equalised in the 62nd minute when a 20-yarder stretched Miklosko's six-foot plus frame to the limit and, in the dying minutes, the goalkeeper flapped ineffectively at Hoddle's 40-yard free-kick and caused East End hearts to miss a beat.

But it was the young legs of Neil Shipperley that carried a constant threat to the home defence, even when Wise's dismissal required that he plough a lone furrow up front. Twice he had shots blocked by Miklosko's legs and then he saw Newton suffer the same fate after the young striker had created the opening.

West Ham fared much better against Chelsea's 11 men. The pressure of Burrows's forays down the left told definitively in the 44th minute when Holmes took advantage of the distress the full-back was creating to stroke his pass to Morley 25 yards out. While the Chelsea defence scattered in anticipation of the lay-off, Morley swivelled and struck a beautiful volley wide of Dimitri Kharin.

West Ham United (4-4-2): L Miklosko; T Breacker, T Gale, S Potts, D Burrows; S Butler, I Bishop, M Holmes, M Marsh (M Allen, 78 min); L Chapman, T Morley. Subs not used: G Peyton (gk), J Boere.

Chelsea (4-1-3-2): D Kharin; S Clarke (G Hall, 83 min), F Sinclair, M Donaghy, A Dow (J Spencer, 75 min); G Hoddle; D Wise, E Newton, J Kjeldbjerg; N Shipperley, G Peacock. Sub not used: K Hitchcock (gk).

Referee: R Hart (Darlington).

Goal: Morley (1-0, 43 min).