Allardyce laments lack of proven goalscorer
West Ham United 1 Watford 1
Thursday 08 March 2012
Sam Allardyce spent January adding strikers to his West Ham squad, just as in August, but still he fears that he lacks the firepower to secure automatic promotion in May. This game was a case in point. Chances were created, chances were spurned and in the end it was down to Ricardo Vaz Te, a substitute, to score the late equaliser that stopped Watford taking all three points.
Southampton are top, a point ahead of the Hammers, and Allardyce wishes his squad contained the equivalent of Saints' Rickie Lambert. "It all boils down to sticking the ball in the net," the manager said. "If we had Lambert in our team we would have won the title already. "We haven't got a anybody with 10 yet."
At least Vaz Te found the net, from 12 yards and off a post, just as Watford's teenage winger Sean Murray had at the other end in the 68th minute.
Sean Dyche, the Watford manager, was convinced that the home side's goal should not have been allowed.
"It should have been a free-kick for an overhead kick to the head by Carlton Cole in the build-up," he said. "Anywhere else on the pitch and it would have been a foul."
Allardyce countered that fortune had favoured the Hornets with their goal. Murray's shot beat the Hammers' goalkeeper, Robert Green, from a tight angle on the right. Replays indicated a deflection off Abdoulaye Faye.
"It was going nowhere until it was deflected," Allardyce said, "and when it went in I thought it was going to be one of those nights. Fair play to the lads, they got back into a winning position."
Allardyce admitted that his side's home form was poor. "It is very frustrating," he said. "We haven't shown nearly enough quality in the chances we created and nearly paid the price for it. We just can't find the cutting edge here at Upton Park. The chances we had and missed were disappointing. We nearly ended up losing this one.
"If we had won we would have been where we wanted to be but now we have dropped behind again. The most important thing is two points a game because I know what that gives us – automatic promotion."
A point was bittersweet for Dyche, not least because of an injury suffered by the defender Dale Bennett, who had to be carried off with his neck in a brace after receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch, early in the second half.
"He has gone to hospital and we are waiting for feedback," Dyche said. "We have been told it might not be as bad as it looked."
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; O'Brien ( Lansbury, 74), Faye, Tomkins, McCartney; Faubert, Noble, Nolan, Matt Taylor (Vaz Te, 74); Maynard (Baldock, 62), Cole. Substitutes not used Boffin (gk), O'Neil.
Watford (4-4-2): Kuszczak; Doyley, Mariappa, Bennett (Martin Taylor, 58), Dickinson; Murray (Buaben, 88), Eustace, Hogg, Kacaniklic; Deeney, Iwelumo. Substitutes not used Loach (gk), Trotta, Garner.
Referee K Stroud (Hampshire).
Latest in Sport
Tom Cleverley criticism condemned by Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who labels petition against Manchester United midfielder 'aggressive'
Michael Schumacher: Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo admits he is still in shock over ski accident
Is this the cutest pitch invasion ever? Brazil squad embrace young South African fan in heartwarming scenes after friendly match
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
World Cup 2014: Sam Wallace picks his England squad - is there a place for Andy Carroll, and who wins the battle between Luke Shaw and Ashley Cole?
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast