Camp ruins Hammers' day

West Ham United 1 Derby County 2
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The Independent Football

As the boos rang out after another home defeat yesterday, it was difficult to say for certain who they were intended for. The officials, the Derby County goalkeeper, Lee Camp, and Alan Pardew, the West Ham United manager, were probably all equal villains of the piece in the eyes of the Upton Park faithful.

As the boos rang out after another home defeat yesterday, it was difficult to say for certain who they were intended for. The officials, the Derby County goalkeeper, Lee Camp, and Alan Pardew, the West Ham United manager, were probably all equal villains of the piece in the eyes of the Upton Park faithful.

Two goals by the Pole Grzegorz Rasiak had won the match for Derby, taking them above West Ham into eighth place in the Championship, but the game's defining moment came in the 42nd minute when Camp was allowed to stay on the pitch after a blatant body check on Marlon Harewood who had raced on to a through-pass from Mark Noble.

"It could have gone either way but there's no doubt about it, it could have been a red card," admitted the Derby manager, George Burley. But with Camp receiving only a yellow card and Carl Fletcher's free-kick coming to nothing, Derby rode their luck and secured their fourth successive away win with the help of Rasiak's second goal and, somewhat inevitably, a fine falling save from Camp to tip away Luke Chadwick's late curling shot.

Rasiak headed Derby into an 10th-minute lead. The visitors confirmed their strength down the left flank when Ian Taylor found Tommy Smith who, in turn, released Richard Jackson. And he picked out the totally unmarked Rasiak with his cross.

West Ham's equaliser followed Nigel Reo-Coker's right-wing cross and a weak headed clearance by Jeff Kenna. Fletcher beat Iñigo Idiakez to the loose ball to drive home his first goal for West Ham.

With Idiakez instigating many of Derby's moves, the visitors out-passed the hosts whose jittery defending was no help to their cause. Nor was their inability to stay onside. "We weren't terrific today," conceded the beleaguered Pardew who predictably lambasted the referee for not dismissing Camp. "It was a big decision and it had to be a red card," he added.

Yet, with or without Camp in goal, Harewood should have scored when he spooned a cross-shot from Hayden Mullins over the top. That miss was compounded when Tom Huddlestone flicked on a corner from Idiakez for Rasiak to hook Derby's 63rd-minute winner.

To chants of "You don't know what you're doing", Pardew replaced Sergei Rebrov with Teddy Sheringham who was denied a goal by an excellent block-tackle from Pablo Mills.

The second half began with Kenna heading off the line from Fletcher and Derby were indebted to Taylor for an even more dramatic goal-line clearance as the match closed. The 36-year-old captain got an outstretched leg to a cross-shot from Mullins that had eluded Camp to leave Pardew concluding: "We aren't going to hide from the fact that we have got ourselves into a hole."

Goals: Rasiak (10) 0-1, Fletcher (26) 1-1, Rasiak (63) 1-2.

West Ham United (4-5-1): Walker; Mullins, Repka, Mackay, Powell; Rebrov (Sheringham, 65), Williams (Noble, 7), Fletcher, Reo-Coker Chadwick; Harewood. Substitutes not used: Bywater (gk), Brevett, Cohen.

Derby County (4-1-4-1): Camp; Kenna, Huddlestone, Mills, Jackson; Idiakez; Bisgaard (Tudgay, 73), Bolder (Reich, 73), Taylor, Smith; Rasiak (Junior, 89). Substitutes not used: Grant (gk), Boertien.

Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).

Booked: West Ham Fletcher; Derby Camp, Rasiak.

Man of the match: Rasiak.

Attendance: 30,347

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