Etherington to the rescue for Hammers

Derby County 1 West Ham United 1
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The Independent Online

Another trip to the Midlands, more spurned points. West Ham United have added frustration at Pride Park to wastefulness at Leicester, Coventry and Nottingham.

Another trip to the Midlands, more spurned points. West Ham United have added frustration at Pride Park to wastefulness at Leicester, Coventry and Nottingham.

They awoke from a sleepy start to have the better of this draw, which edged them back into the top six, but their manager, Alan Pardew, knew it might have been better. "I thought we were magnificent," he said.

"The performance was strong. They caught us cold and we could have crumbled after what happened on Sunday because to lose at Forest was a shock."

Derby County set off with such relish as to make their fifth-minute breakthrough seem almost overdue. Stephen Bywater, having saved superbly from Marco Reich's low shot and touched over a dipping 30-yarder by Adam Bolder, saw Inigo Idiakez's right-wing corner divert off Tomas Repka for Michael Johnson to react well and nod in his first goal of the season.

Tom Huddlestone's long-range volley was then pulled down by Bywater before the equaliser arrived shortly after.

Teddy Sheringham's centre from the right was redirected by Mo Konjic straight to Matthew Etherington, whose sweet 15-yard drive deflected off Jeff Kenna under Lee Camp.

Etherington ­ who is developing an excellent relationship with the veteran Sheringham ­ tested Derby with his quality crosses and the wayward shots of Luke Chadwick, Carl Fletcher and Sheringham were followed by closer escapes for Derby in the second half.

A partial block by Johnson slowed Nigel Reo-Coker's effort sufficiently for Kenna to clear off the line ­ the same fate that befell Sheringham from a cross-shot to which Konjic stuck out a long right leg.

A couple of fruitless penalty shouts prompted Pardew to insist his side are rarely given anything by the referee, Graham Poll, but the official ultimately helped them with his leniency.

After Bywater had reacted well to Grzegorz Rasiak's near-post header, Bobby Zamora blatantly trod on the grounded Jason Talbot while chasing a ball towards the corner flag.

Surprisingly, the card was only yellow, as was Konjic's for his posturing indignation at the West Ham substitute.

"Normally a blatant stamp is a red card, but the referee obviously did not think it was blatant," said the Derby manager, George Burley. "He [Zamora] certainly stamped on his back."

Despite his reservations about the referee, he recognised the progress his side were making. "Teams like Wigan and West Ham are benchmarks for us and I'm pleased with another point," he said.

Derby County (4-4-2): Camp; Kenna, Konjic, Johnson, Talbot; Bolder, Idiakez (Taylor, 75), Huddlestone, Reich (Peschisolido, 56); Smith, Rasiak. Substitutes not used: Grant (gk), Vincent, , Junior.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Bywater; Mullins, Repka, Davenport, Powell; Chadwick, Reo-Cocer, Fletcher, Etherington; Sheringham (Zamora, 77), Harewood. Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Melville, Lomas, Rebrov.

Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

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