Sam Allardyce took a swipe at both the Football League and his own table-topping West Ham United players after lowly Ipswich Town completed a most unlikely double over his side with a win as emphatic as it was unexpected.
The Hammers manager spent the early part of the day trying to tie up the signings of three players – the strikers Ricardo Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard from Barnsley and Bristol City, and the young midfielder Ravel Morrison from Manchester United – before travelling to Suffolk hopeful but uncertain whether the deals had been done. He ended it in a state of shock after Ipswich pulled off their first win in eight games thanks to goals by Michael Chopra, Daryl Murphy, a Lee Martin penalty and a second-half double by Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
"The Football League should look at themselves for putting a fixture on the last day of the transfer window," said Allardyce. "The window is bad enough as it is." As for his team, he said: "Most of the players have put their positions in jeopardy with such a poor performance. We left gaping holes and Ipswich punished us to the full; deservedly so. Chopra had so much room to do as he liked."
The recalled Chopra (right) put Town ahead after just three minutes; he had two more chances before being bundled over by James Tomkins, giving Martin his penalty chance. In between, Murphy for Ipswich and Jack Collison for West Ham had traded headed goals.
Ipswich have failed to hold leads so often this season that 3-1 at the break did not seem secure but Emmanuel-Thomas settled things when his low left-foot shot from the right-hand corner of the penalty area was struck with such venom and swerve that Rob Green was bamboozled as it beat him at the foot of his near post.
The relieved Ipswich manager, Paul Jewell, remarked that "we were 4-1 up and when four added minutes went up on the board there was a groan around the ground." It was a groan that turned to delight when Emmanuel-Thomas struck again in the last added minute.
Ipswich Town (4-5-1): Lee-Barrett; Edwards, Sonko, Smith, Cresswell; Emmanuel-Thomas, Drury, Martin, Hyam, Murphy; Chopra (Scotland, 79) . Substitutes not used Wright (gk), Delaney, Leadbitter, Bullard.
>West Ham United (4-5-1):Green; Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney; Collison, Noble (Baldock, 46), Nolan, Lansbury, Taylor (Hall ,69) ; Cole (Nouble, 69). Substitutes not used Faye, O'Neil.
Referee F Graham (Essex).