Ogbeche deals a blow to Hammers' hopes
West Ham United 1 (Faye 67) Middlesbrough 1 (Ogbeche 84)
Wednesday 21 March 2012
West Ham United are slowly losing control of their season. Last night they drew
their fourth successive game 1-1, this time with Middlesbrough. It was a match
of dispiriting drift and inevitability. Despite taking the lead through
Abdoulaye Faye's deflected header, West Ham rarely looked like they believed
they would win. The fans, who were singing for Paolo Di Canio at the end,
certainly did not.
Sam Allardyce's team have now won just three of their last 10 games, and drawn the last five. They are seven points behind Championship leaders Southampton and two behind second-placed Reading, who lost 3-1 at Peterborough last night.
Allardyce admitted afterwards that West Ham have "drawn too many", but argued that misfortune was a factor. "It was another night," he said, "where you want the rub of the green or the bounce of the ball."
West Ham did have a penalty appeal for handball turned down, and Jason Steele tipping James Tomkins' header onto the bar at 1-0 was, as Allardyce said, a "turning point". But good teams create and take chances without needing luck, and West Ham do not.
Their first half last night was a perfect example of their problems. There was so little pace to their play, and even less imagination, wit, subtlety or surprises.
After the restart West Ham began to pass the ball briskly. Carlton Cole and Nicky Maynard both had half-chances and they were rewarded when George McCartney slung in a cross from the left. Faye's far-post header deflected off Joe Bennett, over Steele and into the top corner.
However, they made another draw almost inevitable, sitting back and inviting Middlesbrough onto them. Bart Ogbeche was given too much space, and curled an excellent finish into the far top corner with six minutes to go. Only McCartney's header stopped him from winning it in added time.
West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Green; O'Brien, Faye, Collins, McCartney; Noble (Baldock, 87), Tomkins; Maynard (Collison, 70), Nolan, Taylor; Cole (Carew, 70). Unused substitutes: Lansbury, Morrison
Middlesbrough (4-1-4-1): Steele; Hoyte, Hines, Bates, Bennett; Bailey; Emnes (Zemmama, 76), Smallwood (Martin, 80), Thomson (Ogbeche, 80), Hammill; Jutkiewicz. Unused substitutes: Arca, McMahon.
Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).
Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Play-acting mystifies me. I was taught not to show pain
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Tottenham Hotspur vs Partizan Belgrade match report: Spurs go through in Europa League - but pitch invaders grab the attention
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'