Ogbeche deals a blow to Hammers' hopes

West Ham United 1 (Faye 67) Middlesbrough 1 (Ogbeche 84)

Upton Park

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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor