Pearce grabs pride and prize money

West Ham United 2 Bolton Wanderers 1
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The Independent Online

The queen was at Upton Park on Thursday to officially open the Dr Martens stand and thanks to Ian Pearce, who is not acknowledged as one of West Ham's crown jewels, the Londoners were able to sign off the season with a fourth consecutive home win.

Pearce rose highest to meet Michael Carrick's corner after 89 minutes and give Glenn Roeder's men a deserved win which also earned them £6.6m in Premiership prize money for finishing seventh. That is a tidy sum which could see Roeder adding some strength in depth to his squad this summer, something Sam Allardyce will also look to do at Bolton.

End-of-season it may have been but despite both teams having nothing but pride and prize money to play for there was still the incentive of trying to impress future or current employers.

That applied to no less than three Bolton players, namely Youri Djorkaeff, Fredi Bobic and Michael Ricketts, who, it was reported yesterday, could be the subject of a £7m bid from West Ham this summer. Despite Ricketts being out of favourof late, Allardyce picked him for this final game, although surely not to entice Roeder. Ricketts was all power and pace early on in this game as Bolton dominated the early exchanges. Safe from relegation, in their third Premiership stint, they played like a team who have enjoyed a reprieve.

The Hammers were saying goodbye to Nigel Winterburn as the veteran left-back is on his way out of Upton Park this summer, but Roeder still picked the former Arsenal defender to say his farewells.

He is one player with a long past behind him, but West Ham have three, in Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe and Carrick, with long futures in front of them. Carrick, the England Under-21 international, produced the best pass of a tepid first half, picking out Defoe with a 50-yard ball that almost saw the striker wriggle past Gudni Bergsson, eliciting a penalty claim that the referee waved away.

West Ham then had the breakthrough they deserved when Defoe brought a diving save from Jussi Jaaskelainen a minute from half-time only for Steve Lomas to tap in the rebound.

Frédéric Kanouté and Cole both went close to extending West Ham's lead after the break but having not taken their chances Bolton then produced a sucker punch that led to an equaliser. Kanouté got in a shot that Jaaskelainen punched out and 60 seconds later Cole saw his shot rebound off the post.

Having survived those scares Bolton went down the other end and won a free-kick after 67 minutes. Djorkaeff had hit the post with an earlier effort but this time, with the help of a deflection, the Frenchman found the net before Pearce ensured a rousing send-off for the home team.

West Ham United 2
Lomas 45, Pearce 89

Bolton Wanderers 1
Djorkaeff 67

Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 35,546

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