Sheringham gives Hammers a boost

West Ham United 1 Wolves 0

West Ham's dreams of a return to the Premiership will remain just that unless they start scoring more goals. Once again, domination of a match was translated into the narrowest of wins, and what's more, by the input of a 38-year-old substitute.

The fact that the sub was Teddy Sheringham fed some overdue glitz into a messy match in which the Hammers began to look threatening only when the former England man replaced the disappointing Bobby Zamora.

The decision to be named a substitute was taken, according to the West Ham manager Alan Pardew, by Sheringham himself. "He had a hard game at Derby in midweek, so we had a chat and I left it to him," said Pardew. "Teddy said perhaps sitting on the bench would be better for him. That decision was down to his professionalism and management of himself."

The decision to take him off the bench with an hour gone was, of course, Pardew's and it followed the strange removal of his team's wide men, Matthew Etherington and Luke Chadwick, at half-time when they had looked to be West Ham's best bet.

Etherington, Pardew explained, "was struggling a wee bit with his groin" but the introduction of Sergei Rebrov, who assumed Etherington's set-piece duties, and Steve Lomas did not appear to bother Wolves unduly.

In fact, they looked a lot more comfortable, being bothered only by the aggressive running of Marlon Harewood until Sheringham trotted on. It was appropriate that the pass for the goal came from him, but Sheringham only gained possession because Joleon Lescott miscontrolled the ball. Sheringham promptly snapped it up and drove a low shot past Michael Oakes.

"That lapse of concentration cost us the match," said the Wolves manager Dave Jones. "But that's what happens when you are struggling to find form."

So out of form are Wolves that more than half-an-hour had passed before they landed a shot on target, and that was a speculative 40-yarder from the Nigerian midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana, which Stephen Bywater fielded with ease.

By then West Ham ought to have been in front. Zamora strayed offside when Harewood presented him with a tap-in and Scott Oakes pulled off an incredible save to deny Calum Davenport's header.

Paul Ince was relentlessly booed as a former Hammer who went elsewhere. He deserved better than that for an excellent match which culminated in one shot which almost deceived Bywater.

West Ham ran with more confidence after Sheringham's arrival and Wolves' defence began to wilt. To panic, too, as Mark Clyde showed by almost putting through his own goal with an over-strong back-pass which eluded Oakes but bounced just past a post.

The excellent Davenport got away down the left to lay a ball across the goal area which narrowly eluded Sheringham, but when the next chance presented itself, in the 75th minute, Sheringham took it impressively. There was never much likelihood of Wolves getting back into the match and in the end one was enough. Just. A relieved Pardew rightly called it "a big, big result for us".

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower