Fine line for Pardew as official blunder hands West Ham victory

West Ham United 2 Middlesbrough 1
Click to follow
The Independent Football

A week after Alan Shearer's "goal" for Newcastle was not given against Wigan, this particularly long-running argument - 1966 and all that - will not go away and Alan Pardew, for one, is in favour of bringing in some sort of decision-making technology.

Despite it going his way, the West Ham manager was certain it was not a goal: "I didn't think it was a goal. No way. But it was a break that went our way. You earn them sometimes. Is the linesman Russian?"

In fact the linesman was English and called Ralph Bone, who appeared as certain as possible that the ball had crossed the line. As Steve McClaren, the visiting manager, said, he was probably the only person in Upton Park to think the ball had done so.

The incident that took this game above the humdrum came after 75 minutes. From a free-kick Paul Konchesky swung the ball in and Chris Riggott diverted the ball towards Schwarzer. The Australian goalkeeper got down but fumbled the ball on his line and the referee saw nothing untoward.

From his position on the byline and a view of Schwarzer's back, Bone instantly flagged for a goal although replays were inconclusive. Despite the visitors' understandably fierce protests, referee Steve Bennett had no option but to award the goal.

Pardew feels that technology should be introduced and McClaren backed him up. The former said: "We should have technology but not if it stops the flow and you have to stop for five minutes. But if you can decide in an instant then use it." McClaren added: "Was it over the line? We've got the technology. I looked 20 seconds after it happened and it's not a goal. All the arguing after probably cost three minutes. Other sports use it and [why not] if it helps you get the right result. But you have to take it with dignity."

Indeed he was dignified after this result that followed their away win in Europe on Thursday but they find performing in the Premiership hard after their travels. Boro have only managed one league win immediately following five away Uefa Cup trips this season and last.

That malaise took time to surface despite Yossi Benayoun's best attempts but eventually Teddy Sheringham turned the Hammers' possession into a goal.

The former Manchester United striker, who turns 40 next April, started as a substitute but after less than a minute on the pitch he had tucked away Konchesky's low cross with the aplomb that has marked his career.

Nine minutes later came the debated goal but still Boro plucked one goal back when Franck Queudrue headed in Fabio Rochemback's corner, although this game will be remembered for another goal instead.

Goals: Sheringham (66) 1-0; Schwarzer (og 75) 2-0; Queudrue (87) 2-1.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Hislop; Repka, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Benayoun (Dailly, 90), Reo-Coker, Mullins, Etherington (Newton, 76); Harewood, Zamora (Sheringham, 65). Substitutes not used: Bywater (gk), Bellion.

Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Bates, Riggott, Southgate (Queudrue, 25), Pogatetz; Mendieta, Doriva (Viduka, 78), Boateng, Rochemback; Maccarone (Hasselbaink, 60), Aiyegbeni. Substitutes not used: Jones (gk), Morrison.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

Booked: West Ham Ferdinand; Middlesbrough Doriva, Boateng.

Man of the Match: Benayoun.

Attendance: 34,612.