Good fortune can't hide Hammers' failings

West Ham United 2 Fulham 2

Whatever West Ham are suffering from it isn't bad luck – well, not if yesterday's match is anything to go by.

Fortunate to see the opposition reduced to 10 men by the controversial sending-off of Fulham's Kagisho Dikgacoi in the first half they then pinched a point they hardly deserved with an injury-time deflected equaliser from substitute Junior Stanislas. Fittingly, it wasn't enough to lift them out of the bottom three.

Up until the moment Stanislas' shot struck Aaron Hughes' knee before looping over Mark Schwarzer in goal, the Hammers had been staring at a third defeat in all three home league games this season. Losing to Liverpool and Tottenham may have been just about excusable, but against a Fulham side that have struggled to rediscover last season's momentum, who were a goal as well a man down by the end of the first half, surely they should be good enough to register a first home win. Alas, no.

Gianfranco Zola was disappointed with his side's response to Fulham's equaliser in the first minute of the second half. "The whole team lost faith and belief," he said. "I don't like that kind of attitude, I really hate it."

It was the dismissal of Dikgacoi for either an elbow or head-butt – no one was too sure – in the face of West Ham's Scott Parker that really irked Fulham's manager Roy Hodgson – a little strange because his team were a better side with 10 men than 11. "I come from a generation where violent conduct is violent," he said. "I have a problem getting my head around two players nose-to-nose and one of them is sent off for violent conduct."

It was unfortunate for Dikgacoi that the referee Philip Dowd chose to consult one of his assistants rather than the watching American wrestling legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Wrestlers know a thing about phony wars and no doubt Austin would have put him wise. It was only after protests from Parker, incensed about being shown a yellow card for his part in the bust-up, that Dowd conferred with his linesman and came to his decision.

Zola said he "smelt" something was wrong early on – "it was too easy". Maybe it was the sight of Carlton Cole heading West Ham ahead after 16 minutes. The Hammers had lost every match in which Cole had scored this season, four in all. Even so, the big man did well to beat the even bigger Brede Hangeland to the near-post header after Alessandro Diamanti floated in the free-kick.

Zola's terrible premonition started to unravel a minute after half-time when Matthew Upson was adjudged to have fouled Diomansy Kamara and Danny Murphy converted the penalty. Ten minutes later, Hangeland atoned for his earlier error when he stood his ground as Paul Konchesky's corner came over to give Zoltan Gera a simple far-post conversion.

West Ham United (4-1-4-1): Green; Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga; Parker (Behrami, 71); Diamanti, Noble, Jimenez, Hines (Stanislas, 71); Cole. Substitutes not used: Spector, Da Costa, Nouble, Payne, Kurucz (gk).

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Paintsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Gera, Murphy, Dikgacoi, Dempsey (Helge Riise, 84); A Johnson (Baird, h-t), Kamara (E Johnson, 81). Substitutes not used: Kelly, Nevland, Greening, Zuberbuhler (gk).

Bookings: West Ham: Parker, Faubert. Sending-off: Fulham: Dikgacoi.

Referee: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)

Man of match: Kamara

Attendance: 32612.

people And here is why...
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
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

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

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?