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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Toure could leave Manchester City in the summer, claims his agent
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz