Hammers show their mettle after Lomas dismissal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The West Ham midfielder Steve Lomas was sent off for his second bookable offence in six minutes on the Tottenham winger Jose Dominguez at White Hart Lane last night - but the battling Hammers held out for a deserved point.

The West Ham midfielder Steve Lomas was sent off for his second bookable offence in six minutes on the Tottenham winger Jose Dominguez at White Hart Lane last night - but the battling Hammers held out for a deserved point.

Lomas, soon to face a Football Association misconduct charge for remarks made to a referee earlier this season, became the third Hammers player to be dismissed at White Hart Lane in as many visits.

The former Tottenham player John Moncur saw red last season in West Ham's 2-1 win here and Samassi Abou was given his marching orders in the previous campaign.

George Graham is in danger of turning into the Father Ted of the Premiership. Like the eponymous priest of Craggy Island parochial house, the Tottenham Hotspur manager has habitually seen good works undone by embarrassing allegations of financial ill-judgement.

Revelations emerged over the weekend surrounding the fact that Graham still holds 32 shares in Arsenal, the club he last managed and whom he left with his pecuniary reputation rather less than enhanced.

The story was mischief making in the main although the £75-£85,000 his shares are now worth may prompt the Arsenal striker Davor Suker to a phone call to his financial adviser - his controversial share of Manchester United is worth but a paltry £20,000.

Spurs, having suffered defeat by Fulham in the Worthington Cup and Newcastle in the Premiership, appeared to be suffering from loss of confidence, but fortunately for them they were facing a West Ham side also intent on passing the ball to the opposition.

Spurs may have started in an expectedly shaky fashion, but a crunching challenge echoed around the ground from Sol Campbell which appeared as a manifestation of his manager's resolve. A thumping header from Chris Perry showed that, among the centre-halves at least, the determination was mutual.

Dominguez appeared to lack the same resolve as he gave the ball away to the teenager Joe Cole, whose thumping drive flew low over Ian Walker's crossbar.

Cole emerged as a strong influence in the West Ham midfield, twisting around a low centre of gravity and caressing his foot over the ball in a manner which, in the first half at least, seemed to be beyond David Ginola. It was Cole who most often interrupted the Frenchman's runs, his own fresh talent perhaps affording him an insight into Ginola's jinking patterns.

Then came Lomas's dismissal and and Spurs were suddenly in the game. Early in the second period Tim Sherwood might have given Spurs the lead with a volley from 18 yards. Ginola also went close, running across the West Ham back line before whipping in a shot which Shaka Hislop did well to save.

West Ham's Paolo di Canio was well handled by Perry and Trevor Sinclair was not the inspirational figure that his side needed in adversity.

Sherwood and Steffen Iversen might both have scored again with close-range efforts. The Norwegian was unfortunate with a good chance which fell behind him on the six-yard line while the Englishman's sharply taken strike was well saved by Hislop. A chaotic period of Spurs pressure then ensued, culminating with Oyvind Leonhardsen's fierce shot was diverted for a corner.

Mark-Vivien Foé then missed the chance of the game as West Ham broke against the run of play, blasting a shot at Ian Walker from three yards.

As play flowed in a more entertaining second period Perry had a fine chance saved when he launched himself with gusto at Ginola's cross. It brought a magnificent block by Hislop as the ball thundered at him.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Taricco, Campbell, Perry, Young; Freund, Sherwood (Nielsen, 73), Dominguez (Armstrong, 80), Leonhardsen; Iversen, Ginola. Substitutes not used: Baardsen (gk), Vega, Clemence.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Hislop; Margas (Potts, 63), Ferdinand, Ruddock, Lomas; Sinclair, Foé, Cole, Lampard; Kitson (Minto, h-t), Di Canio (Wanchope, 82). Substitutes not used: Forrest (gk), Keller.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

Comments