A towering header from Rio Ferdinand's brother ... no, sorry. Start again. A towering header from Anton Ferdinand snatched a deserved point for West Ham at White Hart Lane yesterday and underlined the defender's emergence as player in his own right, not a sibling.
Ferdinand's 93rd-minute goal also confirmed West Ham, 2005 vintage, are not the soft touch of yesteryear. Outplayed by Spurs for an hour they dragged themselves back into the match, forced their hosts back, and earned themselves a point which took them up to eighth in the Premiership and restricted Tottenham's rise to sixth.
Having seen his team fail to take advantage of the lead given them by Mido after 15 minutes, Martin Jol was inevitably downbeat. He said: "If you lead one-nil you need another goal, then you can kill them off. Or you do it another way, taking your time at corners and throw-ins. But we did not do that either. That is [a lack of] experience."
Alan Pardew, West Ham's manager, was naturally much happier. "I felt we deserved it," he said. "We're no pushovers, as we've already shown." He added: "I felt at half-time we'd not played enough. We had to get the ball down. We weren't going to win a [physical] battle."
Recent derbies between these teams have often been regarded as little more than opportunities to salvage some schadenfreude amid mutually disappointing seasons. This time there was optimism in the air and, perhaps, less obvious acrimony among the supporters. With Tottenham harbouring plausible European ambitions, and West Ham savouring an impressive return to the top flight, the mood was positive.
That said, while Teddy Sheringham given a warm reception on his return to White Hart Lane, Jermain Defoe was less well received by West Ham fans who delighted in his unexpected demotion to the bench. Far more reprehensibly they also taunted Mido because of his Arab nationality.
He responded to the abuse the best way, with a goal. Edgar Davids, Hayden Mullins and Yossi Benayoun had all gone close from distance when Michael Dawson lofted a long ball forward. Mido, unaccountably allowed to loiter, unchallenged, beneath the falling ball, had time to see Shaka Hislop advance from his line then stop in no man's land. It was a simple task for the Egyptian to nod the ball over the goalkeeper though Pardew stressed he had made it look easier than it was.
The goal raised the temperature and within minutes Sheringham had boldly squared up to Davids after receiving a fierce challenge from the Dutchman. Sheringham, who ought to know better at 39, looked to have raised his hands and was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.
The veteran also twice came close to scoring. After 40 minutes he miscued a close-range volley and while the ball ended up in the net it did so via Mark Noble who was in an offside position.
Six minutes after the hour Sheringham was less culpable, only a superb reflex save from Paul Robinson denying him an equaliser as he seized upon Dawson's misdirected header at a corner. "I couldn't believe he had saved it," said Pardew. By then Hislop had partially redeemed himself with an instinctive save from an overhead kick by Robbie Keane. This was in the middle period of the game during which Tottenham should have made their possession count but Jermaine Jenas twice wasted good opportunities, Michael Carrick spurned another from a free-kick and Keane tended, as usual, to overelaborate.
Gradually Tottenham retreated, partly through an anxiety to protect their lead and partly because West Ham, driven on by the impressive young Noble, took charge. With Dawson heading everything away, clear opportunities remained rare. Then, deep into injury-time, Dawson conceded a corner. Pardew waved Hislop forward. "I thought it would unsettle them, a 6ft 5in, 16st guy coming into the box," said Pardew, "and with the week he's had with Trinidad I expected him to smash it into the top corner." Instead, as Paul Konchesky floated the ball in Ferdinand - Anton Ferdinand - rose to head home.
Goals: Mido (15) 1-0; Ferdinand (90) 1-1.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Robinson; Staltieri, Dawson, King, Lee; Jenas, Carrick, Davids, Tainio (Lennon, 70); Mido, Keane (Defoe, 79). Substitutes not used: Cerny (gk), Kelly, Rasiak.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Hislop; Repka (Newton, 76), Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Benayoun, Noble, Mullins, Etherington (Bellion, 85); Sheringham; Harewood (Zamora, 76). Substitutes not used: Bywater (gk), Dailly.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Tottenham Davids, Staltieri, Mido; West Ham Sheringham.
Man of the match: Noble.
Attendance: 36,154.Reuse content