West Ham United 2 Fulham 1: Fulham feel the force of Ferdinand family affair

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The Independent Football

Not only do the Ferdinand brothers have a wager on who will score the most goals this season - they also seem to have a side bet on who scores the best. Just a day after Rio's dramatic headed winner for Manchester United, his younger sibling struck brilliantly - one of two distinguished goals from West Ham - to secure a first win in five home games.

It was hard on Fulham, who were denied a clear penalty and were also thwarted by goalkeeper Roy Carroll, but who were berated by their manager Chris Coleman. He said such injustices didn't "paper over the cracks" of their first 45 minutes and accused his players of "kidding on".

The victory was a relief to West Ham and their manager Alan Pardew, whose welcoming of £7m record signing Dean Ashton and farewell to Tomas Repka were almost derailed by Fulham's comeback.

Pardew also admitted that the club's board had taken some convincing that the required price for Ashton was worth it. "They were questioning it," he said. The deal was, he claimed, a "statement of intent."

But such authority was lacking as Fulham assumed the ascendancy early on - although Brian McBride, with a side-footed shot, and Heider Helguson, with a header that struck his team-mate Luis Boa Morte, could not convert.

Then came Ferdinand's arresting intervention. A corner was only half-cleared and Marlon Harewood headed towards the central defender who, on the area's edge, swivelled and volleyed right-footed into the net. "A fantastic strike," said Pardew. "He'll do well to hit another one in his career."

Quickly, West Ham scored again. Once more it was sumptuous. This time Yossi Benayoun checked, feinted and then committed Carlos Bocanegra before, from outside the area, delicately chipping the ball over Antti Niemi.

"Two wonder strikes," said Coleman who then saw his side pull one back as Helguson coolly struck a shot with the outside of his left foot which cannoned in off the post. West Ham panicked. Carroll's goal-kick went straight to Helguson, who ran through before being barged over by Paul Konchesky. It was a penalty but the appeals went unheeded.

Carroll redeemed himself by keeping out Tomasz Radzinski's fierce volley and rushing to smother the other substitute Collins John. At the other end Bobby Zamora's header struck the base of the post but West Ham were hanging on. "There were tears," said Pardew in reference to Repka's departure. There may have been more if his side had not held on.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Carroll; Repka, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Konchesky; Benayoun (Katan, 86), Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington (Newton, 90); Harewood, Zamora (Daily, 80). Substitutes not used: Hislop (gk), Sheringham.

Fulham (4-4-2): Niemi; Rosenior, Bocanegra, Knight, Bridge; Legwinski, Malbranque (Radzinski, 62), Elliott, Boa Morte; Helguson, McBride (John, 70). Substitutes not used: Warner (gk), Goma, N Jensen.

Referee: U Rennie (South Yorkshire).

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