Hammers hang on for a point

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West Ham United 0

Queen's Park Rangers 0

West Ham shifted themselves a place further away from the Premiership relegation zone last night, despite being reduced to 10 men for the greater part of the second half.

Once Martin Allen had been dismissed in the 67th minute for a second bookable offence - retaliating with his fist after a foul by Rufus Brevett - the eagerness which had brought West Ham victory over the Premiership leaders, Blackburn, four days earlier tipped over into desperation. But a reflex save by Ludek Miklosko from Simon Barker's header seven minutes from time secured the point with which the home manager, Harry Redknapp, pronounced himself satisfied afterwards.

A win at Crystal Palace on Saturday would ensure their safety, although that will be no easy task, especially as West Ham's leading scorer, Tony Cottee, will now miss the rest of the season with a calf injury.

Eight other players were booked apart from Allen, seven from the visiting side - a statistic which baffled both Redknapp and his counterpart, Ray Wilkins, who both maintained it was Not That Kind Of A Game.

By and large, they were right. But Jeroen Boere - who had West Ham's best chance of the night with a diving header in the 36th minute that glanced off the bar - should have been booked for a wild foul on Brevett 10 minutes before the sending-off. Brevett's subsequent challenge on Allen was motivated largely by a sense of injustice, and the West Ham midfielder, who had already been booked for fouling Andrew Impey, lost control.

"When you are fighting for your life, you don't want people doing silly things and getting sent off," Redknapp said. "Martin said Brevett had gone over the top and ripped his shin. But he will be fined for the incident."

Brevett had replaced Clive Wilson after he had come off worst in a challenge with Tim Breacker, and the Queen's Park Rangers full-back was detained overnight in hospital with a suspected punctured lung.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Miklosko; Breacker, Potts, Rieper, Dicks; Allen, Bishop, Moncur, Holmes; Hutchison (Morley, 60), Boere (Webster, 73). Substitute not used: Sealey (gk).

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Roberts; Bardsley, McDonald, Maddix, Wilson (Brevett, 55); Sinclair, Holloway, Barker, Impey; Penrice (Gallen, 73), Ferdinand. Substitute not used: Dykstra (gk)

Referee: G Willard (West Sussex).