Hammers' home boy upstages Dani boy

West Ham United 1 Nottingham Forest 0
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The Independent Online
ADAM SZRETER

West Ham United 1 Nottingham Forest 0

Two wins on the trot might not be considered a run, but the vibrations caused by a little success, some imaginative foreign signings and the promise of home-grown talent have created something of a buzz at Upton Park lately.

Saturday had been billed as the Dani show, following the arrival of the 19-year-old striker Daniel De Cruz Carvalho on loan from Sporting Lisbon. But it turned into the Danny Williamson show, the London-born 22-year- old producing a fine all-round performance in midfield.

Competition for places can rarely have been more healthy at West Ham, and February promises to be an exciting month: a work permit for the Croatian defender Slaven Bilic has finally arrived, and the Romanian international Ilie Dumitrescu is next. After Grimsby on Wednesday, there is the reasonable expectation of a home FA Cup fifth round tie with Chelsea, a derby at Spurs and the visits of Newcastle United and Arsenal in the League.

If the defeat of Forest is anything to go by then their fans can be optimistic, although Harry Redknapp will have been concerned at the number of opportunities squandered when Forest chased the game. The one they did put away was started and finished by Robbie Slater, although Williamson's final pass should not have found its way through the legs of Colin Cooper.

Forest, with three up front and Ian Woan playing a more creative role on the left, looked a good deal more penetrating than of late, but in the second half their attacks foundered on an impressive West Ham back four.

Redknapp threw on Dani for the last 10 minutes. His first two touches were misdirected and his third, an attempted lob from half-way, was slightly misguided.

"If Dani had scored with that long shot the place would have erupted," Redknapp said. "He said to me, 'The goalkeeper, he's stood a long way off his line, so I thought, if I get a chance...'.'' He will get better chances than that.

Goal: Slater (19) 1-0.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Miklosko; Brown, Potts, Rieper, Dicks; Slater (Whitbread, 89), Bishop, Williamson, Hughes; Cottee (Dani, 82), Dowie. Substitute not used: Sealey (gk)

Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Crossley; Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Phillips; Gemmill (Haland, 70), Bart-Williams, Woan; Silenzi, Campbell, Roy. Substitutes not used: Lee, Howe

Referee: K Burge (Mid-Glamorgan).

Bookings: West Ham: Williamson. Nottingham Forest: Chettle, Roy.

Man of the match: Williamson.

Attendance: 21,257.

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