West Ham United 2 Fulham 2: match report

04 October 2009 05:34
West Ham United stole a point with a dramatic goal in added time against 10-man Fulham at Upton Park, when substitute Junior Stanislas saw a late effort deflect off Aaron Hughes.

Although Carlton Cole gave West Ham an early lead Fulham, who had debutant Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off in controversial circumstances, responded with an early second half penalty, from Danny Murphy, before Zoltan Gera claimed what seemed likely to be the 58th minute winner, only for Stanislas to steal a late goal.

 Related ArticlesPremier League actionPremier League tableTelegraph player raterPremier League fixturesWatch Ukraine v England live onlineWest Ham took the lead in the 17th minute and, predictably it came from their leading scorer, with Cole claiming his fourth goal of the season.

Brede Hangeland conceded a free-kick he was booked for the foul on Julien Faubert and Alessandro Diamanti, who impressed with his accurate deliveries, presented Cole with an easy opportunity with a perfectly weighted free-kick from the right.

Cole met the ball at the near post with a simple header and, with just a further three minutes played, the Italian sent a troublesome corner from the right and defender James Tomkins should have added a second goal but his downward header flew narrowly wide of the left post.

Fulham responded briefly when a through-ball found Andrew Johnson and the striker, under pressure from Matthew Upson, pushed the ball wide when he could have equalised.

But at this stage West Ham were in control and Cole came close to a second, after 34 minutes when, after meeting Scott Parker's ball, the England striker scuffed the ball wide. And Parker followed that with an attempt of his own, his low half volley forcing Mark Schwarzer to stretch to save.

But the game turned on a controversial decision, by referee Phil Dowd, when he sent off Fulham midfielder Dikgacoi. The South African international became entangled with Parker and the pair appeared to confront each other head-t-head then push each other in the face.

Both were cautioned but after much eliberation and consultation with his assistant linesman and fourth official, Dowd showed Dikgacoi the red card.

Understandably, the decision infuriated Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, who, at half time, followed Parker down the tunnel, seeking an explanation.

But if Fulham, who took Andrew Johnson off at the interval, felt there had been an injustice they wasted little time in responding.

Inside the first minute of the second half Dowd awarded the visitors a penalty after Matthew Upson fouled Diomansy Kamara. Murphy converted the spot-kick confidently to bring Fulham back on level terms.

And Fulham appeared inspired. Paul Konchesky almost scored when his free-kick took a deflection and Robert Green had to tip the ball to safety. And from the 58th minute corner, from Konchesky, Gera arrived at the far post to side-foot the ball home.

The game was into the second minute of added time when Stanislas's shot struck the knee of Hughes and rebounded beyond Schwarzer.

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Source: Telegraph