Last Gasp Equaliser for Hammers

Last updated : 15 April 2002 By Vinny Ryan

Carrick: Man of the Match
Today just confirmed how much I hate Tottenham. It also confirmed how far we have come this season.

If you happened to go to this one you'll feel the same buzz I did when leaving the ground. Ok we didn't win. But this was result was important and one which we needed.

Joey Cole was missing which was a blow. But credit to Glenn Roeder - he didn't put in the useless Moncur or the unproven Garcia. He done what a manager who knows how to use tactics does. He put in Ian Pearce and played 3-5-2 - a formation that no one likes but can be used for certain matches. Like today. Schemmel was wing back on the right and Labant on the left (more on him later). Sinclair, Lomas and Carrick were in the middle with Sinclair getting up to support the strikers Defoe and Kanoute.

Do not let any report tell you that we were lucky. That is so far from the truth. I think the fact that we scored late on makes it seem like we were lucky. But for large periods of the match we were having constant pressure although not having that many great chances.

In the first half Defoe was on fire. He was causing Spurs no end of problems and had two half chances - one shot from outside the area and the other from just inside the left hand side of the box. Defoe also set up our best chance of the first half when he crossed for Kanoute to just stab wide. He maybe should of done better.

Spurs had a lot of long shots and got quite a few crosses in the box. This was out main problem in the first half. Simon Davies was crucifying Labant. Every time Davies ran at him he would just ghost past Labant who looked very very poor.

I know I will talk about him in the ratings later on but Michael Carrick was just out of this world. It was one of (if not the) best individual performance from a west ham player this season. Everything we would do would come through him. He was just excellent.

The second half began with us on the attack. Kanoute hit a great shot which was parried by the keeper but Defoe couldn't follow up.We were still getting killed down the left but no change was made.

We still looked weak from corners today. We were crap at defending them and worse at attacking them. It doesn't matter who takes the corners - if no one attacks them then no one will score!

That was spurs strong point today - there good in the air and are a physical team. There goal came when our defence was sliced open and it looked to me as if once again Repka missed the interception and Iversen had his shot saved by James but he couldn't hold it and Teddy Sheringham put in from 4 yards out.

Gutted don't even describe how I felt. I was sitting (well standing for the whole game) next to the yids - and all of a sudden they came alive.

Our support was great today. It was of old - lots of singing, cheering, having a good laugh and lots of passion.

Tottenham then started coming at us more and Sheringham had a chance, which was identical to his goal, but James made a great save with his legs.

We then went on a run of constant pressure - but we didn't have enough chances. Winterburn came on for Labant and that immediately stopped the threat of Davies down the right.

Schemmel was working hard down the right putting in crosses but no one was there. Freddie was also coming out to the right and putting crosses in but no one was getting on the end of them.

It really didn't look like we were get back. Time was running out and we just weren't doing enough it seemed.

I'd like to give you a description of our goal but to be honest I don't remember it at all. It was all a blur. I just remember the ball coming out to Pearce and from about 25 yards he hit a great shot into the top corner.

I went absolutely mad. I was right next to the totts fans and was I giving it large or what?! I said every swear word under the sun!

The goal really made me realise how much I love west ham. Days like this are just out of this world.

Everyone was on a high, Bubbles was being sung, and Glenn Roeders Claret and Blue army had got the last Laugh on the cunts that are Tottenham.

Tottenham Big club? Do me a favour!

Overall - I'm very happy today. We are still above the scum, we are still 7th. Europe is beyond us - but we are doing really well. Credit to all who wore the shirt today. And all the fans who went should be applauded for some great support.

"We'll be running round the Tottenham!"

James 7 - People may say he was at fault for the goal but he kept us in it with a few great saves.
Ian Pearce 8 - He was sound at the back and scored an fantastic goal on his 100th appearance.
Repka 7 - I still think he's dodgy! But he done ok today with some calm play at the back.
Dailly 7 - As always he was pretty anonymous but done his job well and was solid at the back.
Labant 5 - Very poor. Didn't look up to the job. Run ragged by Davies. If this is our replacement for Winterburn then we are in big trouble.
Schemmel 7 - Got forward really well and any crosses were most of the time coming from him.
Lomas 7 - As I always say he gives his all. And today he did just that. Gave the ball away a bit too much but he wasn't totally awful.
Carrick 10 MOTM - Just amazing. He looked the complete midfielder today. I've been accused of being harsh about him before but not today. He was out of this world and the watching Eriksson much of been impressed.
Sinclair 9 - He was great today. If it wasn't for Carrick , Trevor would of got my man of the match. He looked strong and quick today and really looked so committed.
Defoe 8 - He was our best player of the first half. He looked very sharp and the totts couldn't handle him.
Kanoute 8 - He was great today. He just was so awkward they couldn't contend with him. He gave Gardener a torrid time. Unlucky not to get a goal.
Winterburn 7 (on for Labant) - Much better when he came on.