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Monday, 22nd January 2001

Charlton 1
West Ham United 1

by Staff Writer

England's new Swedish supremo Sven Goran Eriksson was in the crowd again to watch the cream of the Hammers crop on a wet and nasty night at The Valley.

And Mr.Eriksson will once again have been impressed by the Hammers engine of Joe Cole and Michael Carrick, who, along with the rest of the team deserved more than a solitary point from a game which they dominated throughout.

Yet it was Charlton who drew first blood with a sucker punch on 7 minutes - thanks largely to some major assistance from diabolical referee Dermot Gallacher who prevented a Hammers clearance by standing in the way, allowing the home side to continue their attack which culminated in a goal for Sean Bartlett.

From that moment on it was all West Ham (until the final five minutes perhaps). The Irons mounted wave after wave of carefully crafted assaults on the Charlton goal, but as so often this season the final touch was sadly lacking.

So much so that when the Hammers had their first attempt on target 50 minutes of the game had already lapsed. That followed 11 shots which has gone everywhere but.

The equaliser was inevitable perhaps, but still we all whispered a sigh of relief when it eventually arrived. With less than 20 minutes left on the clock Paolo Di Canio set off on a surging run across the face of the Charlton box before unleashing a piledriver which flew past the excellent Dean Kiely into the back of the net.

Despite the point Harry Redknapp's men will, on reflection feel aggrieved that they didn't take all three. Tonight was always going to prove a much tougher proposition than Boxing Day, especially with the introduction of two new faces in Dailly and Schemmel at the back.

But both were excellent on their debuts - Schemmel especially, who seemed like the strong right-back we have been missing since the likes of Tim Breacker.

Freddy Kanoute was again outstanding, and Paolo Di Canio pulled off the kind of performance usually reserved for Upton Park. All in all an excellent performance - just a shame about the result.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Forrest, Winterburn, Schemmel, Dailly, Song, Tihinen, Cole, Carrick, Lampard, Kanoute, Di Canio

Subs: Moncur (Cole 86), Bywater, Camara, Potts, Basilla

Charlton: Kiely, Kishishev, Konchesky, Rufus, Fish, Todd, Jensen, Stuart, Parker, Bartlett, Svensson

Subs: Powell (Konchesky 73), Salako (Jensen 73), Lisbie (Svensson 64), Ilic, Brown

Goals: Bartlett (7), Di Canio (73)

Attendance: 20,043

Referee: Dermot Gallagher

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