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Saturday, 13th April 2002

Tottenham 1
West Ham United 1

by Paul Reynolds

A 'dull end of season game, played by two teams with nothing to play for' is how one radio reporter described this game. Perhaps he should have asked the 36,000 or so fans that packed into White Hart Lane for this end of season game that will help decide who wins Premiership II this season (those outside the top 6).

With West Ham being without their two mercurial talismen Di Canio and Cole, the worst was feared by a few of the West Ham fans.

The first half was probably won by West Ham although with not what you could describe as a clear-cut chance to be had by either side in the first half.

During this half Valdimar Labant was dragged all over the place by Spurs winger Simon Davies. Labant didn't seem to know where he was meant to be playing, as a wingback was he meant to be in midfield or in defence?

David James was keeping the traveling fans amused when he flapped and dropped a cross under no pressure midway through the first half, the West Ham fans started singing 'England, England's No. 1' which seemed to amuse DJ and he applauded their singing from behind his back.

The second half and Spurs came out as though Hoddle had put a rocket up them in the half-time talk. DJ made one save but couldn't hold the ball and Sheringham knocked in the rebound for an unjust 1-0 lead to Spurs.

Every attacking move that Tottenham created revolved around Sheringham who was the Spurs Man of the Match.

The very poor Labant was replaced in the 60th minute by Winterburn who showed why it may be a mistake not to keep him on for another year.

The West Ham players must have been proud of the report they received because the only way Spurs could make more noise that the travelling Upton Park faithful was to use a 'Blessed' drum.

This was silenced by a beautiful strike by Ian Pearce in the 89th minute to give West Ham a just equailiser.

Player ratings

David James (8) Could possibly have held the ball that led to the goal, but made another 3 excellent saves to show why he should be a cert for the plane to the Far East.

Vladimir Labant (5) Run ragged by Simon Davies until Roeder put him out of his misery by substituting him with Nigel Winterburn (7) Mr. Consistent.

Thomas Repka (7) Is starting to look an accomplished player coming out of defence with the ball at his feet.

Christian Dailly (7) Another sterling display, most improved player this season. (probably due to the arrival of David James)

Ian Pearce (7) His best display since his return from injury, even before his beautiful strike for the goal. (Could he please give shooting lessons to Joe Cole.)

Sebastien Schemmel (7) Runs his heart out for the team, and gave his usual wholehearted display.

Steve Lomas (6) Gives his all, but is that enough in the Premiership?

Michael Carrick (9) Why is he only in the U-21 squad for the next England game. Ran the show for West Ham, seems to play better when Joe isn't playing. Looked total class spraying balls around for fun.

Trevor Sinclair (7) With PDC and JC not playing the mantle of West Hams only true creative player seemed to weigh heavy on his shoulders, perhaps tried too hard.

Jermain Defoe (7) Good first half but faded as the match went on. Perhaps he is not used to playing for 90 minutes this season.

Freddie Kanoute (8) Is now showing his true form, if only his first touch was a bit better.

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: James, Pearce, Repka, Dailly, Labant, Schemmel, Lomas, Carrick, Sinclair, Kanoute, Defoe

Subs: Winterburn (Labant), Hislop, Moncur, Garcia, Potts

Tottenham: Keller, Perry, Anderton, Sherwood, Sheringham, Rebrov, Poyet, Thatcher, Ziege, Davies, Gardner

Subs: Iversen, Doherty, Sullivan, Etherington, Clemence

Goals: Sheringham (53), Pearce (88)

Referee: Neale Barry

Attendance: 36,083

Man of the Match: Michael Carrick

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