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Bolton Wanderers 1 West Ham 0

Filed: Saturday, 19th April 2003
By: Graeme Howlett

West Ham's Premiership status was all but sealed this afternoon after a desperately disappointing defeat against fellow strugglers Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

The home victory - which came courtesy of a 38th minute strike from Jay Jay Okocha - almost certainly condemns the Hammers to first division football next season.

The defeat leaves the Hammers SIX points adrift of safety with just four games remaining - meaning that Roeder's side realistically need to win all four of their remaining games to have any sort of chance of retaining their Premiership status.

If the defeat wasn't bad enough in itself, unlikely victories for Birmingham, Aston Villa and Fulham served to rub salt in the wounds.

Even more disappointing today was the manner of the defeat; the Hammers barely threatened Bolton's goal during a match in which they desperately needed to attack the opposition.

The game descended into farce in the final minutes as first Ian Pearce was sent off for a late foul, then Joe Cole, Rufus Brevett (pictured) and several other players were caught trading punches and head butts in the centre circle on the final whistle - actions which are likely to cost the Hammers dear in the coming weeks.

Bolton's victory condemned West Brom to first division football next season - despite the Baggies winning 2-1 at Sunderland.

A full match report will follow soon ...

West Ham United: James, Johnson, Repka, Pearce, Brevett, Lomas, Cole, Cisse, Sinclair, Defoe, Kanoute.

Subs: Van Der Gouw, Hutchison, Dailly, L.Ferdinand, Breen.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, N'Gotty, Bergsson, Laville, Charlton, Mendy, Campo, Frandsen, Okocha, Pedersen, Djorkaeff.

Subs: Poole, Nolan, Andre, Facey, Barness.

Goal: Okocha (38)

Booked: tbc

Sent off: Pearce (89)

Attendance: tbc

Referee: Uriah Rennie

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