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Saturday, 23rd December 2000

Leicester City 2
West Ham United 1

by Amanda Lake

Leicester City must have thought that Parliament had passed the anti-hunting bill early as West Ham misfired in front of goal and let the Foxes escape with three points.

We had left home early to avoid the predicted heavy traffic but breezed up to the Midlands and reached the ground by 11:30. As I followed the instructions to the ground left into Almond Street, right into Brazil Street etc. I realised what I had always known Leicester are a load of nuts.

Outside the ground, collected a few autographs including the great Billy Bonds who looked no different than when he was playing and I can tell you his hand writing is much neater than today's overpaid upstarts. I resisted the temptation to get Graham Poll's autograph, trying not to give him ideas for the afternoon and took cover as Robbie (sheep shagger) Savage parked his Ferrari (must have used at least a gallon of petrol in the car park).

Into the ground - what a dump but kick off soon came and West Ham started brilliantly. It looked like we were going to run them off the park as they didn't get a touch for the first twenty minutes and even Lomas looked like a good player.

After 8 minutes Kanoute rifled in a shot from just inside the box and I thought this is it, we are on our way. But reality began to set in and a couple of defensive errors in the first half failing to clear and letting Izzet score while lying on the ground, and then in the second half Ian Pearce slipped under pressure from a rampant sheep who shot past Hislop to put the Foxes ahead.

However for the last 25 minutes West Ham created a number of chances but managed to miss the lot. Camara shot weakly when he should have headed home, then he tried an easy header and I understood why he had tried to shot last time.

Finally Sinclair was put through on goal in the dying minutes but pulled his shot wide when he should have scored. The final whistle went and the Foxes celebrated when they know they should have had no more than 1 point.

Player Ratings

Hislop - not the sort of game he enjoys, plenty of whipped crosses which he didn't deal with very well. Also from where I stood he should have stopped the Sheep Shagger from scoring. 5

Song - first time I have seen him play and he looks like an excellent buy. His positional play is a bit suspect but he makes up for it with speed and strength. 8 West Ham man of the match.

Ian Pearce - worst game since his return from injury. At fault for SS goal and also nearly gifted one to Akinbiyi in the first half. Went off injured so let's hope it is not serious. 5

Stuart Pearce - looked every one of his 38 years, not one of his better games. 5

Winterburn - didn't do much good or bad. 6

Sinclair - started well but drifted out of the game like the rest of the team. Missed one of our better chances so 5.

Carrick. Always looks to play football, a couple of times caught in possession as he waited for a team mate to get free from markers but still class in midfield. 7

Lampard. Over weight, over paid - largely anonymous. 5.

Lomas. Look good for first twenty minutes but once Leicester came back into the game showed him up but kept putting in maximum effort. 6.

Camara - looked more like wide angled lens, needs plenty of work on the training field to get his weight down but showed touches of why he could be a good buy. 6.

Kanoute. Good game starting to score as well as create but often on his own up front. Get Defoe back from Bournemouth to play up front and this could be a partnership made in heaven. 7.

Cole. Came on as sub but didn't do much.

Thought for the day. I think Guppy would be a great addition to the West Ham squad. Only on the bench for Leicester but an excellent left sided midfield player who created a lot of danger when he came on.

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