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Fulham robbed at West Ham

last updated Sunday 11th October 2009, 10:06 PM
Fulham captain Danny Murphy scores again
Fulham captain
Danny Murphy
scores again
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West Ham (1) 2 Fulham (0) 2
Junior Stanislas came off the bench to save West Ham from defeat against 10-man Fulham as he made it 2-2 two minutes into added time.

But the Hammers were still booed off at Upton Park after throwing away a golden chance to secure a first victory since the opening day of the season.

West Ham were cruising at the interval after Carlton Cole's header earned them a deserved lead and Fulham had South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off on his full debut.

The Hammers lost all composure after the break and their defensive frailties were horribly exposed again as Danny Murphy drew Fulham level from the penalty spot before Zoltan Gera slotted home a far-post volley.

West Ham became increasingly desperate and it was more through luck than judgment that Stanislas earned the point, with a strike that deflected off Aaron Hughes to beat Mark Schwarzer.

The result keeps both sides in the relegation zone and will do little to lift the pressure that is building on West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola.

Matthew Upson returned to the heart of West Ham's defence after missing the 3-1 defeat at Manchester City with a calf injury while Zavon Hines came in for Radoslav Kovac.

Match Stats West Ham Fulham
Goals 2 2
Possession 64% 36%
Goal attempts 29 11
On Target 7 6
Corners 8 4
Off-sides 1 1
Saves 4 5
Fouls 13 15
Yellows 3 2
Reds 0 1
source: Soccernet
West Ham dominated the first half and Fulham were somewhat fortunate not to be more than 1-0 down as they struggled to cope with Cole up front and Alessandro Diamanti's deliveries from the right wing.

After Brede Hangeland had been booked for a clumsy challenge on Julien Faubert, it was Diamanti's vicious free-kick that allowed Cole to bury his header past Schwarzer at the near post.

Diamanti almost carved out a carbon copy minutes later when he curled a corner to James Tomkins at the far post but the unmarked West Ham defender headed wide.

Murphy's quick free-kick released Andrew Johnson into the West Ham box but Robert Green raced off his line to close the angle and the Fulham striker pulled his shot across goal and wide.

But it was a rare opening for Fulham, who were on the back foot.

Cole almost picked out Hines after an incisive passing move and he then sent Mark Noble through on goal with a deft touch from Luis Jiminez's lofted pass.

Scott Parker changed the point of attack with a driving run into the box and then saw a 30-yard drive saved after Fulham had again failed to deal properly with another Diamanti cross from the right.

Fulham were then reduced to 10 men when Dikgacoi was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Parker.

West Ham were playing slick, one-touch football, which allowed them to make use of the extra man to create two more chances before the interval.

Noble's shot from inside the box was tame before Herita Ilunga slipped Hines into space and the young winger unleashed a sweet right-foot drive that flew just wide of the post.

West Ham were playing with such attacking verve it seemed victory was a formality but Fulham emerged in the second half to produce the perfect example of how to play a man down.

Chris Baird came on for Johnson to shore up the midfield and within 30 seconds they were ahead as Diomansy Kamara bustled into the area and was brought down by Upson.

Murphy beat Green from the penalty spot and West Ham began to lose their composure.

Green reacted smartly to block Paul Konchesky's low free-kick but, from the resulting corner, Gera emerged unmarked at the far post to put Fulham head with a cool, side-footed finish.

Julien Faubert was booked for throwing the ball away after conceding a soft free-kick and the frustration began to grow around Upton Park.

Zola made two changes just after the hour mark, with Parker replaced by Valon Behrami and Stanislas introduced for Hines.

Behrami brought urgency to West Ham but Diamanti resorted to shooting on sight and Stanislas opted for a speculative drive from distance that flew over the bar.

West Ham finally found the breakthrough two minutes into added time when Stanislas worked space inside the Fulham box and saw his shot deflected past Schwarzer.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson criticised referee Phil Dowd's decision to send off Kagoshi Dikgacoi for violent conduct against West Ham. Hodgson was furious that Dikgacoi was sent off when Parker only received a yellow card for the incident.

"I come from a generation where violent conduct is violent," he said. "I have a problem getting my head around two players nose to nose and one of them sent off for violent conduct. I have a problem with that."

Junior Stanislas snatched a point for Gianfranco Zola's men with a deflected injury-time equaliser - but Hodgson felt Fulham had deserved the victory. "I would like to think no-one would begrudge us the victory there today because we were worth it for our second-half performance," Hodgson added.

"We know that games last 94-95 minutes and shots do get deflected. Sunderland were denied a famous victory at Old Trafford yesterday and we have been denied a famous victory here in exactly the same way."

West Ham Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Noble, Parker (Behrami 72), Jimenez, Diamanti, Cole, Hines (Stanislas 72).
Subs Not Used: Kurucz, Spector, Da Costa, Payne, Nouble.

Booked: Parker, Jimenez, Faubert.

Goals: Cole 16, Stanislas 90.

Fulham Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Gera, Murphy, Dikgacoi, Dempsey (Riise 84), Andrew Johnson (Baird 46), Kamara (Eddie Johnson 81).
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Greening, Nevland.

Sent Off: Dikgacoi (42).

Booked: Hangeland, Eddie Johnson.

Goals: Murphy 47 pen, Gera 57.

Att: 32,612

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

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