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Match Report
West Ham Utd vs Tottenham
 1 - 1 
Date: 
25/11/2007
Venue: 
Boleyn Ground
Attendance: 
34,966
Referee: 
Mike Riley
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Robert Green's third penalty save of the season ensured West Ham United made it six games unbeaten and prevented Tottenham Hotspur from recording their first away win of the campaign.

Having made spot-kick stops at Reading and Portsmouth already, the West Ham United goalkeeper showed the home fans what he could do with a dramatic save from former striker Jermain Defoe in added time. After Carlton Cole's third goal of the season had earlier been wiped out by Michael Dawson midway through the second half, a draw was the very least that Alan Curbishley's side deserved after Paul Robinson had pulled off some defiant late saves.

Back at the beginning of March, Tottenham's cruel stoppage-time 4-3 win had deepened West Ham United's relegation fears. But, 266 days on, Curbishley's buoyant side came into today's match in tenth spot - boosted by their best away triumph for 45 years and the recovery of a quartet of fit-again stars.

Following that fantastic 5-0 victory at Derby County a fortnight ago, the Boleyn Ground boss welcomed back central midfielders Mark Noble and Hayden Mullins in place of the suspended Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Spector, who took his place on the bench alongside the recovered duo of Dean Ashton and Scott Parker.

With the hosts wearing black armbands in memory of Graham Paddon, the 1975 FA Cup-winning midfielder would certainly have approved of the early exchanges in this predictably frenetic London derby. Indeed, there were early bookings for Didier Zakora and Cole for challenges on Danny Gabbidon and Gareth Bale - who had returned in place of Young-Pyo Lee - while the busy Mike Riley also ruled out Aaron Lennon's early strike for offside.

Although Spurs - in 14th spot - had started brightly, West Ham United took the lead on 20 minutes, when the ball ricocheted off Younes Kaboul into the path of Luis Boa Morte, 25 yards out. With the home fans amongst the 34,966 crowd baying for the Portuguese striker to go for goal, Boa Morte waited patiently to play in the overlapping Nolberto Solano, who calmly squared the ball into danger zone, where the unmarked Cole stroked the ball beyond Robinson.

With the claret and blue supporters still celebrating that opener, West Ham United quickly went in search of a second and after a fine, free-flowing move climaxed with Mullins forcing the Spurs goalkeeper to save his low shot, Robinson then used his knees to deny Boa Morte's scorching close-range effort. Then Dimitar Berbatov slashed over at the far post, before Matthew Etherington just could not get enough power on his header as the half-hour mark approached.

Just before the break, Robbie Keane broke clear and lobbed the advancing Robert Green, who then appeared to catch the visiting captain. The Spurs' striker's annoyance at seeing the ball bounce wide of the left-hand upright from 12 yards was compounded by referee Mike Riley waving away his appeal for a penalty.

Pascal Chimbonda was cautioned at the start of the second half for dissent alongside Dawson, who tripped Boa Morte as he carved into the heart of the visitors' defence. Having seen both Steed Malbranque and Bale fail to seriously test Green during the opening ten minutes, Juande Ramos soon introduced Darren Bent in place of Kaboul.

Curbishley responded by replacing Parker with the tiring Noble but, within minutes of the fresh-legged midfielder's arrival, Spurs drew level when Jermaine Jenas whipped a 66th-minute free-kick towards the crowded penalty spot. Dawson rose in front of the advancing Green to glance a looping header into the net.

West Ham United responded by sending on Ashton for Boa Morte, while Keane was replaced by former Boleyn Ground striker Defoe, who quickly joined Gabbidon and Etherington in the book for throwing the ball away. A brilliant save from Green prevented Malbranque's thunderbolt from giving Spurs the lead with a quarter-hour remaining, but in the closing minutes Robinson was the man under pressure when he pulled off two full length saves to deny both Parker and Ashton, while a George McCartney header was cleared off the line.

Then, in added time, Defoe tumbled under the challenge of Lucas Neill and, after dusting himself down, he looked set to give Spurs another last-gasp win. Green had other ideas as he dived low to his left to pull off that hat-trick of penalty stops.

West Ham United: Green, Neill (c), Gabbidon, Upson, McCartney, Solano (Spector 81), Noble (Parker 63), Mullins, Etherington, Boa Morte (Boa Morte 72), Cole
Subs: Wright, Collins

Tottenham Hotspur: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, Kaboul (Bent 54), Bale, Malbranque, Zokora, Jenas, Lennon, Berbatov, Keane (c) (Defoe 78)
Subs: Cerny, Lee, Boateng

Carlton Cole (Action Images)
Carlton Cole got the goal his play deserved
 Match Stats
 
  West Ham Tottenham
Goals : 1 1
Possession : 58% 42%
Shots On Target : 9 5
Shots Off Target : 5 4
Corners : 7 8
Fouls : 33 5
Most Fouls : Cole (8) Zokora (2)
Yellow Cards : 3 4
Red Cards : 0 0
 
Scorers :
Cole 20
Dawson 67
 
 Team Line Ups :
 
Robert Green   
Lucas Neill   
Danny Gabbidon   
Matthew Upson   
George McCartney   
Nolberto Solano 82
Hayden Mullins   
Mark Noble 63
Matthew Etherington   
Carlton Cole   
Luis Boa Morte 72
 
Substitutes :
 
Richard Wright   
Scott Parker 63
Dean Ashton 72
Jonathan Spector 82
James Collins   
 
 
   Paul Robinson
   Pascal Chimbonda
   Michael Dawson
54 Younes Kaboul
   Gareth Bale
   Aaron Lennon
   Jermaine Jenas
   Didier Zokora
   Steed Malbranque
   Dimitar Berbatov
78 Robbie Keane
 
 
 
   Radek Cerny
   Young-Pyo Lee
   Kevin-Prince Boateng
54 Darren Bent
78 Jermain Defoe
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