West Ham United 5 Bradford City 4
Sinclair 35, Moncur 43, Windass 30, Beagrie 44 (pen),
Di Canio 65 (pen), Cole 70, Lawrence 47, 51
FA Carling Premiership, Saturday 12 February 2000
West Ham United: Hislop, Charles, Ferdinand, Stimac, Lomas, Moncur, Lampard, Cole, Minto, Di Canio, Sinclair.
Subs: Bywater, Keller, Carrick, Potts, Kitson.
Bradford City: Davison, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs, Lawrence, McCall, Whalley, Beagrie, Windass, Saunders.
Subs: Southall, Blake, Sharpe, Redfearn, Dreyer.
West Ham United triumphed in one of the most remarkable games in both Premier League and Boleyn Ground history, edging out Bradford City by the odd goal in nine in February 2000.
The Hammers came from 4-2 down to score a thrilling 5-4 victory in a match that saw Paolo Di Canio and Academy starlets Joe Cole and Frank Lampard inspire a dramatic late comeback.
Harry Redknapp’s entertainers trailed 1-0, led 2-1, fell 4-2 down and then finally pulled off an amazing win when Lampard – who had previously argued with Di Canio before the Italian netted the penalty which made the score 3-4 – scored with seven minutes to go.
“That game is what it's all about for supporters,” said Hammers manager Redknapp. “They come to be entertained and they certainly got their money's worth today. It was a magnificent game.”
Relegation-threatened Bradford gave their all in a see-saw contest, which began with Hammers goalkeeper Shaka Hislop being stretchered off with a broken leg after an accidental clash with Dean Saunders, to be replaced by young debutant Stephen Bywater.
On half-an-hour, the teenager was beaten by a Dean Windass header, before Trevor Sinclair levelled. John Moncur then put West Ham ahead with a long-range shot, only to concede a penalty a minute later, which Peter Beagrie netted to make it 2-2 before half-time.
Within six minutes of the second half starting, the Bantams were two goals ahead through Jamie Lawrence’s quickfire double.
Redknapp’s men looked to be down and out when they trailed Bradford 4-2 with 25 minutes left, but the attack-minded Hammers kept pushing forward and they were rewarded for their efforts with all three points.
On 65 minutes, substitute Paul Kitson was fouled inside the penalty area and Lampard prepared to take the spot-kick. However, Di Canio insisted he should take it instead, and an argument ensued before the Italian forward placed the ball and beat Aidan Davison from 12 yards.
Five minutes later, teenage midfielder Cole strengthened his claims for an England call-up when he levelled the scores 20 minutes from the end, firing home after a brilliant solo run before burying himself in the crowd in celebration.
It was left to another Academy product, Lampard, to have the final say, firing home a spectacular winner on 83 minutes to send the Boleyn Ground wild.