West Ham V Sheffield Wednesday

Post Match Comments
Audio Match ReportWednesday 29th November 2000
Upton Park
Referee: P Danson
WEST HAM1Lampard 72 SHEFF WED2Keane 8, Ferdinand 47HISLOPSTIMACS.PEARCEWINTERBURNLOMASCARRICKSINCLAIRLAMPARDKANOUTESONGDi CANIOSubs:MONCURBYWATERSUKER(71)KELLERPOTTSPRESSMANLESCOTTWALKERWESTWOODSIBONCRANEHASLAMGEARYQUINNMORRISONEKOKU Subs:BOOTH(70)HAMSHAWDe PIEDISTRINGERHUMPHREYSDespite a glut of chances, West Ham missed out on a trip to Birmingham City in the last eight of the Worthington Cup when the went down 2-1 in front of a capacity Upton Park crowd. A very disappointed Harry Redknapp said:

"Well you can't miss that amount of chances, can you? If you have chance after chance you have to stick them away and you can't afford to give away silly goals. We missed some great opportunities."

Song, making his debut after signing for West Ham on Monday, received a very warm welcome from the Upton Park fans and Harry said of his performance:

"Song did alright. It was his first game. The first goal he tucked round just too far and his position was wrong."

"Every time you lose, it's disappointing. We've been in great form recently, having only lost one game in the last thirteen. We could've been 3 up in the first 10 minutes.

"To give that first goal away was bad defending. Then suddenly to go 2-0 down was very disappointing.

"Freddie had lots of chances. He just missed the header in the last minute when he was 6 yards out, but I'm not blaming him. Trevor Sinclair also had two great chances with headers which he would normally put away.

"We got in some great positions but we just didn't finish tonight".

And, when asked about Hayden Foxe and the quest to get him permission to play in this country, Harry said:

"It is a scandal and a disgrace that we haven't got it yet but I will take it to court or anywhere I have got to take it. "I'm not going to let this one die. He's Australian, he's in the Commonwealth. They fought the war with us. I know that might sound like bollocks to you but we let foreign people in who have no allegiance to the country.

"How did Brad Friedl get a work permit when he wasn't even allowed in the country originally.

"I've got so much faith in him, I've offered him a fabulous four year contract on good money.

"Wrexham have got tuppence halfpenny players from abroad and Forest got a player in on loan. The whole system is crooked and it's all about who you know and who can pull the strings".

Owen Morrison came up with a cool finish just before the half-hour to give Sheffield Wednesday a shock half-time lead over West Ham in tonight's Worthington Cup fourth-round tie at Upton Park.Paolo di Canio proved a thorn in the side of his former club Sheffield Wednesday as West Ham went in search of a place in the Worthington Cup quarter-finals at Upton Park tonight.

The Italian striker wrong-footed the Wednesday defence after just 40 seconds with a superb ball into the box for Frank Lampard.

It looked a certain goal as Lampard had only goalkeeper Kevin Pressman, but he slotted his shot from the right-hand edge of the six-yard box inches past the far post.

Di Canio was of course a cult figure at Hillsborough until his infamous push on referee Paul Alcock, which signalled the end of his career at Wednesday. He was then snapped up by Hammers boss Harry Redknapp and has since become a hero for West Ham instead.

The home side kept up that early pressure and Frederic Kanoute went close from crosses from either flank.

Kanoute is another favourite with the Hammers fans, and he gave them a major boost yesterday by signing an extension to his contract which will keep him at Upton Park until 2005.

The contract also removed the clause which said he could leave if another club bid a certain amount of money for him.

On the subject of heroes, this was the first home game since Rio Ferdinand's £18million move to Leeds, and he was replaced in defence by new £2.5million signing Rigobert Song, from Liverpool.

Song endeared himself to the capacity crowd inside three minutes, with a powerful run down the right flank, winning a free-kick when he was pulled down by Derek Geary.

West Ham had another good chance after nine minutes during a scramble in the Wednesday box.

Di Canio's sliced shoot was going wide until Trevor Sinclair pulled the ball back across the face of goal, and Lampard was denied by a good saving tackle at the far post by Steve Haslam.

A minute later, a free-kick 30 yards from goal was tapped short to Lampard, but he drove his shot wide of Pressman's left post.

Wednesday, who are fifth from bottom of the First Division after being relegated from the Premiership last season, were struggling to keep up with resurgent West Ham.

After 15 minutes they won a free-kick which was lofted into the box, but Stuart Pearce cleared with a powerful header.

West Ham won a corner after 19 minutes and di Canio's cross saw Igor Stimac head over the bar.

West Ham had plenty of possession but could not make it count.

They won a corner on the right after 20 minutes, and Sinclair headed di Canio's cross wide when he should have at least hit the target.

The same set-piece eight minutes later saw Kanoute rise highest. But he failed to make contact with Di Canio's cross, and Pearce headed wide as he ran in behind the Frenchman.

Wednesday stunned the Hammers when they took a shock lead after 29 minutes, completely against the run of play.

A long clearance was flicked on by the head of Efan Ekoku into the right-back channel, and Song went missing.

That left top scorer Morrison in yards of space, and he coolly slipped the ball between Shaka Hislop's legs to record his sixth goal of the season.

It was Wednesday's first shot on target, but how the young striker made it count.

Morrison was unlucky not to double the visitors' advantage two minutes later as West Ham were suddenly rocking.

He unleashed a fierce snap shot from 20 yards which Hislop did well to push on to his crossbar before pouncing on the rebound.

A minute later di Canio won a free-kick on the left-hand edge of the box after being obstructed but he disappointingly drove the ball into the wall.

Nigel Winterburn - who scored his first goal for the club at Leeds less than a fortnight ago - then took it upon himself to try and pull something out of the bag.

He raced down the left and drove in a shot which was a couple of yards wide.

Winterburn made another good run after 41 minutes. But when he pulled the ball back it was behind di Canio and Wednesday cleared.

West Ham kept up the pressure, and Lampard sent in a low shot from 20 yards which lacked the pace to trouble Pressman.

Play was halted after Lampard appeared to pole-axe Morrison, but the referee kept his cards in his pocket - which was clearly a let-off for the midfielder.HT West Ham 0 Sheff Wed 1

Wednesday took a giant step towards pulling off a major shock when they scored again just three minutes into the second half.

They won their first corner of the match on the left flank, and when Morrison curled the ball into the box Ashley Westwood rose unchallenged to head the ball over Hislop and into the net - although the official announcer credited the goal to Tony Crane who had jumped with his team-mate.

It was only Wednesday's second effort on target. But again Paul Jewell's men made it count, leaving the Hammers fans to reflect on the fact that maybe life is not so grand without Rio after all.

West Ham needed to respond quickly if they were to avoid crashing out of a competition which offers them a realistic chance of a trophy and a route into Europe - and they forced three chances in as many minutes.

First after 52 minutes Sinclair was denied by a great block tackle from Geary.

Two minutes later, Winterburn picked out the same player with a cross from the byline - but Sinclair headed wide of the far post.

Moments later Michael Carrick chipped the ball into the box for Kanoute, but he scooped his shot on to the roof of the net.

As tempers flared, Gerald Sibon was booked after 64 minutes for a foul on Pearce - who chased him along the touchline.

That lit the fuse for a flare-up a minute later which started with captain Steve Lomas reacting to a foul on him.

Di Canio headed the melee which saw 22 players squaring up on the edge of the Wednesday box, and at the end of it referee Paul Danson booked the fiery Italian, Crane and Alan Quinn.

Pearce drilled the free-kick over the wall, but Pressman held it.

Lampard gave West Ham a lifeline when he pulled a goal back after 71 minutes, meeting a pass from Kanoute squeezing a well-placed half-volley past Pressman.

The Hammers laid siege to the Wednesday goal, and Kanoute should have equalised in the final seconds but glanced his header wide.

The Owls held out and West Ham's history of cup exits at the hands of lower division clubs haunted them once again.

Intro: Owen Morrison and Ashley Westwood scored the goals which gave Sheffield Wednesday a shock Worthington Cup victory over West Ham at Upton Park.

Frank Lampard pulled a goal back, but it was not enough to stop the Premiership side from crashing out at the hands of their First Division opponents.