Post Match Comments
Audio Match ReportSaturday 30th September 2000
FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Referee: M Dean WEST HAM1Cole 26 BRADFORD1Petrescu 90HISLOP S PEARCE STIMAC FERDINAND WINTERBURN SINCLAIR LOMAS COLE KANOUTE DI CANIO CARRICK Subs: BYWATER POTTS MONCUR DIAWARA MARGAS CLARKE ATHERTON WHALLEY (46) WETHERALL LAWRENCE MCCALL CARBONE WINDASS JACOBS (59) WARD PETRESCU Subs: DAVISON HALLE (75) BEAGRIE SHARPE GRANT Hammers boss Harry Redknapp was furious with the 90th minute equalizer that allowed Bradford a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Upton Park.
And he blasted Trevor Sinclair for going on the goal line when Benito Carbone planted the free-kick onto Dan Petrescu's head. He also criticized Igor Stimac for conceding the free-kick just outside the box when he fouled David Wetherall.
"Trevor went on the back post for some reason," he said, "perhaps because he thinks Carbone is going to curl it in from 35 yards.
"It was a silly free-kick to give away in a dangerous area and it cost us the game. It was an absolute waste after a fantastic first half performance."
It was by far the most emotional Harry has been after a Press Conference since the start of the season, and he admitted:
"It's a bad time for me and it will take some time to recover from. We are all distraught."
The game was in some ways an echo of Walsall earlier in the week, when a good first half performance was followed by a below par second half.
Harry said: "Bradford didn't have a shot on goal and we battered them, but we missed chance after chance and then gave a scrappy goal away. In the second half young Michael hit the post and then put one over when he should have scored. And we should have been 4-0 up at half time.
"We were getting edgy at 1-0 but there were still no signs of them scoring."
Even Bradford manager, Chris Hutchings admitted:
"Sometimes you have to ride your luck."
The Petrescu sickener cancelled out a superb headed goal from Joe Cole on twenty six minutes after Freddie Kanoute rode past three challenges to deliver a cross from the byline.
But what Chris Hutchings' side lacks in guile they make up for in spirit, and their £1million Romanian summer signing stole in to secure a valuable point with only seconds remaining.
The result was harsh on West Ham, who had been on the verge of their first home win since April, as they controlled the game from start to finish. However Harry Redknapp's men only have themselves to blame.
In the opening stages it was all claret and blue with good chances for Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick. But the home side almost gifted Bradford a first goal on their travels this season following some woeful play.
Igor Stimac's back-pass fell desperately short of goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and the Croatian watched nervously as the 'keeper blocked skilfully from Ashley Ward's shot. Hislop then showed great reactions to get back on his line in time to comfortably save Benito Carbone's follow-up.
Bradford made four changes to the side that thrashed Darlington earlier in the week, Matt Clarke, Dan Petrescu, Stuart McCall and David Wetherall all returning, while Trevor Sinclair replaced the injured Frank Lampard for the Hammers, while Rio Ferdinand took Javier Margas' place.
It was Cole's second goal in a week and the perfect way to celebrate his inclusion in Kevin Keegan's party for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland.
And it will, no doubt, strengthen the claims for the prodigious talent to be thrust into the firing line next Saturday at Wembley.
Spurred on by the goal, the Hammers began displaying some party tricks in the first half with Cole, di Canio and Kanoute all showing superb touches in a flowing move that ended with Steve Lomas' shot blocked in the nick of time by Wayne Jacobs.
In the second half Carbone almost made the home side pay for their profligacy with a deflected shot that sailed only inches past Hislop's post, a shot that many Bradford fans at the far end thought had gone in.
But with the last kick of normal time the almost inevitable happened as the Bantams snatched the equaliser.
Everyone expected Carbone to go for goal with a free-kick just 25 yards out but instead he chipped the ball over the wall for Petrescu to head home unchallenged and stun the home crowd.
Kanoute managed to hit the back of the net in injury time but it was ruled out for off-side, guaranteeing another frustrating journey home for the Hammers faithful who have now not seen their team win at Upton Park in seven attempts.
UNDER 19S GRAB VICTORY
It wasn't all doom and gloom at the weekend - West Ham U19s won 2-1 at Charlton with Daniel Sjolund and Jermain Defoe grabbing the goals. Former Charlton player Defoe also missed a penalty