Cardiff 0 West Ham 0

Alan Pardew was left still searching for his first win as West Ham manager as Cardiff City made it four successive draws for the Hammers at Ninian Park on Saturday evening.

In a tense and hard-fought clash in Wales, neither side could make the all-important breakthrough, leaving Hammers to reflect on their first goalless encounter of the campaign and Pardew hoping that his first victory now arrives against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur next week.

Just as he had done with Hayden Mullins for the visit of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, the Hammers boss handed an immediate debut to a new arrival, as on-loan defender Robbie Stockdale came straight in at right-back.

That allowed Mullins to push further forward into his favoured central midfield role, with Rob Lee dropping to the substitutes' bench - the only change in personnel following the 1-1 draw against Paul Hart's men in midweek.

Hammers started brightly and Jermain Defoe - the man who tormented Cardiff with a hat-trick in our Carling Cup second round victory a few weeks ago - went close in the fourth minute when he swapped passes with David Connolly and fired in a fizzing left-foot shot that goalkeeper Neil Alexander did well to hold on to.

The visitors were dealt a severe blow moments later, when Connolly pulled up sharply holding his right thigh after shooting from the edge of the penalty area. The Republic of Ireland international attempted to run off the injury but was forced to admit defeat in the 13th minute and was replaced by Neil Mellor.

That setback appeared to halt Hammers' early progress and the hosts pushed forward in hope of making amends for last month's cup exit. The lively Robert Earnshaw was watched carefully by defensive pairing Tomas Repka and Christian Dailly, while winger John Robinson saw a deflected effort superbly kept out by the legs of David James.

Substitute Mellor - sporting a new shaven-headed haircut - then missed a good chance to open the scoring as he screwed his shot wide after being played through by a clever reverse pass from Mullins, before Cardiff striker Gordon wasted an even greater opportunity by heading wide of the post after Vidmar's cross found him in acres of space beyond the poorly-positioned Repka.

The half ended with Michael Carrick and Defoe harshly booked for innocuous fouls, while Pardew was handed more injury woe at the interval when Mullins was forced off after picking up a knock. His place was taken by the veteran Lee and a weakened Hammers side came under greater pressure in the second half.

In the 63rd minute, Earnshaw saw a low shot well saved by James, while Robinson came closest to breaking the deadlock when he crashed an effort against the post four minutes later. Thankfully the ball rebounded to safety.

After weathering the storm, Hammers then began to fight back and Carrick strode forward to unleash a blistering right-foot volley that flew inches wide of the post, while Lee saw a left-foot shot tipped over by Alexander.

In the last five minutes, sub Anton Ferdinand got in a block that fell kindly to Defoe, who fired home from 10 yards out, but the linesman's raised flag thwarted his hopes of silencing Ninian Park for the second time in just over a month.

In the end, Hammers were forced to settle for yet another point, but Pardew will be happy with a disciplined performance against a team with an impressive home record and can now turn his attention to a taste of the Premiership against Spurs in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night.

By Danny Francis