Hammers Fight Back At Millmoor


WEST Ham United have come back to earn a 2-2 draw against Rotherham United at Millmoor, having trailed the Millers 2-0 at half-time.

A determined second-half fight back was rounded off by two penalties, converted by Teddy Sheringham and Marlon Harewood, to earn Alan Pardew's side a point.

Gavin Williams came in to make his full debut for the Hammers, with Luke Chadwick dropping to the bench while Hayden Mullins was recalled to start his first game since receiving a red card against Brighton, injured Anton Ferdinand making way.

A bright start to the game saw Rotherham put the ball in the net after only three minutes. Andy Monkhouse crossed for Junior to head in at the far post, but referee Iain Williamson was quick to rule the goal out for a foul on Malky Mackay.

Searching for their first ever win at Millmoor, West Ham went close through Marlon Harewood before Lomas hit a stinging 25 yard drive straight at Millers goalkeeper Mike Pollitt.

But, with just 11 minutes played, Alan Pardew's men fell behind. Andy Monkhouse's ball over the top found Martin Butler, who chested the ball down before planting a cool finish past Stephen Bywater.

West Ham responded well to going behind, Marlon Harewood especially. He fashioned a great chance to equalise on 25 minutes, bringing Sheringham's knock-down under control and shooting on the turn only to see his effort smothered by Pollitt.

The game was played in excellent spirit, both sides contributing to the hectic pace that saw the ball seesaw between penalty areas.

Sadly for the Hammers, captain Steve Lomas was forced off injured with just half an hour played, Luke Chadwick coming on to replace the Northern Ireland midfielder and Gavin Williams moving in to central midfield.

Chadwick was straight into the action terrorising Rotherham left-back Paul Hurst before whipping in a cross that Martin McIntosh did well to head clear.

Hammers best chance of the half came on 35 minutes. Matty Etherington picked out Tomas Repka from a corner and his bulleted header was magnificently tipped onto the post by Pollitt.

But the Hammers efforts to get back into the match were undone just three minutes later when Rotherham made it 2-0. Monkhouse's corner from the left sparked a goalmouth scramble, and after Reo-Coker had cleared off the line the ball was flighted into the Hammers area again for Millers captain McIntosh to head home.

Teddy Sheringham sent a 20 yard shot whistling over the Rotherham crossbar late on but the Hammers left the pitch at half-time with a lot of work to do.

HT: 0-2

Alan Pardew's men came out for the second-half in need of some inspiration. But it was Rotherham who began the half better, Campbell-Ryce shooting wide before Junior weaved his way past Hammers defence and was brought down by Nigel Reo-Coker. The England Under-21 midfielder received a booking and the resulting free-kick was blocked by the West Ham wall.

But, with dogged determination, Alan Pardew's men did start to force their way back into the game.

On 54 minutes Teddy Sheringham was foiled by another Pollitt save, the Rotherham goalkeeper blocking Teddy's far post header before Reo-Coker lifted his follow-up effort over.

Ten minutes later though, Pollitt suddenly became the villain of the piece. Harewood latched onto Sheringham's precise through-ball, shimmied to the right of Pollitt before being tripped by the goalkeeper's desperate lunge at the ball.

Sheringham stepped up to take the spot-kick and planted it low to Pollitt's left. Suddenly the Hammers had a lifeline, and they were determined to take it.

So determined that they were level just five minutes later. This time it was Sheringham darting into the hosts penalty area before being brought down by Rotherham goalscorer McIntosh.

Once again referee Williamson pointed to the spot, but this time it was Marlon Harewood who assumed responsibility for the penalty. The 25-year-old striker had to contend with a delay while the officials contained a heated argument on the edge of the penalty area.

But Marlon kept his cool to fire the spot-kick high into the net, giving Pollitt no chance. As the players gathered for the restart, Sheringham led Alan Pardew's team in a rousing huddle.

Sheringham was replaced by Bobby Zamora soon after, but the rejuvenated Hammers still swept forward in droves. Minutes after scoring, Harewood sprung the Rotherham offside trap and was left with just the goalkeeper to beat, but Pollitt came out to block well with his legs.

Chadwick then went close to snatching all three points for the Hammers, sprinting onto Etherington's pass and hooking in a shot on the run that flashed across the Rotherham goal.

Despite laying siege to the Rotherham goal, West Ham couldn't complete their magnificent comeback with a winner. But the Hammers could be more than satisfied with their second-half's work, coming back to earn their first ever League point at Millmoor.