Pards: Defenders won the day

It may have been a disappointing, potential dress rehearsal for an FA Cup semi-final in three weeks time, but it also proved to be an afternoon when the centre-halves won the day over the centre-forwards.

"It was a very tight game and the defenders were terrific today against strikers who have been terrific all season," observed Alan Pardew following Hammers' goalless draw against Charlton Athletic.

"It was a match in which both teams showed some good honest endeavour but, unfortunately, that one little spark didn't come today and sometimes that happens."

Hammers came closest to breaking the deadlock through 40th birthday boy Teddy Sheringham.

However, Norwegian 'keeper Thomas Myhre proved the party-pooper with a fantastic 83rd-minute save that denied the Hammers' substitute a right East End knees up.

"Teddy did well when I brought him on," continued Pards, who introduced the 51-times capped England striker for the restart in place of Dean Ashton. "Deano is a heavily-set guy and with three trips to the North-West on the back of a big move to the Premiership, there was a seed in my mind that he was perhaps a bit jaded.

"It was hard technical chance for Teddy but he jinked his body and still managed to force a fantastic save from Thomas Myhre."

But while he was quick to praise Charlton's Norwegian 'keeper, Pards was not so complimentary about match official Rob Styles.

"I've just reminded the referee that we have all got a responsibility to put on entertainment here and I just felt that he hadn't encouraged Charlton Athletic to get going today," revealed Pards following a post-match chat with the man in black.

"In the second half, when we were trying to force the goal, he could have helped to encourage the fans and he could have tried to get some tempo into the match, too, yet he never made one gesture towards achieving that. I've just made my point to him, that's all!"