Hammers held by Sunderland

West Ham United 0-0 Sunderland
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United and Sunderland battled out a 0-0 draw at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Neither team could find a route to goal as the chance to move three points clear of the bottom three passed the Hammers by.

It was the Black Cats who went closest to winning it when Phil Bardsley's long range effort thudded against the crossbar, while the hosts had the ball in the net before the break only for Guy Demel's effort to be disallowed.

Ravel Morrison returned from suspension to replace Kevin Nolan, who was starting a three-match ban of his own following his red card at Liverpool last week.

A couple of half chances came and went for the Hammers in the opening five minutes, first Modibo Maiga shooting wide after Mo Diame crossed low from the left, then the same player headed back across goal with Matt Jarvis just unable to make a telling touch.

Jozy Altodore forced a save from Jussi Jaaskelainen after he found himself in the clear all of a sudden, while home celebrations were cut short on 21 minutes when Guy Demel's scrambled finish was ruled out for a push.

Sunderland began to grow into the contest as the half wore on and were a whisker away from taking the lead in fine style on 35 minutes when his long range shot crashed against the crossbar and away to safety.

Emanuele Giaccherini had a shot deflected behind by Guy Demel towards the end of the first half, and Lee Cattermole drew a flying save from Jaaskelainen with the last kick before the break.

Sunderland looked the more threatening at the start of the second period, although clear cut chances were few and far between.

Giaccherini fired off target after being teed up just outside the area, then Jaaskelainen was called into action to dive down to his right and save from Altidore after he found space inside the box.

The Hammers introduced Jack Collison and Carlton Cole from the bench as they looked for more thrust in their attacking play and the former poked wide on 71 minutes after Maiga laid off to him on the edge of the area.

Jaaskelainen had to stand firm to repel Ki Sung-Yueng when he blasted for goal from close range 12 minutes from the end, while Vito Mannone had to backpedal to touch George McCartney's cross-shot over, but neither team could find the killer touch where it mattered.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel (O'Brien 58), Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Morrison, Noble, Diame; J.Cole (C.Cole 75), Maiga, Jarvis (Collison 56)
Subs: Adrian, Rat, Taylor, Diarra

Booked: Noble

Sunderland: Mannone; Celustka, O'Shea, Brown, Bardsley (Dossena 82); Cattermole, Ki; Giaccherini, Larsson, Borini (Johnson 73); Altidore (Fletcher 73)
Subs: Pickford, Cabral, Gardner, Roberge

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 31,843