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The BBC's Steve Lee
"A truly amazing match"
 real 28k

Saturday, 12 February, 2000, 18:07 GMT
Hammers win nine-goal epic

Turning point: Hislop is felled with a broken leg

West Ham 5-4 Bradford

West Ham triumphed in one of the most remarkable Premiership games of the season, as Frank Lampard wrapped up victory with a goal seven minutes from time in a thrilling see-saw contest.

That game is what it's all about for supporters. They come to be entertained and they certainly got their money's worth today. It was a magnificent game.
Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp's men looked to be down and out when they trailed Bradford 4-2 with 25 minutes left.

But the attack-minded East Enders kept pushing forward and they were rewarded for their determined efforts with all three points.

Struggling Bradford, who were desperate for victory as they looked to continue their doughty fight against relegation, had forced their way into a winning position largely because of West Ham's ill luck.

Goal fever
30 mins: 0-1 (Windass)
35: 1-1 (Sinclair)
43: 2-1 (Moncur)
44: 2-2 (Beagrie, pen)
47: 2-3 (Lawrence)
51: 2-4 (Lawrence)
65: 3-4 (Di Canio, pen)
70: 4-4 (Cole)
83: 5-4 (Lampard)
The moment that turned a potentially mundane match into an unforgettable one came after just five minutes when Shaka Hislop suffered a suspected broken leg.

The Hammers keeper collapsed in agony in a seemingly innocuous clash with Dean Saunders and was led off the pitch.

With Hislop's deputy Craig Forrest away on international duty with Canada, Redknapp was forced to bring on teenager Stephen Bywater.

The rookie keeper suffered a nightmare debut, conceding sloppy goals to hand the advantage to the visitors.

But West Ham were not be denied and the goals kept coming in an action-packed second half.

Nine in a rush

The may have been nine goals in all, but the crowd had to wait a third of the match to witness the first of them.

A furious Paolo Di Canio has a penalty appeal turned down
Bradford went ahead after 30 minutes when they exploited Bywater's nerves, Dean Windass heading home a Peter Beagrie corner with the keeper rooted to his line.

And the opening goal sparked a flurry of scoring, Trevor Sinclair netting from 10 yards after fine work from Lampard, before John Moncur gave West Ham the lead with a long-range strike.

Within seconds Moncur had been transformed from hero to villain when he shoved Saunders in the area and Beagrie finished from the spot to make it 2-2 at half-time.

Jamie at double

There was more to come after the break as Jamie Lawrence scored twice in four minutes to give Bradford an unlikely two-goal lead.

Shaka Hislop's broken his leg - and that's a massive blow for us. The kid (Stephen Bywater) came on and it was really difficult from him, but he'll learn from the experience and go on to be a top-class keeper.
Harry Redknapp
Bywater should have comfortably kept out the first effort, but he spilled Gunnar Halle's shot and Lawrence pounced to find the back of the net.

And for the second the keeper was beaten by a neat chip as he idled off his line.

West Ham surged on, though, and with substitute Paul Kitson introduced to a three-man attack they forced their way back into the contest.

Kitson was brought down in the area and, after an unseemly tussle for the ball with regular penalty-taker Lampard, Di Canio converted the spot-kick.

Teenage midfielder Joe Cole pressed his claims for an England call-up when he levelled the scores 20 minutes from the end, firing home after a brilliant solo run.

Just when the game looked headed for a mind-boggling 4-4 draw, Lampard had the final word with a spectacular winning strike.


West Ham: Hislop, Charles, Ferdinand, Stimac, Lomas, Moncur, Lampard, Cole, Minto, Di Canio, Sinclair.
Subs: Bywater, Keller, Carrick, Potts, Kitson.

Bradford: Davison, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs, Lawrence, McCall, Whalley, Beagrie, Windass, Saunders.
Subs: Southall, Blake, Sharpe, Redfearn, Dreyer.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)
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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.