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BBC Sport's John Motson
"It could have been much better"
 real 14k

Coventry's John Hartson
reflects on his debut
 real 14k

Monday, 12 February, 2001, 21:59 GMT
Last-gasp Coventry deny Hammers
Frederic Kanoute
West Ham's Kanoute is challenged by Breen
West Ham 1-1 Coventry

A last-minute own goal from West Ham defender Christian Dailly handed Coventry a vital point at Upton Park.

The Scottish international headed a corner into his own net with just moments remaining.

West Ham thought they had won the game when Joe Cole capped a fine individual performance by scoring in the 83rd minute.

On the balance of play the Hammers deserved victory, as they dominated the second-half and had a flurry of chances.

But Coventry even had a chance to win the game with the final action of the match, when debutant John Hartson appeared to be brought down inside the area by Stuart Pearce.

Impressive Hartson

The Hammers almost went ahead after just a minute.

Paolo di Canio, back in the side after illness, hit the ball over Coventry's defence and Frederic Kanoute collected.

It could have been a penalty, for sure, but the game should have been dead and buried for us by then
  Harry Redknapp
West Ham manager
The gangly Frenchman volleyed fiercely from inside the area, but Hedman parried well.

Coventry quickly responded and seemed inspired by new signing Hartson, who proved a focal point for their play.

He held the ball up well, was a threat in the air and linked up well with international colleague Craig Bellamy.

And after 12 minutes he should have been celebrating his first goal for the Sky Blues.

He sent an emphatic volley into the net from a delicious Hadji cross, but the linesman flagged Bellamy, even though he was not interfering with play.

Di Canio close

While Hartson was Coventry's shining light, Cole was the inspiration for West Ham.

He was the Hammers' most potent goal threat, and after 40 minutes effortlessly evaded David Thompson before unleashing a searing shot that went just wide of the post.

Just minutes after the restart, di Canio came closest of all to scoring.

When you see John Hartson's name on a team sheet it's respect, and he's got the respect of our players instantly
  Gordon Strachan
Coventry manager
He beat Quinn and hit a rising left-footed shot from inside the area that clattered the crossbar and fell to safety.

West Ham largely dominated the second half and had a flurry of chances midway through it.

First they had a good claim for a penalty turned down when Barry Quinn appeared to handle in the area.

Late penalty claim

Then Kanoute set up Tihinen, who headed the ball goalward but saw his effort cleared off the line by Carsley.

Kanoute got in front of Breen and should have done better with his half-volley shot.

With seven minutes to go, West Ham got the goal that their pressure deserved.

Winterburn broke down the left, hit a ball across the face of goal and Cole was at the far post to sidefoot home.

Then at the death, West Ham were denied three points when Dailly unluckily headed past his own keeper Craig Forrest when under pressure from Eustace.

Moments later Hartson had a strong penalty claim turned down when he seemed to be brought down by Stuart Pearce inside the area, but the game ended level.

West Ham: Forrest, Schemmel, Dailly, Tihinen, Stuart Pearce, Winterburn, Carrick, Cole, Lampard, Di Canio, Kanoute. Subs: Bywater, Soma, Song, Ian Pearce, Camara.

Coventry: Hedman, Shaw, Breen, Quinn, Hadji, Thompson, Carsley, Eustace, Hall, Bellamy, Hartson. Subs: Kirkland, Edworthy, Chippo, Telfer, Bothroyd.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).

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See also:

13 Feb 01 |  Photo Galleries
West Ham v Coventry - in pictures
12 Feb 01 |  Eng Prem
Clockwatch: West Ham 1-1 Coventry
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