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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 14:23 GMT
West Ham 1-2 Ipswich
Substitute Pablo Counago secured a memorable brace as Ipswich came from a goal down to overcome a ragged West Ham.

Counago, who entered the fray after 58 minutes, won and then converted a 79th-minute penalty before sealing all three points shortly afterwards with a fine piece of individualism.

West Ham striker Jermain Defoe had opened the scoring with a well-taken finish from close range.

Defoel is now poised to serve a five-match ban for his red card at Walsall - his third sending-off of the season.

Referee Scott Mathieson is reviewing evidence of Defoe's dismissal but a ban still looks imminent and, on this evidence, he will badly missed.

Despite an early flurry of Hammers pressure, Ipswich slowly dragged themselves back into the game and finished the first half strongly.

Shefki Kuqi's ambitious 20-yard drive brought the best out of England international goalkeeper David James, who did well to hold on to ball with Darren Bent lurking.

After the restart West Ham emerged a more positive force and on 49 minutes Defoe put Alan Pardew's side ahead.

Marlon Harewood bustled his way past two defenders before lofting a ball that found Defoe in acres of space.

He controlled well before sliding the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle then introduced Counago - Tommy Miller the man giving way - and the little Spaniard's impact was immediate.

Jim Magilton's free-kick found Counago ghosting in at the back post but his glancing header went just over the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards tricky feet completely out-foxed Kevin Horlock whose rash challenge in the penalty area saw referee Barry Knight immediately point to the penalty spot.

Counago dusted himself down before placing his spot-kick into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Nine minutes later, Counago scored the winner.

Martijn Reuser - another substitute, who who replaced Bent after 67 minutes - threaded the ball though to Counago and with the outside of his right foot he flicked it past the helpless James.


West Ham: James, Mullins, Repka, Pearce, Quinn, Harewood, Carrick, Horlock, Etherington, Connolly, Defoe. Subs: Bywater, Hutchison, Ferdinand, Stockdale, Mellor.

Ipswich: Davis, Wilnis, McGreal, Naylor, Richards, Miller, Magilton, Bart-Williams, Wright, Bent, Kuqi. Subs: Abbey, Counago, Santos, Reuser, Westlake.

Referee: B Knight (Kent).



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