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Saturday, 23 February, 2002, 17:01 GMT
Kanoute strike buries Boro
Middlesbrough's on-loan striker Benito Carbone is tackled by West Ham defender Tomas Repka
Carbone was at the fore of Boro's best moves
West Ham 1-0 Middlesbrough
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West Ham maintained their impressive home record after beating Middlesbrough at Upton Park.

Frederic Kanoute scored the only goal of the game as Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer went AWOL.

It was a game of few chances, but West Ham's greater determination saw them earn another three points as they moved above Steve McClaren's side in the table.

And Boro's misery was compounded when Ugo Ehiogu was sent off just before full-time for a second bookable offence.

I think we are quite entitled to be happy with the three points and I couldn't see them scoring
West Ham boss Glenn Roeder

West Ham, who were without the suspended Paolo di Canio, started the game brightly.

Jermain Defoe exploited Ehiogu's absence from the field for treatment on a facial injury, with a drive that appeared destined for the net.

But former Hammer Paul Ince - who received his customary villain's welcome from the home fans - made a sliding tackle to take the pace off the ball and Schwarzer held onto the shot.

West Ham defender Ian Pearce tangles with Middlesbrough striker Noel Whelan
Pearce returned to the Hammers' defence

Despite playing the opening 10 minutes with only 10 men, due to Ehiogu's injury, Boro could have taken the lead.

Benito Carbone swung in a corner and strike partner Alen Boksic rose, only to glance his header wide.

High on endeavour

Carbone then combined well with Franck Queudrue to create Boro's best chance of the half.

The Italian's crossfield pass released Queudrue, who in turn whipped an excellent ball across David James' six yard-box - but Jonathan Greening could not convert at full stretch.

The Hammers were dealt a blow just before the break when Don Hutchison was carried off after twisting his knee.

However, West Ham showed greater willingness after the interval.

When we were down to 10 men for 10 minutes we looked the better team and were disappointed not to be one or two goals up
Boro boss Steve McClaren

Schwarzer did well to fist clear among a melee of bodies from a John Moncur cross.

The Boro keeper was then forced to scramble the ball around an upright from a Vladimir Labant free-kick after Joe Cole's mazy run across the edge of the area was halted.

Indeed Slovakian Labant, who came on for Hutchison, was in the thick of the action and provided West Ham with a greater attacking threat.

West Ham keeper David James
James kept Boro at bay

Boro were denied the opener on 65 minutes when James saved superbly from Ince.

The ball ran loose after James parried, Noel Whelan retrieved and centred it - only for a glut of West Ham defenders to block out the danger.

But West Ham deservedly took the lead 15 minutes before the end.

Schwarzer raced out of area, putting Boro in deep trouble. Labant then found Kanoute, who took one touch before volleying a fine shot past Gareth Southgate into the back of the net.

West Ham: James, Dailly, Pearce, Repka, Winterburn, Hutchison (Labant 42), Lomas (Garcia 87), Moncur, Cole, Kanoute, Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Hislop, Potts, Kitson.
Booked: Cole, Labant.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Stockdale, Southgate, Ehiogu, Queudrue, Greening (Nemeth 80), Mustoe (Windass 88), Ince, Whelan (Murphy 81), Boksic, Carbone.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Gavin.
Sent Off: Ehiogu (89).
Booked: Stockdale, Ehiogu, Greening, Mustoe, Ince.

Att: 35,420

Referee: C Foy (St. Helens).

BBC Sport's John Southall
"This was hardly a classic"
West Ham 'keeper David James
"It was a vital win"
Middlesbrough's Gareth Southgate
"I would not blame one player"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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