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Saturday, 19 October, 2002, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Sinclair flattens Black Cats
Trevor Sinclair (right) and Matthew Carrick celebrate at the Stadium of Light
Sinclair (right) got the only goal of the game
Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

Trevor Sinclair ensured Howard Wilkinson's first game as Sunderland manager ended in defeat as West Ham picked up the three points at the Stadium of Light.

The former Sunderland target netted in the opening half with a fine strike from Paolo di Canio's floated pass.


It's probably going to take me four or five weeks to get things the way I want
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson

And the Hammers did enough to hang on for the win which sees them climb off the bottom of the Premiership table.

Wilkinson had made six changes to the side that lost against Arsenal - dropping record signing Tore Andre Flo and Julio Arca.

Kevin Phillips was back after a six-week lay-off in a new-look partnership with Marcus Stewart.

But the closest Willkinson's side came to finding the target was when Niall Quinn hit the post.

  Key incidents
23 mins: Sinclair breaks the deadlock for West Ham
51 mins: Sunderland find the net but the 'goal' is wiped out for offside

The game was won by a single goal scored as early as the 23rd minute.

With the home side still claiming a free-kick from Joe Cole's tangle with Matthew Piper, West Ham broke.

Di Canio's long ball released Sinclair, who did well to control the ball before firing a right-foot shot which scraped under the crossbar past Jurgen Macho.


We didn't make too many chances, but it was a fantastic piece of skill by Paulo di Canio to set up the goal
West Ham manager Glenn Roeder

Sunderland - who have now scored only four goals in 10 games - struggled to create anything from open play.

Their best chances came from set pieces - Craddock twice getting on the end of corners.

The home side came to life in the 36th minute when Stephen Wright crossed following a surging run, but no-one in a red-and-white top could get on the end of it.

Wilkinson brought on David Bellion for Piper at the break and, within 10 minutes, Phillips had the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for offside.

Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson
Wilkinson got off to a losing start

Phillips then went close with a header as a Stadium of Light crowd of almost 45,000 roared the side on.

Quinn was brought on and he came within inches of an equaliser, but he saw his effort beat James and come off the post.

Bellion was also close to cancelling out Sinclair's effort, but it was not to be and West Ham secured their first win on Wearside in 17 years.


Sunderland: Macho, Gray, Babb, Craddock, Wright, Kilbane, Reyna (Thirlwell 79), McCann, Piper (Bellion 45), Phillips, Stewart (Quinn 61).
Subs Not Used: Bjorklund, Ingham.

Booked: Kilbane.

West Ham: James, Minto, Repka, Dailly, Pearce (Breen 68), Cole, Lomas, Carrick, Sinclair (Cisse 77), Di Canio, Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Van Der Gouw, Winterburn, Camara.

Booked: Carrick.

Attendance: 44,352

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"Howard Wilkinson was almost anonymous"
Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson
"I thought we deserved to get something"
West Ham boss Glenn Roeder
"We were solid"
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