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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
West Ham 2-1 Middlesbrough
Referee Steve Bennett waves away Boro protests
West Ham were helped to victory by a controversial decision after Chris Riggott was judged to have scored an own goal that put the hosts 2-0 ahead.

It proved to be the winner - after Boro's Franck Queudrue headed in Fabio Rochembach's corner late on.

But replays suggested Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer prevented Riggott's deflection from crossing the line.

The Hammers had taken the lead through substitute Teddy Sheringham, who swept the ball home with a left-foot shot.

Boro's Gaizka Mendieta and West Ham's Yossi Benayoun appeared to be involved in all the early play.

Mendieta was twice fouled in threatening positions but he blazed the first effort embarrassingly high and wide and Rochemback slammed the second free-kick into the defensive wall.

Mendieta then picked out Massimo Maccarone with an accurate cross, only for Boro's record signing to plant a header over from eight yards out.

Benayoun then twisted and turned to carve out a shooting chance, which was blocked by Gareth Southgate.

The Israeli then curled a shot inches wide after a neat exchange of passes with Nigel Reo-Coker.

He then turned provider, slipping a superbly-weighted pass into Bobby Zamora's path, only for the former Spurs striker to under-hit his shot.

Boro suffered a blow when Southgate was forced out of the game with a cut head and West Ham tested the re-shuffled defence, with Reo-Coker ruled offside after cheekily converting Harewood's cross.

Tomas Repka outjumps Fabio Rochembach
Repka outjumps Rochembach

The pace of Zamora and Harewood asked plenty of questions of Boro's defence but the visitors played some neat football through midfield.

One well-constructed move led to Mendieta curling a shot inches wide, with keeper Shaka Hislop groping for the ball.

An entertaining game swung from end to end but it cried out for a goal as Boro lacked conviction in the attacking third but stood firm at the other end as West Ham turned the screw.

Benayoun rounded Boro keeper Schwarzer only for Queudrue to smuggle his shot off the line and Matthew Etherington volleyed wide at the far post from six yards.

Sheringham proved to be the sort of substitution managers dream of when he scored with his first touch.

Paul Konchesky crossed low from the left and Sheringham showed his predatory instinct as he ghosted on to the ball and struck a left-foot shot first time into the bottom left-hand corner.

West Ham needed the insurance of a second goal and got it in controversial circumstances.

Riggott diverted Konchesky's free-kick goalwards and, despite Schwarzer grabbing the ball at the second attempt, the referee's assistant ruled it was a goal.

Queudrue threw Boro a lifeline when he rose highest to head home Rochembach's corner but a late rally failed to materialise.


  • West Ham boss Alan Pardew:
    "The controversy is irrelevant to me. I am looking at my team and thinking it was our best performance of the season.

    "Of course it wasn't a goal but sometimes you earn a break like that and we deserved it.

    "Boro will be upset but it shouldn't be allowed to take the gloss off our performance."

  • Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren:
    "One decision cost us the game and the Premiership is too big for decisions like that to trust to human error.

    "If the technology is there we have to use it, other sports exploit it.

    "It took me 30 seconds to go to the back of the stand and see it wasn't a goal, so why can't officials do the same?"


    West Ham: Hislop, Repka, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Konchesky, Benayoun (Dailly 90), Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington (Newton 76), Zamora (Sheringham 65), Harewood.
    Subs Not Used: Bywater, Bellion.

    Booked: Ferdinand.

    Goals: Sheringham 66, Riggott 74 og.

    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Bates, Riggott, Southgate (Queudrue 25), Pogatetz, Mendieta, Boateng, Doriva (Viduka 78), Rochemback, Yakubu, Maccarone (Hasselbaink 60).
    Subs Not Used: Jones, Morrison.

    Booked: Doriva, Boateng.

    Goals: Queudrue 87.

    Att: 34,612

    Ref: S Bennett (Kent).


  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Interview: West Ham boss Alan Pardew


    Interview: Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren


    Interview: MIddlesbrough's Mark Schwarzer



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