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Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Saturday, 29 March 2008

Sunderland 2-1 West Ham

By Sarah Holt

Andy Reid (right) is congratulated by Dean Whitehead
Reid scored his first goal for Sunderland at just the right time

A late goal from Andy Reid saw Sunderland pull further clear of the drop zone with victory over West Ham.

Sunderland fell behind when Carlton Cole found Freddie Ljungberg whose deflected shot went in.

But the goal fired up the home side and Kenwyne Jones soon equalised, slotting in Daryl Murphy's flick-on.

Sunderland kept the upper hand with Murphy blazing the ball over before Reid buried the ball in the dying minutes of the match.

Sunderland had the bit between their teeth right from the off and Michael Chopra came close after four minutes when he skidded the ball across the face of the goal

West Ham gradually made their presence felt and Dean Ashton came very close to scoring five minutes later.

Scott Parker picked out Ashton, waiting to pounce 20 yards out, but his right-footed drive clattered the post and bounced away to safety.

The Londoners did not have to wait long for the breakthrough after a moment of hesitation in the Sunderland defence.

Cole teed up Ljungberg with a pass from the right and the Swede's strike weaved its way into the net thanks to a slight deflection from Nyron Nosworthy.

Sunderland mustered an immediate response and West Ham were gradually pegged back in their own half. An alert Anton Ferdinand had to head the ball away as Jonny Evans loomed at his shoulder.


Sunderland's pressure soon paid off as Jones, back from a virus, scored his first goal of 2008.

Kieran Richardson looped the ball in to Murphy who passed to Jones, in space inside the box, and he nonchalantly clipped it beyond Robert Green.

The Hammers defence argued that Jones was offside, but replays showed the striker was just about level.

West Ham were rattled, and Sunderland tested Green again with shots from Chopra and Reid.

But it was Cole who nearly capped an entertaining half as he sent a curling shot towards the top-right corner only to see Craig Gordon stretch and finger tip it behind his post.

Sunderland were straight out of the blocks after the break and Jonathan Spector had to react quickly to spear Murphy's shot over the bar.

Freddie Ljungberg
Game over for goal-scorer Ljungberg as his hamstring goes

Then Danny Collins, who missed a scoring chance in the first half, saw his header cleared from underneath the bar by Lucas Neill.

Reid and Richardson drove Sunderland forward with the help of the vocal crowd but the West Ham defence did enough to keep the rampant home side at bay.

West Ham were hardly getting a look in at the other end of the pitch and as the 60-minute mark approached boss Alan Curbishley looked slightly bemused.

Their best chance came when a bad clearance by Gordon was picked up by Parker, who passed to Ashton, but his flyer was wide of the mark.

Things got worse for West Ham when substitute John Pantsil had to go off with concussion after landing badly on the left side of his face.

His replacement, birthday boy James Tomkins, was called immediately into action to punt clear Reid's effort and soon after he saw his header flash wide.

Sunderland were throwing everything forward but just could not score.

Murphy summed up their frustration when he was put clear through by Jones only to skew his shot over the bar.

While West Ham's afternoon was encapsulated when they had to play out the final minutes with 10 men when Ljungberg retired with a hamstring injury with all three substitutions already made.

Reid had the final say when he lashed his right-footed shot beyond Green to earn Sunderland back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since December 2001.

  • Sunderland manager Roy Keane:
    "I was happy at the end that we scored so late. I thought we deserved it and it showed good character from the players.

    "I thought we stood off West Ham a bit at first - I could have played easily against them as we were nowhere near them.

    "But we just about edged it in the second half. Can we get three in a row? Well miracles can happen."

  • West Ham manager Alan Curbishley:
    "I would have been delighted if we had taken a battling point. Once we scored we seem to back off.

    "Then we lost one player after another after another and we were reduced to 10 men. The injury situation is chronic now.

    "We have to regroup now but I can't tell you who I've got fit and available. Our injury situation has got worse."

    Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Nosworthy, Evans, Collins, Murphy (O'Donovan 81), Whitehead, Reid, Richardson (Edwards 70), Chopra (Leadbitter 71), Jones.
    Subs Not Used: Fulop, Yorke.

    Booked: Reid, O'Donovan.

    Goals: Jones 29, Reid 90.

    West Ham: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Spector, McCartney (Pantsil 46), Ljungberg, Parker, Mullins, Noble, Cole (Solano 65), Ashton, Pantsil (Tomkins 74).
    Subs Not Used: Walker, Boa Morte.

    Booked: Cole.

    Goals: Ljungberg 18.

    Att: 45,690

    Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones 7.83 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

  • see also
    Premier League as it happened
    29 Mar 08 |  Premier League
    Saturday's football photos
    29 Mar 08 |  Football
    How to watch Match of the Day
    08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day

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