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Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 17:01 GMT
Hammers hold off Forest
Jermain Defoe levels at 1-1 for West Ham
Defoe was the star man for West Ham
West Ham 3-2 Nottm Forest

Jermain Defoe proved the hero with two goals as West Ham finally claimed their first victory of the season at Upton Park.

But the Hammers had their fair share of good fortune and could easily have slipped to another defeat.

David Johnson missed a second-half penalty for Forest, and referee Paul Durkin controversially disallowed a late strike that would have brought the visitors level.

The First Division side were controlling the closing stages of the match when Defoe fought his way through a crowded penalty area in the 85th minute to fire the winner.

Key moments
17 min: Harewood opens the scoring for Forest
26: Defoe levels for the Hammers with a solo effort
46: Reid blasts home the visitors' second
61: Cole brings West Ham back on terms
62: Johnson fires a penalty wide
82: Defoe claims his second from close range
88: Harewood's header is disallowed
The victory will come as a huge relief for West Ham boss Glenn Roeder, but in truth his side were outplayed by Forest for long periods.

The Premiership side did start the brighter, and both Trevor Sinclair and Defoe went close with long-range efforts in the opening 10 minutes.

But the Hammers' frail confidence took a huge blow in the 17th minute when they went a goal down.

A tame Andy Reid cross looked to be no trouble for David James, but the England 'keeper somehow let the ball slip under his body.

Cole, Carrick and Defoe were outstanding - I'll go to war with those three players any day of the week

West Ham manager Glenn Roeder

It fell perfectly for Marlon Harewood, who tapped into an empty net from two yards to send the Forest fans wild.

The First Division side were just starting to look comfortable with their lead when Defoe hauled the Hammers level.

In the 26th minute he burst into the area from the left-hand side and curled his shot past Darren Ward.

It was against the run of play but the scoreline reflected an edgy first half, with both Defoe and Forest's Mathieu Louis-Jean missing excellent chances before the break.

If the first half came to a rather low-key end, the second could not have started in greater contrast.

To suggest we're close to being a Premiership side is going too far

Nottingham Forest manager Paul Hart

Forest were ahead again inside 60 seconds when Reid smashed home a volley from seven yards after West Ham's defence yet again failed to deal with a Forest cross.

And far from provoking a backlash, the Premiership side lost all shape as panic set in.

Harewood had two golden opportunities to put the visitors two goals clear before Joe Cole made Forest pay.

The impressive Defoe put Cole in on goal and the England youngster fired a low drive past Ward into the bottom left-hand corner.

Within two minutes, however, the match took another turn when Michael Carrick hauled down Harewood on the line.

Referee Durkin gave the penalty but David Johnson put his spot-kick wide to let the Hammers off the hook.

Defoe struck what turned out to be the winner following a jinking run inside the box with five minutes left, but there was more drama to come.

James failed to collect a Forest corner in the 88th minute and Harewood headed home, before Durkin disallowed the strike for pushing on Christian Dailly.

West Ham: James, Schemmel, Breen, Dailly, Winterburn (Repka 85), Pearce (Camara 74), Carrick, Sinclair, Cisse, Cole, Defoe.
Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Moncur, Sofiane.

Nottm Forest: Ward, Louis-Jean, Doig, Dawson, Brennan, Scimeca, Thompson, Prutton, Reid, Johnson, Harewood.
Subs not used: Roche, Williams, Bopp, Jess, Westcarr.

Booked: Louis-Jean.

Att: 29,612

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara
"What an FA Cup tie this was"
Forest manager Paul Hart
"I thought we did very well"
Forest striker Marlon Harewood
"I thought it was legitimate"

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