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Monday, 19th November 2001

Charlton Athletic 4
West Ham United 4

by Vinny Ryan

4-4. It was quite simply an amazing match.

Our team looked considerably different from the Fulham game, with Freddie Kanoute and Nigel Winterburn both out. Paul Kitson (making his first start in nearly two years) and Scott Minto came in as replacements.

We started brightly, attacking with purpose, and after just 4 minutes Paul Kitson chested down a flick on and blasted a right foot shot from just inside the area to put us 1-0 up. I was shocked - not just at the fact that Paul Kitson had scored - but at the fact that we were winning so early!

Kitson did have another chance soon after from a Sinclair cross, but it was well saved by Kiely low down to his right.

We hadn't been under much pressure from Charlton but once they had a set piece it was obvious that it was going to cause us problems. A straight, lofted ball was played into the box and our defence just stood still and allowed Steve Brown to head at Shaka who couldn't (but should of) hold the ball which allowed Jason Euell to tap in from close range. It was typical West Ham - under no pressure, but we just gift them the goal.

Only 6 minutes later we were 2-1 down. If you thought the defending was bad for the first goal, this one was abysmal - with Tomas Repka the chief culprit. He seemed to think he could mess about with the ball near to our goal but paid the price as Jason Euell scored again. We had just fallen apart.

However, we showed a lot of character after that and when Di Canio released Minto he crossed for Paul Kitson to slide in and score his second. I thought that it was such an important goal as we could have fallen apart at that stage.

We went in at half time 2-2; I was a little disappointed as I thought if we attacked a bit more we could have punished them.

We came out second half with no changes. Charlton started the brighter and you could sense that everytime they attacked they could score. Only 5 minutes into the half they did; we let them walk all over us and Johannsson put the ball past Shaka from 12 yards.

That goal was the one i was the most p*ssed with. We had done exactly what we knew we shouldn't have ie. concede early on.

We struggled after that, and it didn't look like we were going to score. Roeder made two changes; he took off the awful Don Hutchinson and replaced him with Steve Lomas, making his first appearance of the season. Minto (who had a good game) was also substituted to be replaced by the returning Joey Cole.

Soon after we had equalised. DI Canio crossed from the left for Kitson to control and fire in his third to complete his hat-trick - his first since 1997. It was our game after that.

Kitson came off after 78 minutes to be replaced by Jermain Defoe, returning to the club whom he played for in his younger days. The Charlton fans were booing a 19-year-old who never played for them - that makes sense don't it..?

I felt whoever scored the fourth would be the winners of this match. It came for us; some great work from Dailly on the left wing, his cross took a deflection and looped in the air before Jermain Defoe smashed it home on the volley. I thought that was it; we'd been 3-2 down but we'd worked our way back and surely we'd won it.

But no. Because the referee played 4 minutes of stoppage time (amazingly) and in the 2nd minute of the four Johansson was allowed to convert an overhead kick from a corner to make it 4-4. We'd blown it.

Player ratings:

Hislop (3) He was poor. He doesn't command his area and the defence must have no confidence in him.

Repka (5) Had a poor game and I agree with suggestions that he doesn't look good in a back three.

Foxe (4) Never seemed to know where he was. Looked out of position for most of the match and let his marker get away from him too much.

Dailly (6) The strange thing was Dailly was our best defender. Even though I couldn't work out where he was playing half the time he looked more solid than the rest.

Minto (5) It's hard to work out Minto. SOmetimes he looks good but at other times he looks p*ss poor. I think the latter suits him after last night.

Schemmel (5) Not a good game for Archie. He struggled for most of the evening.

Sinclair (6) I thought he did well in the first half but faded badly in the second after Charlton realised where most of our play was coming from.

Carrick (4) Just another one of the many woeful performances from Carrick this season. I have more chance of playing for england in the World Cup than he does right now.

Hutchison (4) Maybe it's me, but is Don getting worse every game? Fair play to Roeder for taking him off.

Di Canio (6) I know I'm not allowed to say anything positive about him so I'll keep it brief. Anytime we attacked he was involved and played a vital role in a few of the goals. Gave the ball away a lot which could have been costly but it wasn't his fault our defence is sh*t. He works better with Kitson. But still I guess we should sell him - after all it's all his fault. 6

Kitson (9) Isn't it amazing what we can do when we have a striker who scores goals and stays in the box. Looked really sharp and took his goals well. Man of the match.

Subs:

Cole - Bit of unfair critisim for Joey as it was his first game back after very little match practice.

Defoe - He scored and that was great. But did he do any more than Cole? Took the goal really well.

Lomas - Good to see him back. Maybe he is what our dreadful midfield needs.

Overall - Disappointed in the end we didn't win as we were 4-3 up. But at 3-2 I thought we were going to struggle. The attacking was great - but the defending was dreadful.

Vinny Ryan

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: Hislop (5), Foxe (5), Repka (6), Dailly (6), Schemmel (6), Sinclair (6), Hutchison (6), Carrick (6), Minto (6), Di Canio (7), Kitson (9)

Subs: Cole (Hutchison 63), Lomas (Minto 63), Defoe (Kitson 78), James, Moncur

Charlton Athletic: Kiely, Powell, Young, Fish, Brown, Konchesky, Parker, Kinsella, Jensen, Euell, Johansson

Subs: Robinson (Young 85), Bartlett (Parker 85), Roberts, Stuart, Fortune

Goals: Kitson (4, 29, 60), Defoe (82), Euell (21, 27), Johansson (50, 90)

Booked: Minto, Schemmel, Euell

Attendance: 23,198

Referee: Alan Wiley (8)

Man of the match: Paul Kitson

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