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Saturday, 8th September 2001

Derby County 0
West Ham United 0

by Graeme Howlett

The Hammers drew a second successive blank at Derby's Pride Park this afternoon - but Shaka Hislop ensured a share of the spoils for Glenn Roeder's men with an inspired display.

Hislop, who thought his days were numbered at Upton Park before the injury to his replacement, David James, put on an assured performance between the sticks making three vital saves to keep the Hammers in the game.

And Glenn Roeder will be wondering how the Hammers didn't register their first win of the season as his team squandered chance after chance.

Freddy Kanoute, making his first league appearance of the season went closest for West Ham when his first half angled shot shaved the crossbar.

But Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick and Paolo Di Canio also failed to convert golden opportunities - any one of which would have ensured Roeder's first win as Hammers boss.

So for the second game in a row the Hammers were forced to take a point from a game in which they enjoyed the lions share of possession.

It may had been a much different game but for a hopelessly poor performance from referee Clive Wilkes, who booked no less than seven players - including Hammers 'new' boy Don Hutchison - in a game which rarely threatened to boil over.

Much of Glenn Roeder's transfer activity has been concentrated on fullfilling the centre-half position this summer.

But without a goal (from open play) in the first three games of the season it may well be the other end of the field he should be looking to strengthen.

With Tomas Repka due to complete his transfer from Fiorentina this week, and the solid form of the (much vilified) pairing of Christian Dailly and Rigobert Song the defence is now looking one of the strongest areas of the team.

As Jim Smith's Derby County will no doubt testify.

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: Hislop, Winterburn, Song, Dailly, Schemmel, Sinclair, Carrick, Hutchison, Cole, Kanoute, Di Canio

Subs: Todorov (Kanoute 54), Defoe (Di Canio 80), Moncur (Cole 85), Forrest, Soma

Derby County: Oakes, Boertien, Riggott, Higginbotham, Mawene, Burley, Powell, Johnson, Kinkladze, Ravanelli, Burton

Subs: Morris (Burton 80), Grant, Daino, Murray, Valakari

Booked: Hutchison, Dailly, Ravenelli, Burley, Riggott, Johnson, Burton

Attendance: 27,802

Referee: Clive Wilkes

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