FA Premiership
West Ham United 2 Middlesbrough 1

Sunday, 23rd October 2005
by Adam Leatherbarrow

It was a good day for the Hammers who took all three points thanks mainly to a controversial decision by referee Steve Bennett.

On 74 minutes, and with the Hammers already one up thanks to Teddy Sheringham's 66th minute opener, Chris Riggott was alleged to have put the ball across over his own goal-line to give West Ham a 2-0 lead. George Boateng - who was clearly very angry at the decision - received a booking for his protests. TV replays clearly showed that the 'Boro midfielder's protests were fully justified as the ball was nowhere near over the line when clawed out by 'Boro keeper Schwarzer.

Middlesbrough gave their travelling fans a glimmer of hope in the 87th minute when Franck Queudrue headed home a Fabio Rochembach corner to reduce the deficit to one, but the Hammers comfortably saw out the closing minutes to record their third home win of the campaign.

Teddy Sheringham had enjoyed a wonderful introduction to the match; having been on the field for less than 60 seconds (having replaced the industrious Bobby Zamora) he gave West Ham the lead with virtually his first touch, much to the bemusement of his team-mates who tried all game to break through a tough 'Boro defence.

Nigel Reo-Coker skippered the Hammers whilst Gareth Southgate captained 'Boro - but only for 20 minutes before he was subbed after sustaining a head injury. Keeper Mark Schwarzer took over the captain's armband.

Main battles

Yakubu vs Ferdinand

Yakubu was agitated by Anton's strong defence. The Nigerian was never any danger to the Hammers because of Anton's towering headers, well-timed interceptions and consistent passing. Yakubu on his day is one of the best strikers in the league - but not today.

Konchesky vs Mendieta

It was a tough challenge for Konch today, up against the skillful Mendieta. The Spaniard may not be the same player he was five years ago, but he was involved in most 'Boro attacks. His
passes were spot on and his tricks dazzled Konchesky at times, but his shooting let him down slightly. Konch pressured the ex-Valencia winger well, and the Hammers full-back's pace was an advantage when linking up with Matthew Etherington to deliver crosses.

Man of the Match - Yossi Benayoun

This fella has been outstanding for West Ham so far and his performance today spurred the Hammers on to three points. His movement across the park was fantastic, switching from right-wing to left-wing at will. His fitness level is outstanding, and he has comfortably adapted to the fast-flowing English game. What amazes me are his throw-ins; for such a small player he can chuck a ball! They are virtually crosses, hitting opponents where it hurts. Yossi was very unlucky not to score, he had chance after chance but the 'Boro defence threw their bodies in front of the ball to stop "The Diamond" from scoring. The Israeli linked up well with Bobby Zamora, with both feeding off each other. I would love to see these two players link up more often in matches because they seem to gel well.

* Want to submit your match reports to KUMB.com? More details here ...

 Click to view all West Ham United vs Middlesbrough match reports

 Click to view all match reports by Adam Leatherbarrow

Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

Player Ratings

Shaka Hislop
Never really had any trouble but pulled off a few good saves nonetheless.

Tomas Repka
Had an easy game, his passes and tackles were decisive.

Paul Konchesky
Productive link up and crosses - also created Sheringham's goal.

Anton Ferdinand
Booked for a silly foul but his towering headers, clearences, passing and tackling made up for his minor faults.

Danny Gabbidon
Shielded the ball well but misjudged a few passes.

Hayden Mullins
Cool, calm and collected. The most relaxed player on the pitch.

Nigel Reo-Coker
Typical captain's performance.

Yossi Benayoun
The best player on the pitch. Excellent passing and movement - the only complaint being that he should have grabbed a goal.

Matthew Etherington
His link-up play with Konchesky on the left was good but it still wasn't the same Matty that we saw last season.

Marlon Harewood
Erm, well.... he was ok, but tended to stay forward while Zamora was running his nuts off. Once Bobby had been substituted Harewood started to put his arse into gear with Teddy barking orders at him.

Bobby Zamora
Had a terrific game and linked up well with Yossi Benayoun to produce our best opportunities of the first half. Held the ball up well.


Teddy Sheringham
(Replaced Zamora, 65) Only on for 25 minutes but made an immediate impact by grabbing a goal with his first touch. Was also involved in the second goal by adding pressure on the 'Boro keeper.

Shaun Newton
(Replaced Etherington 76) Made a good couple of runs, wasn't involved much.

Christian Dailly
(Replaced Benayoun 90) Came on with just seconds remaining.

Stephen Bywater
Did not play.

David Bellion
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Tomas Repka, Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora.

Goals: Teddy Sheringham 66 Mark Schwarzer og 74                .

Booked: Anton Ferdinand 17          .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Bates, Pogatetz, Riggott, Southgate, Doriva, Boateng, Rochemback, Mendieta, Maccarone, Yakubu.

Subs not used: Jones, Morrison.

Goals: Queudrue (87).

Booked: Doriva (29), Boateng (77).

Sent off: None.

Referee: S.Bennett.

Attendance: 34,612.

Man of the Match: Yossi Benayoun.