FA Premeirship
Wigan Athletic 1-2 West Ham United 

Saturday, 25th March 2006
by Graeme Howlett

West Ham have nicked all three points in this afternoon's Premiership clash with Wigan thanks to a last-gasp strike from captain Nigel Reo-Coker.

The England under-21 international struck deep into injury time to earn the Hammers their first win in the league since the 3-0 victory over Birmingham six weeks ago.

Despite being up against it for long periods of the game Alan Pardew's side clung on before striking with virtually the last kick of the game; hard luck indeed for the home side who deserved to take a point out of the game, if not more.

Wigan had opened the scoring in first-half injury time through Lee McCulloch, who finished well after being set up by former Hammer Jimmy Bullard.

Although the timing was cruel it was a deserved lead on balance of play, with the Latics having shaded the opening 45. West Ham's best chance of the half fell to Matthew Etherington who took advantage of a defensive slip-up to narrowly lob over the bar.

Wigan again came out strongly in the second half and should have made it 2-0 through Henri Camara. But as he fluffed his opportunity the Hammers broke and a defensive mix-up allowed Marlon Harewood to step in and secure his 15th goal of the season.

As the game progressed the home side continued to ask questions of the Hammers rearguard, but the visitors managed to hang on with some excellent (and sometimes desperate) defending.

However West Ham - bouyed by the FA Cup win over Manchester City (and, no doubt, by the subsequent Semi-Final draw) - always remained a threat, and they punished Wigan for their profligacy in front of goal with Reo-Coker's winner in the third minute of injury time.

The win lifts the Hammers back up to ninth spot, just a point behind today's opponents (and with a game in hand).

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Player Ratings

Shaka Hislop
Comments to follow.

Lionel Scaloni
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Paul Konchesky
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Danny Gabbidon
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James Collins
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Hayden Mullins
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Nigel Reo-Coker
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Yossi Benayoun
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Matthew Etherington
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Marlon Harewood
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Dean Ashton
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Bobby Zamora
(Replaced Etherington, 71) Comments to follow.

Teddy Sheringham
(Replaced Ashton, 81) Comments to follow.

Shaun Newton
(Replaced Benayoun, 89) Comments to follow.

Jimmy Walker
Did not play.

Clive Clarke
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Lionel Scaloni, Paul Konchesky, Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Dean Ashton.

Goals: Marlon Harewood 62 Nigel Reo-Coker 90                .

Booked: None booked.           .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Wigan Athletic: Filan, Chimbonda, De Zeeuw, Scharner, Baines, Teale, Bullard, Kavanagh, McCulloch, Roberts, Camara.

Subs not used: Jackson, Johansson.

Goals: McCulloch (45).

Booked: Kavanagh, McCulloch, Thompson.

Sent off: None.

Referee: D.Gallacher.

Attendance: 18,736.

Man of the Match: tbc.