Yossi pinches point for Hammers
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: 01/10/05 2:54pm
West Ham took a point from their trip to the Stadium of Light but were dominated for long spells by Sunderland.
The Londoners looked to be heading for defeat with under 20 minutes remaining as Sunderland quite deservedly found themselves in front through Tommy Miller's goal on the stroke of half-time.
However, Yossi Benayoun snatched a late leveller to extend West Ham's unbeaten run to four league games and ensure that The Black Cats were left waiting for their first home win of the season.
Sunderland should have moved ahead after just five minutes as Andy Gray was guilty of a glaring miss.
A slip from Tomas Repka allowed Andy Welsh to escape down the left and the youngster showed good composure to pick out Gray no more than six yards from goal, but the striker headed straight at Roy Carroll when he really should have scored.
West Ham provided a glimpse of the flowing attacking football that has served them so well this season on nine minutes when Marlon Harewood drew a smart stop from Kelvin Davis.
Neat touches from Teddy Sheringham and Benayoun provided the in-form striker with a shooting opportunity but his low effort was pushed out by Davis and Steven Caldwell beat Sheringham to the loose ball.
Sunderland had two quick-fire shouts for penalties turned down with Stephen Elliott the man involved on both occasions.
Firstly the Northern Ireland international had a header blocked by Anton Ferdinand, although replays showed it had not struck the defender's hand as the crowd thought, then the striker was brushed aside in the box by Danny Gabbidon, but again the award of a spot-kick would have been very harsh.
The hosts suffered a blow just past the half hour mark when the busy Christian Bassila was forced off through injury and was replaced by Liam Lawrence.
However, they shrugged it off to take the lead on the stroke of half-time with Lawrence playing a crucial role in the breakthrough.
Justin Hoyte made good progress down the left and pulled back a low cross to Lawrence - his first touch seemed to have scuppered the move but the former Mansfield man did well to drill a cross-cum-shot back across goal and Miller was on hand to fire into the roof of the net after Carroll had parried.
The Hammers should have restored parity nine minutes after the break, Repka's superb 40-yard through ball picked out Sheringham who had snuck in behind Welsh but, after a good first touch, the 39-year-old scooped wide.
Despite that chance, it was the hosts who were bossing proceedings and twice came within a whisker of extending their lead around the hour mark.
After seeing a Ferdinand own-goal from a corner chalked off for a foul on Carroll, the impressive Dean Whitehead was denied in even crueller circumstances.
Elliott's shot from the edge of the box was saved and Whitehead must have thought he had scored as he steered the rebound goalwards, but his shot was blocked by team-mate Gray with Carroll well beaten.
It was a miss that was to haunt Mick McCarthy's side as West Ham took full advantage of an increasingly rare foray forward to restore parity.
Substitute Bobby Zamora attempted to nod into the path of the hitherto anonymous Benayoun and his touch was helped on inadvertently by Miller allowing the Israeli international a clear run on goal.
Benayoun had plenty of time to think about his finish, but showed commendable composure and coolly angled a shot past Davis to tie things up.
Sunderland continued to push forward relentlessly in search of a winning goal, but West Ham suddenly looked more threatening themselves in the final third with Benayoun in particular inspired by his goal.
In the end it ended with honours even, although West Ham will have ended the game the more pleased of the two sides.
Click here for player ratings.
|Sunderland||Team Name||West Ham United|
|6||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3|
|5||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||2|
|12||Total Fouls Conceded||14|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||9||16|
|12||West Bromwich Albion||9||10|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||8||4|