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Leicester 2 West Ham 1 By John Curtis, PA Sport
Ian Marshall ended Leicester's West Ham hoodoo with a late goal in a thrilling
Premiership encounter at Filbert Street tonight.
The striker-turned-central-defender came up trumps with eight minutes
remaining by sidefooting home a Steve Guppy corner at the second attempt to lift
Leicester into fourth place.
That halted a run of nine successive victories for the Hammers over Martin
O'Neill's side - including the last four meetings at Filbert Street - and a
sequence of four successive defeats spanning three different competitions.
But West Ham were left to rue their inept finishing in the second period, as
they had the opportunities to have killed off the Foxes before Marshall struck
with his fifth goal of the season.
Leicester were the more purposeful side in the first half, but Harry
Redknapp's team gradually took command, with Eyal Berkovic always a handful for
the home defence.
How they must have regretted squandering golden chances via Iain Dowie and
West Ham, retaining the side who beat Bolton 3-0, were the first to settle,
but Leicester initially were the more threatening and acting skipper Matt
Elliott struck a volley straight at Craig Forrest.
O'Neill's side eventually broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when the Hammers
appealed in vain for offside after Guppy's chip freed Emile Heskey.
The England Under-21 striker raced forward unopposed into the penalty area and
steadied himself before drilling a low shot under the body of Forrest.
West Ham lacked a cutting edge in the first half to finish off their neat
approach work, but they wasted a good chance to draw level in the 32nd minute.
Dowie's back-heel found Frank Lampard unmarked 12 yards out, but he failed to
get his full force behind his shot and Pegguy Arphexad was able to cling onto
Heskey was predictably receiving plenty of close attention, Lomas and David
Unsworth both being booked in the opening 45 minutes for fouls on the Leicester
West Ham opened the second half on the offensive and a dipping volley from
Hartson flew inches over, before Lampard failed to connect properly when again
in a good position, his shot trickling through to Arphexad.
It came as no surprise when the visitors drew level in the 58th minute.
Hartson weaved his way past two defenders and his low centre was hammered home
Leicester threatened briefly and Muzzy Izzet volleyed over from close range,
but West Ham were now in control and Dowie mis-hit his shot when clean through,
enabling Arphexad to deflect it for a corner.
A centre from Lampard should then have been converted at the far post by
Lomas, but again the shot lacked the necessary power and Arphexad got a vital
touch to turn it round the post.
Leicester:Arphexad, Kaamark, (Campbell 89),
Guppy, Savage (Parker 68), Prior, Elliott,
Izzet, Lennon, Claridge, Marshall, Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Andrews, Fenton, Cottee.
Goals: Heskey 16, Marshall 82.
West Ham: Forrest, Unsworth, Ferdinand, Rowland,
Potts, Lomas, Lampard, Berkovic, Moncur,
Subs Not Used: Sealey, Bishop, Pearce, Hodges, Alexander.
Booked: Lomas, Unsworth, Rowland, Moncur.
Goals: Berkovic 58.
Ref: M D Reed (Birmingham).