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Leeds 3 West Ham 1 By Ian Rodgers, PA Sport
Leeds came from behind again this afternoon to beat West Ham 3-1 at Elland
Road in the Premiership.
Again, as against Derby two weeks ago, striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink proved
to be the hero, scoring twice (75 and 90) with an Alf-Inge Haaland header
sandwiched between the two strikes.
After a drab first half West Ham opened the scoring through Frank Lampard in
the 64th minute, allowing the youngster to recreate his father's corner flag
celebration routine from the 1980 FA Cup semi-final replay on the same ground.
But today it was the home side who eventually danced a jig of joy.
In the first half West Ham had appeared to be over-compensating for the
absence of Rio Ferdinand - out with a calf injury - by plugging their defence
with six men.
Leeds welcomed back Gary Kelly to the side as replacement for the suspended
David Hopkin. The Republic of Ireland international had missed the midweek
defeat against Reading because of a swollen knee.
Norwegian international Gunnar Halle returned after a three-match absence,
with teenager Alan Maybury back on the subs' bench.
Ludek Miklosko and Andy Impey both returned to the Hammers side in place of
Craig Forrest and John Moncur respectively.
Regardless of personnel, though, the first 45 minutes did not start well - and
soon went rapidly further down hill.
Lee Bowyer could have opened the scoring after 10 minutes, but a well timed
Ian Pearce interception averted the danger.
Four minutes later, home goalkeeper Nigel Martyn had to be quick to clear John
Hartson's headed pass across goal, as ex-QPR man Impey raced in.
Halle almost broke the deadlock in the 18th minute - but for the opposition
rather than the hosts. The Norwegian attempted to chest the ball back to Martyn,
but the England goalkeeper was on the far side of goal and had to twist in mid
air to palm the ball away.
With three minutes to go before half-time, Hasselbaink could have given the
game the goal it so desperately needed, but his header from David Robertson's
cross went wide.
The second half brought a massive improvement.
Leeds stepped up the momentum, and five minutes after the break Rod Wallace
might have earned a penalty when David Unsworth's leg appeared to fell the
striker. But referee Mr Ashby was unimpressed and waved away Leeds' appeals.
Kelly fired from distance two minutes later, but his shot flew over the bar.
Sixty seconds later Unsworth was forced into an acrobatic clearance, as both
Hasselbaink and Wallace lurked.
Then in the 64th minute against the run of play, West Ham broke the deadlock.
A long ball from Tim Breacker found the head of Hartson, who flicked it into
the path of Lampard. The youngster fired low to beat Martyn and then re-enacted
his father's dance routine round the corner flag from 17 years ago.
But the home side refused to lie down.
In the 75th minute, they gained their just reward when Hasselbaink was
illegally stopped by veteran Hammers defender Steve Potts. Hasselbaink then
rifled home the subsequent free-kick with a viciously curling shot.
With two minutes left on the clock and the visitors appearing to settle for a
share of the points, Haaland rose above the Hammers' crammed defence to head
Leeds into a 2-1 lead.
Then in the dying seconds Hasselbaink met Robertson's perfect cross to seal
West Ham's fate.
Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Wetherall, Radebe, Robertson, Halle,
Bowyer, Haaland, Ribeiro, Hasselbaink, Wallace.
Subs Not Used: Lilley, Harte, Maybury, Molenaar, Robinson.
Goals: Hasselbaink 76, Haaland 88, Hasselbaink 90.
West Ham: Miklosko, Breacker, Potts, Pearce, Unsworth, Impey, Lomas, Lampard, Berkovic (Moncur 84), Hartson, Abou (Dowie 87).
Subs Not Used: Rowland, Paulo Alves, Forrest.
Goals: Lampard 65.
Ref: G R Ashby (Worcester).