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West Ham United (1) 1 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2004-05

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Referee: R Styles

Manager: Alan Pardew

Boleyn Ground 15:00

Attendance: 28,812

Manager: Joe Royle

Match Number: 3069

Goals

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 Mackay (11)
Away
 Pablo Counago (57)

Substitutions

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ChadwickRebrov (80)
SheringhamMullins (80)

Cards

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Teams

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Bywater

Repka

Davenport

Mackay

Powell

Chadwick

Fletcher

Reo-Coker

Etherington

Sheringham

Harewood

Substitutes

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Walker

Brevett

Lomas

Rebrov

Mullins

Match Report

Eastenders proving a good draw

Superficially, the differences between the two sides are all too apparent. East End against East Anglia, white van man against the tractor boys, the divisions immediately clear.

What links these two teams however, proved to be a far more meaningful factor behind a highly entertaining contest. Ominously, despite sitting in third and fourth positions in the league at the start of play, they both find themselves saddled with serious and long-term debts, in itself a sign of the way football's finances have been distributed and squandered.

Of far greater significance is their willingness to play the game in an expansive and engaging manner. Route One football was an option rarely countenanced, in a game which would have graced a more prestigious stage.

West Ham's opener, scored by Malkay Mackay after 10 minutes, proved a perfect summary of the encounter as a whole. As the ball was cleared from a corner, Chris Powell, on loan from Charlton, rejected the option of sending it straight back into the box, in favour of an astute pass to Luke Chadwick.

The young winger sent over an equally deft cross, which Mackay headed powerfully past the stranded Kelvin Davis, with the Ipswich defence conspicuous by their absence.

Undeterred, the visitors returned fire at every opportunity, with Darren Bent once denied by the legs of Stephen Bywater, and later sending a powerful header inches beyond the far post.

After 34 minutes, however, West Ham should have doubled their lead, as Davis'sill-considered dive sent Mackay sprawling and left referee Rob Styles pointing at the penalty spot, only for Teddy Sheringham to drag the penalty a foot wide of the post. It proved an expensive miss. Ipswich emerged from the break more positive still, and earned their reward 11 minutes later, as Pablo Counago spun onto a ball bouncing unattended after a corner, firing home from six yards out.

With the visitors continuing to claim an equal share of a flurry of second-half chances, the bustling Bent came close to a winner, thudding a drive against the crossbar after a surging run. Then at the other end, with just eight minutes left, Marlon Harewood somehow managed to spurn West Ham's best chance, glancing the ball across the face of goal and beyond the far post.

Honours even then, and plaudits, plenty of them, shared.

Mick Collins (Daily Telegraph)

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