posted on Oct, 26 2003 @ 05:28 AM
The first league clash between Cardiff and West Ham at Ninian Park for 22 years was not one that will live long in the memory.
The first half promised much as both sides went at each other with energy and destructive intent, but as the game wore on, both seemed to despair of
finding a way through.
The two sides produced five goals in their previous encounter, a Carling Cup tie that the Londoners won 3-2 last month, but they were unable to match
It was a bright start for the visitors and Jermain Defoe forced a save out of Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Alexander with a left foot shot.
But West Ham manager Alan Pardew saw his pre-match planning undermined in the 13th minute when he had to withdraw nine-goal striker David Connolly,
who injured his thigh shooting at goal and was replaced with Neil Mellor.
Soon afterwards the Bluebirds had their first real opening when Gavin Gordon nodded down to Mark Bonner in the box, but the midfielder lashed his shot
well over the crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, David James came to the visitors' rescue, the England 'keeper saving well with his legs to keep out John Robinson's deflected
Cardiff striker Gordon missed a golden headed chance in the 33rd minute after a swift break.
Robert Earnshaw broke into the West Ham half with pace and menace before finding Tony Vidmar in an advanced position on the right.
Vidmar flighted in a good cross with his left foot but the stooping Gordon directed his header just wide of the right-hand post.
Cardiff came out and dominated possession at the start of the second period, forcing West Ham back into their own half.
In the 52nd minute Gordon tried an audacious floating long-range shot but James was able to touch it over the crossbar.
There was an hour on the clock before West Ham roused themselves as an offensive force again.
Good work on the left from Matthew Etherington opened up Cardiff and, after he crossed, shooting chances opened up for both half-time substitute
Robert Lee and Defoe but both saw their attempts cannon back off defenders.
Just after that Earnshaw had James scrambling low across his goal to keep out a right-footed volley.
Cardiff were unlucky not to take the lead in the 66th minute with a John Robinson shot from the edge of the box that skidded along the turf before
bouncing away off a post.
That seemed to wake up West Ham and they began to get a foothold in the game again, but they found it difficult to penetrate City who defended in
numbers when they had to.
Lee cut inside in the 76th minute and put in a swerving left-foot effort, but Alexander read the danger well and comfortably pushed the ball over.
With five minutes to go, Defoe had the ball in the net, but he was adjudged offside and his neat finish counted for nothing.
Cardiff Alexander, Croft, Vidmar, Gabbidon, Barker, Bonner, Kavanagh, Robinson, Langley, Gordon (Collins 89), Earnshaw.
Subs Not Used: Prior, Whalley, Gray, Margetson.
West Ham James, Stockdale, Repka, Dailly, Mullins (Lee 45), Etherington, Hutchison, Carrick, Quinn, Connolly (Mellor 13), Defoe, Mellor (Ferdinand
Subs Not Used: Kilgallon, Bywater.
Booked: Stockdale, Dailly, Defoe.
Ref: M Ryan (Lancashire).
Well another draw for the Hammers it keeps us near the top of the table but we need to start picking up wins,i hope connelly is not badly injured a he
has been one of our best players this season..