Bowyer nets 89th minute winner at West Ham
LEE Bowyer netted an 89th minute winner against his former club to put the gloss on a superb Ipswich Town performance at Championship promotion favourites West Ham.
The experienced midfielder rammed the ball through a crowd of players and under keeper Rob Green at the death after Keith Andrews’ header had come back off the base of the post.
It was no more than the Blues deserved after a superb display in which they controlled possession for long periods.
Town’s staff and players all spoke about turning the home crowd against their team before this match and they certainly did that with an explosive start.
Only a super close-range save from keeper Rob Green prevented the Blues taking a fifth minute lead. In a carbon copy of his chance at Middlesbrough last weekend, Michael Chopra ghosted into the six-yard box to get on the end of a Carlos Edwards cross only to see the keeper deny him with a reaction stop.
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With the two experienced teams going toe-to-toe with 4-4-2 diamond formations, Town went on to dominate possession, keeping the ball for prolonged periods and making the sluggish hosts chase shadows.
And they came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock again in the 20th minute when Lee Bowyer – roundly booed by supporters of his former club – curled the ball against the inside of the post.
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West Ham came into the game more as half-time neared, with Danny Collins putting in an excellent block on Henri Lansbury as he weaved his way towards goal.
Ipswich had to ride the proverbial storm after the restart as the Hammers came out fired up following their poor first half showing.
And having stood firm they once again took control of possession for long spells, creating half chances for Grant Leadbitter and Jason Scotland.
The Hammers were fortunate to keep 11 men on the field soon after the hour mark when Lansbury left his foot in on Leadbitter as he cleared the ball. Following a lengthy talking to from the referee, Lansbury was quickly subbed by his manager who also introduced John Carew for Carlton Cole.
The big target man made a difference and the Hammers enjoyed a good spell of pressure as twice Stockdale did well to palm and punch the ball away under pressure.
At that stage Town would have probably taken a draw but they were able to snatch all three points at the death when Bowyer rammed the ball home after the ball had come back off the post following a corner.
– Reaction to follow.
WEST HAM UTD (4-4-2): Green; O’Brien, Faye, Tomkins, McCartney; Bentley, Lansbury, Nolan, Noble (Faubert 90); Cole (Carew 64), Baldock.
Subs: Boffin; Collison; Diop.
Booked: Lansbury (11).
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Stockdale; Edwards, Sonko, Collins, Cresswell; Bullard, Leadbitter (cpt), Bowyer, Andrews; Scotland (Ellington 85), Chopra (Delaney 90).
Subs: Lee-Barrett; Ainsley; Emmanuel-Thomas.
Booked: Bowyer (45).
Referee: Mr Keith Stroud.