West Ham United 1 Norwich City 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 15 October 2003

For up until then the luckless Norwich defender's early own goal had looked like giving weakened West Ham a fortuitous victory.

Jermain Defoe and David Connolly had accounted for nine of the Hammers' 14 league goals but with both predators suspended, West Ham were forced to field rookie Richard Garcia alongside on-loan Neil Mellor in attack.

But the Canaries soon discovered that the makeshift pairing were no pussycats when after just six minutes Edworthy turned Mellor's awkward low cross into his own net as Garcia waited to pounce.

On 11 minutes West Ham would have added a second but for Craig Fleming's acrobatic goal-line clearance from Matthew Etherington.

Midway through the half, Kevin Harper's 25-yarder flew inches wide of David James' right-hand angle and as City rallied Crouch also forced the England keeper into a low save.

On the half-hour, the busy Etherington, who had been cautioned for scything down Edworthy ripped a shot into the sidenetting, before Tomas Repka's tackle on Darren Huckerby earned him his fifth booking of the season and an unwelcome suspension.

Darren Huckerby failed to emerge for the second half but his strike partner Crouch gallantly continued to lead the line and on the hour the towering forward arrived at the far post to nod home Harper's left-wing cross.

And having just levelled, the chirpy Canaries then saw Damien Francis splinter a post with a blistering ten-yarder.

At the other end, Mellor forced Robert Green into a full-length save before sending a downward header just wide and then firing straight at the keeper.

It was Norwich, though, who finished this disjointed affair the strongest and with more accurate finishing, Nigel Worthington's team could even have won.

However in the end both sides were grateful for the point a piece that keeps their respective promotion challenges firmly on track.

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