Added: Carlotta Tubbs - Date: 30.12.2021 07:46 - Views: 30438 - Clicks: 4946
A penalty, a red card and lots of niggle in Valentines Day draw. Romance isn't dead - but there was no love lost in an East end search party for hearts and flowers.
Valentines Day dates with Sam Allardyce are always liable to be nearer a bunch of fives than a bunch of roses, but instead of a feast, the Championship's top-of-the-table duel left only a sour taste. On a night when prospective couples traditionally argue over splitting the bill, it was about right that West Ham and Southampton shared the spoils. Amid the red cards, Equity cards and a rash of penalty decisions which upset both managers, bubble-blowers had more reasons to be cheerful, staying a point clear after playing 72 minutes with 10 men.
But Hammers boss Allardyce blasted referee Lee Probert for sending off Matt Taylor, missing two blatant penalty claims for handball in the first 15 minutes and conspiring to slow West Ham's promotion charge to a crawl. Big Sam growled: "I don't want any more officials to take away what we are striving for - I felt they tried to do that today. But from our point of view, there were major decisions made the wrong way which cost us.
Staring dreamily into Big Sam's eyes was never going to be an option when niggling, controversy and play-acting were on the menu, and the tone for a fractious evening was set after just 18 minutes. Mark Noble was tripped in the box by Billy Sharp and picked himself up to score his seventh penalty of the season - but the goal was almost a cursory footnote to the posturing and aggro which followed Probert's award of the spot-kick on the advice of linesman Adam Watts.
As Southampton players picketed the officials to register their disapproval, Taylor rushed to the debate and landed a two-handed shove on Sharp.
As as act of violence, it was probably up there with pushing a shopping trolley up the aisle in a supermarket sweep - but Sharp saw fit to go down with a thespian flourish and Probert bought it, dismissing Taylor with a straight red card. Eastenders were quick to single out Sharp as the villain of the piece, and Allardyce observed: "I'm disappointed in Matt raising his hands, but I'm even more disappointed that Sharp held his face and rolled on the floor.
The pie and mash society filled Upton Park with estuarine vowels again when Adam Lallana was booked for a blatant dive in the area. Refreshingly, his manager Nigel Adkins scolded: "I've had words with him - I won't tolerate that from any of my players.
And Saints would have been level by the interval if Robert Green had not pulled off a wondrous double save from Lallana and Sharp. But even the admirable Green was helpless to prevent Southampton's equaliser 15 minutes from the end, Rickie Lambert rising to knock down Danny Fox's free-kick for Jos Hooiveld to pounce in the six-yard box. TV Films. Funeral Notices Horoscopes Offers Newsletter up. Voucher codes Asos Nike Argos. John Lewis Currys. In Your Area. Got A Story.
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