Date: 10th December 2006 at 11:14am
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West Ham produced one of the poorest displays ever seen at the Reebok Stadium and paid the price as Bolton ran out easy four-nil winners. It could have been worse for them, with Bolton creating chances at will and Campo hitting the post late on.

It was a great day for Gary Speed who admitted, as predicted, that the three points were worth more to him than the 500 Premiership appearances.

Bolton started brightly and it was no surprise when Kevin Davies volleyed in from close range on 17 minutes following a lovely move that involved more passes than the Rocky Mountains. Bolton totally dominated the first half, with Speed looking as industrious as ever and Campo supplying the passes from midfield. Anelka, Diouf and Davies hit the ground running up front and the play between the three of them was outstanding.

By the time the Kev Davies scored his second on 52 minutes, the game was over. West Ham huffed and puffed a little but to no avail. Teddy Sheringham replaced the grotesque Tevez but looked a man in his forties playing a number of years beyond his prime.

On 77 minutes, Diouf walked past the whole of the West Ham defence and prodded the ball past Robert Green. A minute later, Anelka latched on to a lovely through ball from Speed and dinked the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

West Ham gave up.

There was still time for Campo to hit the post, Speed to go off for his ovation, and Ricky Gardner to have a run out.

Big Sam was in festive mood.

‘I’m absolutely delighted because we’d lost two games and we’ve found goals difficult to come by.

‘To get four today, with the front three all scoring, was terrific. It wasn’t as easy as it looked, West Ham put up a good fight.

‘Our finishing was high quality and it’s a big victory. Hopefully it gives us the confidence to go on a run.’

Alan Pardew was not.

‘Bolton were very very good, unfortunately we were the opposite. We were very stretched at the back.

‘We battled hard and tried to play – sometimes we overplayed. But, having said that, this was a fair result.

‘We are going to need some strong characters to bounce back after this result – we are in a tight spot. As a team we were not good enough today.’

This was a good display by the boys but an abject one for the Hammers who must now be one of the hot favourites for relegation.

 

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