Paul Stalteri always felt we could turn things around against West Ham - not that he thought he'd be the one starting and finishing a breakaway in injury time to win it!
Paul Stalteri always felt we could turn things around against West Ham - not that he thought he'd be the one starting and finishing a breakaway in injury time to win it!The Canadian international came into the action for Jermaine Jenas just after we’d reduced our 2-0 half-time deficit to 2-1 via Jermain Defoe’s penalty.
Within minutes Teemu Tainio’s fantastic volley levelled it up but the home side managed to hit back again via Bobby Zamora’s header with only five minutes remaining.
Enter Dimitar Berbatov, who curled home a free-kick for 3-3 in the final minute before Paul’s moment of glory as he picked the ball up from Lee Young-Pyo's tackle on the edge of our box, released Jermain and was there for the tap-in when Robert Green parried JD’s shot.
“Was it only 70 yards?” smiled Paul as he reflected on that burst down field in added time. “When the initial free-kick took place I didn’t realise they’d left it one against one at the back. Lee won the ball, I saw Jermain on his way and once I played it into the space I looked up, noticed no-one was back and just took off from there.
"It was probably one of the easiest goals I’ve ever scored. It was just a relief because we knew they had no time to come back and get an equaliser – if there was still a couple of minutes left, you never know what might have happened.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to be on the right side of a game like that and it showed the character and belief of the team at the moment.”
Paul revealed that there was a real determination to go out and put things right in the second half after we came in at half-time 2-0 down.
“We wanted to go on and win it and I said to a couple of the lads at half-time that if we got a goal, I had a feeling West Ham might get a bit nervous, put more pressure on themselves and be a bit edgy," he added.
“That’s what happened. We got back to 2-1 quite early and at the time I went on, I thought anything could happen. That’s how it turned out.”
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