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An injury-time equaliser from Anton Ferdinand denied the team a return to winning ways against West Ham United at the Lane on Sunday.

An injury-time equaliser from Anton Ferdinand denied the team a return to winning ways against West Ham United at the Lane on Sunday.

It was not a classic derby clash by any means - with neither goalkeeper worked particularly hard on a very chilly afternoon - but Mido's clever header on 15 minutes so nearly won the day before Ferdinand's intervention from a late corner.

Robbie Keane was awarded the opportunity to, once again, spearhead our attack alongside Mido, while Teemu Tainio deservedly retained his place despite the return to fitness of Aaron Lennon who started the game on the bench.

With the comeback of Wayne Routledge looming, competition for places in midfield is going to be fierce in the coming weeks as we head into the festive period - where Martin Jol will no doubt be grateful for the increased options.

It was a scrappy first few minutes following the 1pm kick-off and it took a fizzing drive from all of 25 yards from Edgar Davids to really crank the game into life. Keane then went close from a tight angle as the boys began to apply something of a squeeze on the visitors.

Michael Carrick was predictably getting the bird from the travelling support but you got the feeling it was nothing compared to what Jermain Defoe would get if called upon from the bench.

Hayden Mullins was not too far away on ten minutes with his 20-yard drive as West Ham mounted their first real attack of the game. The warning signs were in evidence as Teddy Sheringham typically turned a lost cause into a chance for Yossi Benayoun which had Paul Robinson scrambling slightly.

Teemu Tainio and Paul Konchesky had a little coming together on 14 minutes when the Finn was sent spinning over the advertising hoardings. It certainly caused a spark and, a minute later, a hopeful high punt from Michael Dawson flew in the direction of Mido.

With Shaka Hislop off his line the Egyptian applied a measured lofted header over the stranded keeper and into the net for his fourth goal of the season

The game was something a bit above simmering and a second flashpoint came when Edgar and Teddy got in a tangle followed by a spot of push and shove. Both were shown yellow by referee Mr Wiley.

West Ham did have the ball in the net five minutes before the break after a little hesitation in the area. Midfielder Mark Noble - in for the injured Nigel Reo-Coker - had the final touch but the flag was already aloft on the far side.

The encounter was lacking the snap and zip usually associated with a derby match - the emphasis more on control than crash band wallop. The second half picked up the same probing approach as the first but, from our point of view, the game needed to be put to bed with another goal.

Mido nearly obliged again with a flicked header from a Tainio cross six minutes into the half before Hislop pulled off a smart smothering stop to deny Keane with an overhead kick from about six yards.

Gaps were appearing as those in claret and blue started to commit more in search of a leveller. They so nearly snatched one on 67 minutes and it took Robbo at his brilliant best to prevent it. The corner from the right was not cleared and the ball bounced at the feet of Sheringham, needing just a good final touch, which was duly added. With the ball goalbound, Robbo showed his reactions and tipped the high, rising shot over the bar and left Sheringham shaking his head in disbelief.

Defoe made his entrance in place of Keane with 11 minutes remaining, but it was Jermaine Jenas who so nearly doubled the advantage in the last minute - his curling shot shaving the outside of Hislop's right-hand upright.

Then came the moment you are always dreading when protecting a slender lead, a Konchesky corner was not dealt with by keeper or defenders and Ferdinand stole in at the far post to head in to the despair of the vast majority of the 36,154 at the Lane.