West Ham 3-2 Leicester: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:50 29/10/11 By MirrorFootball
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce had to be cruel to be kind yesterday.
Allardyce took striker John Carew off during the first half of the 3-2 win against Leicester to save the Norwegian from a red card.
Carew was booked by referee James Linington after 20 minutes for persistent fouling.
Ten minutes later, the Hammers coach sent substitute Freddie Piquionne on to replace him. “I had to take him off before he was sent off,” said Allardyce.
“He had five fouls given against him in the first 20 minutes. And once he was booked, I was afraid he would get another card.
“It disrupted our rhythm having to change so early and the situation was difficult for me.
“There was nothing malicious in any of his challenges.”
But Carew may still be in trouble.
As the players came off at half-time, he confronted Linington and there was finger-pointing while he made his case to the official.
West Ham must now wait to see if Linington includes the exchange in his match report.
If he does, then he could face a ban – and with Carlton Cole out with a knee injury, that would hit West Ham hard.
However the plus-point for the club is the form of Sam Baldock, who is looking the bargain of the season after his £2.5million move from MK Dons.
He ended the deadlock after 21 minutes. Man-of-the-match Mark Noble broke clear and gave Carew possession in the area. He floated up a high ball for Baldock to convert with a header.
Moments later West Ham went further ahead. Joey O’Brien pulled the ball back and Julien Faubert drove home.
Leicester may be without a manager since the departure of Sven-Goran Eriksson last week but what they lack in leadership they make up for with grit.
Cue a second-half recovery in which Andy King headed home a cross from Ritchie Wellens just before the hour. Cue West Ham unease. And cue another strike from Baldock in the 71st minute.
A long ball forward was headed on by Piquionne and there was Baldock to sweep it past Kasper Schmeichel.
But Leicester were in no mood to surrender and King turned and shot from the edge of the area three minutes later.
Joint caretaker-manager Mike Stowell said: “The players put in a good shift in the second half. We gave it a right good go and with a bit more fortune we might have got something.”