Sheffield Utd 3 West Ham 3
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The hosts got off to a flying start as Paul Peschisolido continued his good form when he netted after five minutes.
The Canadian international converted from close range after a cross from Nick Montgomery to give The Blades an early advantage that lasted only 14 minutes.
The Hammers levelled the scores when Michael Carrick slotted home past Paddy Kenny.
It got even better for Alan Pardew's side soon after as Jon Harley marked his West Ham debut in sensational fashion as he flashed a left-footed drive that flew into the top right hand corner and left the keeper standing in admiration.
Things got even better for the visitors just before the break as Marlon Harewood made it three when he stretched to volley in Matthew Etherington's cross.
Sheffield United piled on the pressure in the second half and grabbed a lifeline when West Ham failed to clear their lines from a corner and debutant Paul Shaw was free on the left to score after only just coming on as a substitute.
They were then handed the perfect opportunity to level matters when Anton Ferdinand needlessly bundled over Peschisolido in the box to give The Blades a spot kick.
Michael Tonge took the penalty but saw his effort saved by Stephen Bywater. The keeper, replacing the recently departed David James, guessed the right way and clawed the ball away with his left hand.
The home side's efforts to grab a point left plenty of gaps at the back and West Ham should have made the game safe but Etherington twice wasted excellent chances when through on goal.
They paid the price as Phil Jagielka rose highest at a corner to nod the ball home in injury time despite three defenders being on the line.
The game was an excellent advert for Division One football but The Hammers will be kicking themselves for letting another lead slip as they aim for a quick return to The Premiership.