Hammers torn apart by Lions
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
In a match containing five goals, three penalties and a sending off, The Lions' margin of victory should have been greater had they not been so profligate from 12 yards out.
The hosts' first penalty arrived on 16 minutes when Matthew Etherington hacked at the influential Paul Ifill but Neil Harris' spot kick was saved by the legs of Stephen Bywater.
West Ham struggled to muster any attacking gusto but did hit the woodwork on 26 minutes when Kevin Horlock's long-range free kick rattled the crossbar.
The Lions took the lead on 36 minutes in fortuitous circumstances when the industrious Ifill's cross was turned past Bywater by Hammers captain Christian Dailly.
Half time substitute Nick Chadwick made an immediate impact when he provided the cross for Tim Cahill to head past Bywater a minute after the break.
The Hammers swiftly hauled themselves back in the game when Matt Lawrence handled in the area and Marlon Harewood stroked home the resultant penalty.
But Millwall quickly restored their two-goal cushion on 56 minutes when Cahill superbly volleyed home Ifill's corner after being left unmarked in the box.
Any chance of a Hammers comeback disintegrated just past the hour mark when Bywater was sent off after Harris ran into the keeper when chasing Ifill's long ball.
Bywater's replacement - Pavel Srnicek - did not have to pick the ball out of the net as Cahill, seeking a hat-trick, blazed his penalty off target.
Hammers substitute Brian Deane almost salvaged a glimmer of hope for the visitors after bringing Michael Carrick's excellent pass under control but Millwall keeper Andy Marshall was alive to the danger and smothered the shot.
With ten minutes remaining, the home team further outlined their dominance after poor defending from Tomas Repka enabled Chadwick to lash home while Andy Melville could easily have followed Bywater down the tunnel after blatantly obstructing Cahill.