Hammers rue Marlon miss
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marlon Harewood missed a late penalty as West Ham drew 2-2 with Leicester.Pressure mounted further on West Ham manager Alan Pardew after The Hammers could only manage a 2-2 draw with ten-man Leicester on Friday night.
The Hammers twice came from behind with two goals from Teddy Sheringham, but were left to rue a late penalty miss from Marlon Harewood which cost them maximum points.
The draw leaves The Hammers outside the play-off places, and the East Londoners will be kicking themselves after letting victory slip through their fingers in a game they dominated for long spells.
Harewood should have edged the hosts in front on 12 minutes but could not get proper contact on a Mark Noble cross, while Joey Gudjonsson blazed over a decent opportunity at the other end shortly afterwards.
It was Leicester who did hit the front midway through the half from the penalty spot, Gudjonsson's through ball released Stephen Hughes who advanced on to Stephen Bywater and was brought down by the West Ham goalkeeper after rounding him.
The custodian was relieved to see referee Andre Marriner only produce a yellow card, but was left disappointed when David Connolly confidently dispatched the spot-kick to score against his former employers.
The lead was short-lived, though, as five minutes later Harewood swung over an excellent cross from the right which Sheringham nodded home at the far post with the minimum of fuss.
Harewood almost got his own name on the scoresheet moments later when he flashed a left-footed drive narrowly wide, and Sheringham came close to his second after a free kick had been nodded on to him six yards from goal.
However, Upton Park was left stunned just before the half-time whistle when Keith Gillespie strode on to a dropping ball and unleashed a superb volley that flew past Bywater and into the corner from fully 30 yards.
As if aware they could well have been playing for their manager's future, The Hammers started the second period much the better of the two teams and pinned the visitors in their own half.
Sheringham should have done better when he fired over on the half-volley after Ian Walker could only palm a free kick to him 12 yards from goal.
The former England star made amends two minutes later when he played a smart one-two with Bobby Zamora on the edge of the box before firing home via a deflection off Nikos Dabizas.
It seemed set up for a home win from that point and even more so when The Hammers were awarded a spot-kick and Leicester reduced to ten men 11 minutes from time when Dabizas blocked Noble's shot on the line with his hand.
However, in what could prove to be a fatal turn of events for Pardew, Harewood stepped up and placed a weak penalty to Walker's left which the goalkeeper comfortably stopped (pictured).
Carl Fletcher and Nigel Reo-Coker almost won it for the hosts but were denied by last-ditch clearances, and the jeers around Upton Park at the final whistle told the story.
Click below for a match summary:
West Ham 2-2 Leicester