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Football: Green howlers sink Hammers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 October 2008

West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green dropped two clangers to gift Bolton a 3-1 win at Upton Park yesterday.
Green endured a nightmare four-minute spell in the first half as his fumble allowed Kevin Davies to put Bolton ahead. The England international followed that howler by spilling a shot which led to Gary Cahill's strike.
Carlton Cole gave West Ham hope of a second half revival with a close-range header, but Matt Taylor's blistering free-kick wrapped up Bolton's first away win this season.
Green's mistakes condemned West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola to his first league defeat and hardly helped the keeper's international prospects at a time when Fabio Capello is still looking for a long-term number one.
Bolton should have taken the lead when Sweden forward Johan Elmander found himself with only Green to beat but he shot straight at the Hammers keeper from close range.
The first sign that Green was struggling came when Ricardo Gardner's corner almost sneaked in at the near post.
David di Michele led the West Ham response as the Italian striker fired wide from the edge of the area and Valon Behrami blasted just past the far post from long range soon after.
But it was Bolton who were gifted the lead in the 30th minute.
Green came to the edge of his area to make what should have been a routine catch. Instead he allowed the ball to slip out of his grasp and Davies was perfectly placed to loop his shot into the empty net.
Even taking into consideration the rain that had soaked Upton Park before kick-off, Green could have no excuses and his day got even worse four minutes later.
Andy O'Brien's free-kick into the penalty area was headed out to Gretar Steinsson.
Green saved the defender's powerful strike low to his left but allowed the ball to break loose and Cahill was able to poke in his first Bolton goal since joining from Aston Villa in January.
Zola implored his players to keep their heads up from the touchline and they emerged with renewed determination after half-time.
When Carlton Cole's deflected shot forced a superb stop from Jussi Jaaskelainen early in the second period, the Hammers finally began to mount a fightback.
Although Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann shot narrowly off-target from the edge of the area, the momentum was with West Ham and Cole reduced the deficit in the 69th minute.
Matthew Upson headed Matt Etherington's corner back across goal and Cole was able to nod past Jaaskelainen from close range.
West Ham pressed hard for an equaliser but it was Bolton who got the decisive goal in the 86th minute when Taylor scored with a fierce free-kick that flashed past Green.

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