West Ham 3 Leeds United 4

Last updated : 10 November 2002 By The Gas Man

Australian assassins Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka shot down West Ham to leave Glenn Roeder surveying the ashes of yet another defensive disaster.

Finding themselves 4-1 down at the break the Eastenders may have launched a spectacular second-half rally, but in truth that merely disguised another dismal defeat for a side that simply concedes goals for fun.

Despite showing early glimmers of urgency, however, it did not take the Hammers long to press the self-destruct button.

In the 11th minute a mix-up between Christian Dailly and David James enabled Harry Kewell to nod on to the diving Nick Barmby, who glanced into an empty net.

Viduka and Eirik Bakke could have doubled Leeds advantage before Paolo Di Canio gave the Hammers life by tapping home the loose ball after Paul Robinson found Michael Carrick's low 25-yarder too hot to handle.

After 27 minutes Kewell rose the highest at the near post to nod home Ian Harte's in-swinging corner, then five minutes before the break the Aussie attacker grabbed his second with a low, angled, 12-yard volley after West Ham failed to deal with Harte's cross.

Just when the home fans thought it could not get any worse Dailly's woefully under-hit back-pass again sold his keeper short and after Viduka won the resulting tackle on the stranded James, he rolled the gift into an empty net.

Five minutes after the break, Gary Kelly's lunge on Di Canio allowed the Italian to dust himself down and calmly score for the penalty spot.

And as West Ham went on to dominate a surreal second period, the masked Trevor Sinclair raised West Ham hope further when he ghosted in at the near post to meet Sebastien Schemmel's corner.

But despite coming close to drawing level, West Ham's poor first-half showing had simply left them with too much to do.

The never say die Di Canio tried to rescue a point, but the opening 45 minutes meant it was always going to be mission impossible for Roeders' side