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BILIC GETS ON HIS BIKE TO SAVE HAMMERS.

West Ham 1, Barnet 0

(West Ham win 2-1 on agg)

Slaven Bilic kicked battling Barnet in the Balkans last night to earn lucky Hammers a split decision.

Croat defender Bilic charged forward to meet a Stan Lazaridis corner a minute after the break and head his first goal for West Ham.

Bilic the Upton Park crowd favourite from Split - who signed a bumper new pounds 500,000 a year deal last week - vaulted the advertising boards to celebrate with the fans.

But this was no excuse for an East End knees up. In fact, Harry Redknapp's men spent most of the night with their feet up.

Bilic was presented with a mountain bike by man of the match sponsors, afterwards, but most of his colleagues deserve to be on their bikes after stumbling into the next round.The Bees, 13th in Division Three, had every right to milk the applause from 15,264 loyal Hammers fans who were put through a Coca-Cola fright night.

West Ham boss Redknapp revealed afterwards he will complete the pounds 800,000 capture of 22-year-old Sporting Lisbon striker Hugo Porfirio this morning.

And he joked: "Hugo's so quick he won't need a bike like Bilic."

"But seriously, these games are a nightmare for Premier league players - they are on a hiding to nothing and it's great for the underdog."Ask Everton, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and even Chelsea how easy these ties are.

"I had ten years of managing a Barnet"- and beating the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle in these competitions.

"How does it happen? I don't know - nobody does.

"We had to pick the pace up, pass it sharper and get more people forward, but in the end we've won and the rest is history.""

West Ham should have been reduced to ten men in the first half when defender Tim Breacker caught Barnet's Shaun Gale with an awful, waist- high lunge. Gloucester ref Clive Wilkes' yellow card was lenient, to say the least.

And Barnet could easily have forced extra time through Jamie Campbell's curling 25 yarder, which beat Steve Mautone but shaved an upright.

Julian Dicks and Iain Dowie rattled the woodwork for the home side, but West Ham would have been flattered to double their money.
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Walters, Mike
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 26, 1996
Words:377
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