On this day: West Ham United blow three-goal lead

On this day: West Ham blow three-goal lead
© Getty Images
Back on this day in 1998, West Ham United threw away a three-goal advantage at home to Wimbledon.

There was plenty of optimism around East London when West Ham United welcomed Wimbledon to Upton Park 15 years ago today.

Ian Wright had a lot to do with the heightened expectations, having been handed his first home start for the Hammers following his £500,000 switch from fellow Londoners Arsenal.

The England international proved his worth within the opening 27 minutes against the Dons as he set up the first goal for strike partner John Hartson, before scoring twice himself to put West Ham 3-0 up.

However, in the 30th minute, Marcus Gayle brought Wimbledon back into contention when he headed a cross from Alan Kimble beyond the reach of Shaka Hislop.

That goal appeared to give Joe Kinnear's side some extra belief and in the 64th minute Jason Euell capitalised on an error from West Ham's Chilean defender Javier Margas to reduce the arrears to one goal.

The equaliser arrived 14 minutes later when Hislop spilled a corner for Gayle to tap in his second of the contest, before Efan Ekoku headed in the winner for the away side in the closing stages from a Euell pass.

Reports have since claimed that there were just 17 Wimbledon fans in attendance to see their side overturn what was at the time the biggest Premier League deficit.

Craig Bellamy celebrates his goal against Blackburn on December 7, 2012
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