Leeds 1-1 West Ham

Danny Collins scored a last-minute equaliser as West Ham salvaged a point in a frantic finale at Leeds.

The Whites broke the deadlock in a dour game through Luciano Becchio's close-range header seven minutes from time.

But on-loan defender Collins, making his first start since joining from Stoke, nodded home Mark Noble's corner.

The late strike extends West Ham's unbeaten run to eight matches but Sam Allardyce's side lose ground on the Championship top two.

Results elsewhere meant neither manager at Elland Road could be especially pleased with the result of a much-hyped contest that failed to live up to expectations.

Victories for Southampton and Reading leave West Ham three points below the automatic promotion places, while Leeds stay 10th with only an outside chance of making the play-offs.

Elland Road's first full house of the season was the arena for a tantalising clash between the division's two biggest sides, but the game failed to spark in the early stages.

Nicky Maynard wasted the first half's only genuine chance when his heavy touch allowed Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan to smother the ball at his feet.

The Hammers then had penalty appeals turned down after the ball appeared to strike Michael Brown's hand in the box.

The visitors continued to look the stronger side after the break, with substitute Carlton Cole causing the Leeds defence problems, and the former England striker arched a header just over the bar from a Noble free-kick.

Robert Green was then forced to make his first save in the 70th minute when he showed terrific reactions to turn away a Paul Connolly header.

Connolly was involved again as Leeds fashioned an opening goal with 83 minutes on the clock. When Robert Snodgrass crossed to the back post, Connolly headed against the bar and the ball fell to Becchio who nodded home.

But the lead would only last seven minutes as West Ham secured a deserved point when Collins connected with Noble's well-taken corner.

Leeds manager Neil Warnock: "We should have won. You've got to win games like that, I can't remember ever being this disappointed. I probably have, but I can't remember.

"I said to the referee: 'When you watch Carlton Cole blatantly push Darren O'Dea over [before West Ham's goal], you've got to see that'. O'Dea was going to head the ball [away]."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "When Leeds scored we were in our best spell of attacking. It was unfortunate that we slipped up but we came back, got the draw and have to accept that it's a good point.

"We're all a little bit edgy but we're confident we can take the final step and start winning more games than we draw."

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