West Ham United 3 Birmingham City 3: Match Report

Ricardo Vaz Té’s late penalty saved West Ham’s bacon yesterday as the match ended 3 apiece against Birmingham City.

The first half of the match was something out of a horror story and threatened to damage West Ham’s promotion chances. Snatching just a point was not what the Hammers really wanted but they showed incredible spirit to come back from 3-1 down at the break.

The Hammers knew that Saints had won their game and were now 7 points adrift. With the pressure now on West ham could not afford to waste this opportunity of a game in hand. Sadly though, this is what they did and gifted Birmingham their goals to make it 1-3 at half time.

The lads from Birmingham punished the Irons for some sloppy football especially from the midfield where the ball was given away far too many times.Birmingham scored twice, both from the home side’s errors that saw them give the ball away in the midfield. Ricardo Vaz Té showed courage and scored almost straight after to make it 1-2 but then Birmingham got a corner and some defensive errors cost West Ham a third. The Hammers were booed off the park at half time.Big Sam Allardyce could only shake his head at such a poor performance from his lads.

After the break, Carlton Cole scored to make it 2 apiece and gave an invigorated West Ham some hope. West Ham had a lot of possession early on in the second half but it wasn’t used wisely as the best chances fell to their opponents with Rob Green keeping the Hammers’ hopes alive with a reflex save from Chris Burke. Curtis Davies also headed wide from a Jordan Mutch corner.

Allardyce was livid as two possible spot kicks were not given. Gary O’Neil went to ground in the penalty area after a challenge by Ramage but no penalty was given.Then West Ham’s players were angry as another penalty appeal went begging after Carlton Cole went down while tussling with Steven Caldwell in the penalty area.

West ham’s comeback was finally complete when Burke handled Henri Lansbury’s shot in the box, allowing Ricardo Vaz Té to rescue a point from the penalty spot for the Hammers that he confidently knocked in.

Match details

West Ham (4-4-2): Green; A Faye, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney (Collins 34); O’Neil, Noble (Baldock 82), Nolan; Vaz Te, Cole, Maynard (Lansbury 45).

Subs: Taylor, Demel.

Booked: Nolan, Lansbury.

Birmingham (4-5-1): Myhill; Ramage, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy; Burke, Fahey, N’Daw (Zigic 67), Mutch, Elliott; King (Townsend 85).

Subs: Doyle (gk), Huseklepp, Redmond.

Booked: N’Daw, Zigic, Burke.

Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Hammers Demolish Barnsley 4 – 0

It was a nice sight yesterday watching the Hammers demolish Barnsley 4 nil away.

This result gives the Hammers some hope as it means they have both Southampton and Reading within touching distance. If this was ever a time for the “squeaky bum” syndrome, then this is it as the top two can feel the heat of the irons breathing down their necks.It was a great match and I must admit that Barnsley had a nightmare in defence which started with a goal mouth scramble and a toe poke in for the hammers’ captain to make it one nil.

With Reading beating Leeds United earlier on, the Hammers started the game 7 points behind and needed to produce the goods if they were ever to steal a promotion place. But once captain Nolan tapped the ball in from a Nicky Maynard corner they never looked back.

23 minutes into the game and it was Maynard who got onto the scoresheet after a nice piece of play with his captain. then it was Mark Noble’s turn just 12 minutes after to crash home a third for the Hammers. Noble curled the ball in from a tight angle to find the net and also helped the visitors to a new club record of 12 away wins in a season. Nice one Noble!

We found a cutting edge and it was a fantastic, professional performance,” said the West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce.

“We’ve broken the club record for away wins in a season, which is a great achievement. It’s very pleasing because it’s always difficult to play away from home. It’s just a pity we haven’t won more games at home.”

With the second half under way Ricardo Vaz Tê added a fourth goal for the Hammers against his old side from close range. We hope with this performance, last months five straight draws in a row is a thing of the past as the Upton Park boys have seen Reading, who are the new leaders, cruise past the them.

Barnsley looked shell shocked after the game who still have a 9 point cushion to fall back on at the bottom of the league table.

“The pressure was on us after Reading won earlier in the day,” Allardyce said. “Winning was the only thing for us and we did that. We did that with style and showed we could handle the pressure situation.

“We now face Birmingham City on Monday and that will be a tough test for us. We need to try and grasp another three points and see where we go from there.”

Allardyce can spend Saturday enjoying his win but as he said, “there’s a tough game on Monday against Birmingham”. If the hammers can grab some points there then there’s hope. Surely the hammers, after beating Barnsley on their own turf at Oakwell will be well up for the game at Birmingham. Do not disappoint us lads, we are counting on you 🙂

Hammers Promotion Dented By Reading

West Ham’s promotion campaign took a nasty turn for the worse as the irons got “hammered” 2-4 by Reading at Upton Park this afternoon.

West Ham started off fine and went one nil up. Big Sam was happy and the fans were loving it. As the game went on though, it turned into a complete disaster for the claret and blues. The Royals thus take a nice 4 point lead over West Ham as the two battle it out for the second automatic promotion spot. Talk about squeaky bum from Sir Alex and Mancini as the two Manc clubs battle it out (Man City drew with Sunderland 3-3 btw), this is far worse. I can’t take it any more lads!

We’ve drawn the last five game and slipped out of the comfort zone and so it was nice to see Carlton Cole stick one in just before half time! Maybe we can add that this was probably the Irons’ best performance this season! What went wrong, then?

Totally against the run of play, Kaspars Gorkss equalised from a corner in the 44th minute and then, in first-half stoppage time, Noel Hunt fired Reading into an unlikely lead.

The second half got under way and Reading man Ian Harte added a third from a penalty kick and, although Irons’ Ricardo Vaz Te pulled a goal back, any hopes of a comeback or another “draw” were completely wiped out by a disputed fourth goal from Mikele Leigertwood just six minutes from time. By this time many Hammer fans just couldn’t bare to watch and started filing out.

League leaders Saints, who are sitting two points ahead of Reading in the table, have just lost 0-3 to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, ouch!

Hammers Dominate But Come Away With Draw

I can’t believe it neither can big Sam. Yet another draw for the Irons after a dominating game by the boys in claret and blue!

Burnley were quite simply outplayed by the Hammers at Turf Moor in this npower Championship game but were not rewarded with the points. The Hammers were even 2 nil down at half time but roared back into life after the break.

Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins put the Irons back in the frame and levelled the score and after numerous chances went begging, Allardyce was left flabbergasted to see his Hammers leave Turf Moor with just a point.

I’m absolutely totally and utterly flabbergasted that we didn’t leave Burnley with a victory under our belts. From the very start, we had chance after chance after chance and then incredibly went 2-0 down. Even then, we had a couple of chances before half-time that we couldn’t put in the back of the net.

“We slipped up defensively on a couple of occasions and they’ve scored two goals completely against the run of play after playing so well.

“We changed the system a bit and went for it a little bit more. The comeback was fantastic but it wasn’t really a comeback because we were already there. We increased the amount of opportunities we could score from, but unfortunately we fell foul of not converting our opportunities into goals.

“We must have had four or five one-on-ones, we’ve hit the post and had a goal disallowed. We had 20 attempts and eleven shots on target and Burnley’s total was five shots on target in the entire 90 minutes and they’ve scored two goals.

A fifth draw in a row means that the Hammers travel to Peterborough United for their game in-hand on Tuesday knowing only a victory will keep automatic promotion in their own hands.

Having said that, Sam Allardyce has quite rightly demanded that his strikers start finding the target sooner rather than later.

Big Sam said:

The players have got to find the courage to take their chances. They have got to have the nerve, composure and professionalism to convert them into goals.
“We cannot wait any longer. We’ve got to put the ball in the net when we get the chances. Our conversion rate has to be a lot better.

Like all Hammers fans I do hope they come through at Peterborough and claim a victory – all this tense, nervy stuff is getting to me!

Yet Another Draw For The Irons

Promotion chasing West Ham United were left deluded last night as Middlesbrough’s Tony Mowbray felt his side lay bare the Hammers’ fans delusion of grandeur. The irons were held to a fourth draw in a row. The Upton Park crowd are none too pleased with their team’s performance.

Middlesbrough manage to stifle West Ham’s advances for the first sixty minutes of the match until Abdoulaye Faye broke the deadlock with a neat header into the visitor’s net. This was Faye’s first goal for the Hammers but the home side’s joy was to be short lived as Middlesbrough substitute Bart Ogbeche levelled the scores late into the match on with an awesome solo goal.

This draw has now left Allardyce’s side outside the automatic promotion places and Middlesbrough boss Mowbray pointed out that the Upton Park fans’ lofty opinion of their club maybe counting against them:

“I thought our team came and did what was expected. It was our prerogative to come here and make life difficult for them; to see if we could create some anxiety in the stadium,” Mowbray said.

“I think we did that. The crowd get frustrated, every bad pass, every interception, there’s a groan.

“I think the expectation of the fan base is they should be in the Premier League. They see it almost as an insult that they’re playing their football in the Championship.”

A few Tweets of the week seemed to sum up how Upton Park feel about the situation:

We were shocking! Big Sam is going to cost us promotion and the club with his tactics, formations and players – @joebarr1973

Five draws in a row is unacceptable. Allardyce got the substitutions completely wrong. Bringing on Carew instead of Baldock was madness – @JeganWHU

We lacked creativity, flair, width and guile. I don’t know why Sam doesn’t give Lansbury and Morrison a chance. We were really poor on Tuesday night – @KwamsMoriarty

We cannot be happy after a fourth straight draw. I am still trying to get over another shocking home performance where Maynard and Cole go of to be replaced by an out of form Collison and the snail Carew. What is Big Sam thinking? We could be out of the automatic promotion race by Saturday evening – @stevetiley47

Sack Sam now, that performance was shocking. The football is absolutely dire – @JimboNorwood

The tactical substitutions at 1-0 were huge mistakes. West Ham need offensive coaching with nice passing instead of long balls – @FrencHammer

I think Big Sam has got to teach the players one-touch football at speed, not long punt football. Bring back Zola, at least we passed the ball then – @prolaz22

West Ham are sinking into the quagmire of the play-offs. If they do they will not make it to the final – @Apisadmirer

We have to earn the right to go up and we just haven’t done that this season… Us supporters turn up and know exactly what we’re gonna get – @louisb91

We were not good enough again but I can’t understand the ‘Sack Allardyce’ movement. It is possible to play 4-5-1 well you know. Our players just are not good enough – @bab_whu

Stats:

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Green; McCartney, Faye, Collins O’Brien; Tomkins, Noble; Maynard (Collison 71); Taylor, Nolan (Baldock 87); Cole (Carew 71). Subs: Lansbury, Morrison.

Middlesbrough(4-3-3): Steele; Bennett, Bates, Hines, Hoyte; Smallwood (Martin 80), Thomson (Ogbeche 80), Bailey; Emnes (Zemmama 76), Jutkiewicz, Hammill. Subs: Arca, McMahon

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire)