A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1987-88 Sunday Mirror Football Combination

CRYSTAL PALACE : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

87_08_22 WHU v. Crystal Palace

QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

PORTSMOUTH : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

FULHAM : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

BRISTOL ROVERS : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

LUTON TOWN : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

IPSWICH TOWN : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

OXFORD UNITED : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

ARSENAL : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

WATFORD : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

CHELSEA : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

SOUTHAMPTON : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

READING : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

87_08_25 QPR v. WHU 87_09_01 Portsmouth v. WHU 87_09_08 WHU v. Fulham 87_09_12 WHU v. Bristol Rovers 87_09_19 Luton Town v. WHU 87_09_26 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU 87_09_29 WHU v. Ipswich Town 87_10_07 Oxford United v. WHU 87_10_31 WHU v. Arsenal 87_11_07 Watford v. WHU dated 24 Oct 87_11_14 WHU v. Chelsea 87_11_21 Southampton v. WHU 87_11_28 WHU v. Reading

Vicarage Road

1 - 1 (Slater)

7 November 1987

Please note:

Programme is dated 24th October 1987 - This fixture was always scheduled in the fixture list to be played on 7 November.

MILLWALL : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

NORWICH CITY : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

87_12_02 Millwall v. WHU 87_12_12 WHU v. Norwich City

SWINDON TOWN : Sunday Mirror Football Combination

87_12_17 Swindon Town v. WHU

Manager: Tony Carr

The premier Reserve Team competition for Southern clubs has now undergone a further change of title. Originally formed as a World War I tournament for clubs First Xl's as the London Combination, the name was amended to Football Combination after the Second World War and also underwent subsequent expansion.

Prior to the start of this season the title was extended to the London Evening News Football Combination as it was to be sponsored by the newspaper. However, before the opening games took place the paper closed down, so it temporarily reverted to Football Combination until the press group switched the sponsorship to the Sunday Mirror at the beginning of September.

The Lions were better-placed in the table, but we closed the gap upon them thanks to this very good win. Excellent work by Stuart Slater took the ball into the opposing penalty-area and laid on the pass for Eamonn Dolan to give us an interval lead. The Hammers continued to hold the advantage during the second half, and it was pleasing to see Tony Gale emerge from this test-after-injury by playing throughout the 90 minutes.

Adam King went on as sub for Tshekedi Rose in the 75th minute but the hoped-for-return of Alan Devonshire did not take place as he was still not 100-per-cent fit.

For the fixture at Upton Park against Norwich City, the average age of the XI took an upward jump as compared with that of recent weeks; because apart from "regular" Phil Parkes and Tony Gale (having his second 'try out') we also included Liam Brady (recovering from a back injury) and Alan Devonshire (in competitive action for the first time since the opening League game of the season).

The Hammers made a great start against the fifth-place Canaries, going one up in the fourth minute. A through ball gave Chris Howard the chance to beat his man and create an opening for Eamonn Dolan to net from ten yards. Our team maintained its pressure, and Dolan doubled his tally with a great shot from the corner of the penalty area that made it two-nil with a third of the match gone.

An elbow in the eye took Gale out of action for seven minutes after a quarter-hour of the second half; City took advantage of us being reduced to ten men, and reduced their deficit during our positional re-arrangement. The return of our XI to full strength was immediately followed by the equaliser; Ruel Fox successfully rounded off a solo run, and that set the stage for an exciting finish. The defences survived further inroads, and the teams shared the points with a 2-2 draw.

CONTINUE 2

SECOND-HALF

Upton Park

5 - 1 (Bonds, Dolan, Keen, Potts, [og])

22 August 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Bonds

Hilton

Keen

Pearson

Livett (Humphries)

Dolan

Slater

Campbell

Loftus Road

0 - 2

25 August 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Bonds

Potts

Parris

Keen

Dickens

Dolan (Rose)

Slater

Campbell

Fratton Park

2 - 5 (Harwood, Keen)

1 September 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Bonds

Hilton

Parris

Campbell

Dickens

Dolan

Slater (Harwood)

Keen

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Campbell, Dolan, Pearson)

8 September 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Gale (Pearson)

Hilton

Keen

Ward

Dickens

Dolan

Campbell

Slater

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Slater)

12 September 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Humphries

Potts

O'Brien

Keen

Campbell

Dolan

Slater

Livett

Kenilworth Road

0 - 1

19 September 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Humphries

Potts

Keen

Kelly

Livett

Dolan

Slater

Campbell

White Hart Lanr

2 - 3 (Dolan, Harwood)

26 September 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Humphries

O'Brien (King)

Harwood

Kelly

Livett

Dolan

Slater

Campbell

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Campbell, Dolan)

29 September 1987

Parkes

Pearson

McQueen

Bonds

Hilton

Kelly

Slater

Livett

Dolan

Campbell

Strain

Manor Ground

1 - 1 (Dickens)

7 October 1987

Parkes

Potts (Harwood)

Strain

Bonds

Hilton

Kelly

Campbell

Livett

Dolan

Dickens

Slater

Upton Park

2 - 4 (Harwood, Kelly)

31 October 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Bonds

Strodder

Pearson

Kelly

Livett

Campbell

Dolan

Harwood

Parkes

Potts

McQueen

Bonds

Hilton

Kelly

Pearson

Livett

Campbell

Slater

Strain

Upton Park

1 - 2 (Harwood)

14 November 1987

Reeves

Pearson

Strain

Rose

Humphries (King)

O'Brien

Kelly

Livett

Campbell

Slater

Harwood

The Dell

3 - 2 (Slater 2, Livett [pen])

21 November 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Pask

Humphries

Rose (King)

Kelly

Slater

King

Livett

Harwood

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Livett [pen])

28 November 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Humphries

McQueen

Gale

Rose

Kelly (Humphries)

Slater

King

Livett

The Den

1 - 0 (Dolan)

2 December 1987

Parkes

Potts

Strain

Strodder

McQueen

Rose (King)

Kelly

Gale

Dolan

Slater

Livett

Upton Park

2 - 2 (Dolan 2)

12 December 1987

Parkes

Pearson

Strain

Gale

Potts

Devonshire

Harwood

King

Dolan

Livett

Brady

Forest Rovers FC

2 - 4 (Livett, Rose)

17 December 1987

Parkes

Pask

Strain

Gale

Pearson

Devonshire

Rose

Livett

Slater

King

Harwood

Our Reserves opened their Combination schedule with a convincing 5-1 home victory against Crystal Palace Reserves.

The game had an unfortunate start, as within the first minute Simon Livett was the victim of a tough tackle that terminated his participation. Lynton Humphries took his place, and set a possible Club record by playing 89 minutes as a substitute.

After that, events turned against the South Londoners. They firstly conceded an own goal, following which Kevin Keen, Billy Bonds, Eamonn Dolan and Steve Potts netted one apiece for the Hammers. We were three up at the interval and led four-nil before conceding the lone reply. The last quarter-hour of the match was rendered farcical by torrentail rain that swept across Eastern London and its surrounding areas. Fortunately we had kicked-off at 2 p.m., but had it been a 3 o'clock start, there would have been no alternative but for the referee to abandon the game. The teams survived the flood-conditions, but they (and the spectators) were only too pleased when he blew the final whistle after ensuring that a re-arranged fixture became unnecessary. Simon Livett's injury was confirmed as damage to his ligaments.

Both our opening Combination games suffered through the weather. The first at Upton Park was almost abandoned during the concluding quarter-hour; and the second at Loftus Road had rain from start to finish, and conditions were consequently made more difficult on the plastic surface.

Queens Park Rangers adapted themselves with greater confidence than the Hammers in the mid-week fixture, and their 2-0 victory was deserved. We conceded a goal in each half, and altogether it was a disappointing performance after the 5-1 success three days earlier.

Phil Parkes had a further try-out after that lengthy absence last season, and is making satisfactory progress.

A Tuesday evening Combination fixture at Fratton Park against Portsmouth Reserves saw our second-string go a goal down in five minutes when John Strain lost possession and Portsmouth got an early ball into our six yard box.

A Kevin Keen header from a Greg Campbell cross produced a good equaliser for the Hammers some ten minutes later. After that we had chances to go ahead but Eamonn Dolan and Kevin Keen were both foiled by the goalkeeper's legs.

A ball played over the top caught out our defence again, on thehalf hourand Portsmouth took the lead. This they increased when Hilton and Parkes were caught napping following an aimless through ball from a deep position. A Pompsy forward came in on their blind side to con vert his shot and give Portsmouth a 3-1 interval lead.

Despite us having much of the ball in the early stages of the second half, Portsmouth scored again in the 65th minute.

We pulled back to 4-2 a few minutes later when Keen slung over a corner which was flicked on by Dickens for Chris Harwood - making his debut this season - to head a fine goal at the far post.

Keen hit the crossbar from close range, but in the last minute Portsmouth rattled in another goal to complete our misery.

The Hammers line-up against Fulham included Tony Gale and Paul Hilton, both undergoing tests at competitive level following lengthy spells of absence through injury. Paul came through the whole game in a satisfactory manner, but Tony had to call it a day at the end of the opening quarter-hour, and it was decided to submit him to further examination by a specialist.

A surprise late change to the printed XI was the inclusion of Mark Ward. This was at the winger's request, and he made his mark on the game with several threatening runs down the Cottages, left-flank.

Eamonn Dolan put us ahead in the 22nd  minute, ending a solo run by rounding ex-Hammer's, keeper John Vaughan after eluding two other defenders. Phil Parks saved several long-range shots to keep us ahead at the interval, but could not prevent the opposition's penalty-shot from levelling the count 13 minutes after the interval.

However, we regained the advantage three minmutes later, when good work by Alan Dickens led to a centre that was converted by substitute Andy Pearson at close range. A fine run by Stuart Slater ended with Greg Campbell volleying just past the upright, but with seven minutes to go Ward's cross was headed home by Campbell to settle the issue at 3 goals to 1.

Bristol Rovers were the visitors to Upton Park; They evidently had some team-selection problems, as it was not until well after mid-day on the Friday that they could supply a team for the programme.

The Rovers' selection did not provide strong opposition, but our team made heavy work of gaining both points. We missed several chances and had opportunities to record a convincing win; but the Hammers had to be content with a victory by the slimmest of margins - one-nil. The goal came soon after the interval, Stuart Slater converting a through-pass from Kevin Keen.

We had an engagement at Upton Park with Ipswich Town providing the opposition. Being a mid-week game it gave us the opportunity to include members of our First Team squad who had not made a 90 minute senior appearance in recent weeks; we also welcome back Billy Bonds after absence through injury.

The Hammers opened the scoring through Greg Campbell, but the visitors cancelled out the lead prior to the interval. The second half was evenly-contested, but with about 20 minutes to go Eamonn Dolan put us ahead once more. It proved sufficient to gain both points, and overall could be considered a fair result at 2-1 in our favour.

Last week's hurricane and the subsequent rainy day left the Upton Park pitch somewhat soggy (to say the least!). In the circumstances it was not difficult to decide to call off last Saturday's Reserve Team match against Brighton Reserves.

Ten days before'that we had visited the Oxford United ground, and played well enough to have taken both points. Indeed, we would have done so but for the homesters scoring five minutes from time. The equaliser from Trevor Heb-berd followed a corner-kick which injured Paul Hilton could only half-clear.

Paul remained on the field to help his colleagues despite his partial incapacity, as we had already been forced to use our substitute — Chris Harwood — after half-an-hour's play when a bad tackle brought further problems to Steve Potts' ankle which had only recently recovered from a bad knock. Potts went off and we reorganised the XI. The change-around did not materially affect the Hammers' performance, and after Alan Dickens and Simon Livett had brought out the best from the United 'keeper Greg Campbell also went close with a header over the bar, the persistence eventually paid dividends, as Dickens put his side ahead on the hour.

On paper the Oxford side appeared a formidable combination, but overall we could claim that ours was the better-looking in action.

As their fixtures against Brighton & Hove Albion and Charlton Athletic were both postponed, our Reserves were without a game for three weeks until they met Arsenal at Upton Park last.

The Gunners included Charlie Nicholas and Niall Quinn in their line-up, and each got on the score-sheet; the six-foot-plus Quinn outjumped our defence in the 34th minute to head home from a corner-kick, and two minutes after Phil Parkes had saved his 38th minute shot the Arsenal striker converted a centre from five yards range to give his side a half-time lead.

The Hammers had opened the scoring with a superb goal. Andy Pearson laid on the pass, and Steve Potts dipped the ball over 'keeper Rhys Wilmot from around the 25-yard mark.

Our 62nd-minute equaliser was another gem - Chris Harwood on the left flank took a short pass, cut inside his opposing defender and left Wilmot with no chance of saving the 20-yard drive.

Nicholas regained the advantage for his side when his along-the-ground effort from 15 yards went just inside the post with 20 minutes to go. We were still in with a chance, but the issue was put beyond doubt within seven further minutes; a bad back pass, and with Danny Esqulant beating Parkes to the ball it was 4-2 despite our defenders chasing back to make unavailing efforts at a goal-line clearance.

This was a game of two halfs. Watford had a lot of the ball and consequently we were defending for most of the first half, but after the break we asserted ourselves impressively.

During this period Phil Parkes brought off two marvellous saves, one from a rasping shot from Doherty. He took the sting out of shots and held then well.

There was no score by the interval and in the second half we put our game together and produced some marvellous passing moves.

On the hour a through ball to Slater opened up the Watford defence. He shrugged off two challenges and fired a left-foot shot high into the net.

The steam seemed to have gone out of Watford at the time and we looked well on our way.

On the stroke of full time Watford won a corner on the right. They pushed everyone into thegoalmouth and the ball fell to Blissett who scrambled it over the line 1-1

So for the third away game this season we have conceded a last minute goal at, Oxford United, Luton and now Watford.

Overall a good battling performance for us particularly in the first half. Stuart Slater's goal was an excellent strike but it was our back four which was our overall strength, with Potts, Hilton, Bonds and McQueen looking solid throughout the afternoon.

After the very creditable draw against top-of-the-table Watford on the previous Saturday, we were looking for further reward when Chelsea were providing the Combination opposition.

Our team-selection was mainly confined to teenagers, because of senior calls; but on the morning of the match we had one of the "elder brethren" cry off as Phil Parkes declared himself unavailable due to a knee-knock received in training; Robert Reeves took over in goal and Adam King also came into the line-up for the first time in the current season.

The Blues had no League match that day, so they decided to include a number of players from their senior squad who had not played in recent competitive engagements.

Whether our youngsters were somewhat overawed by the array of experienced talent facing them is a matter of conjecture, but suffice to say that the West Londoners went two up in eight minutes to put the Hammers at an immediate disadvantage.

From then onwards our team got back into contention, and -following good work by Stuart Slater — Chris Harwood netted his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-2 at half-time.

A spirited second-half display merited some reward to the Claret-and-Blues, but Chelsea's defence held firm to clinch the points.

For the visit to The Dell we included two debutants in the Reserve XI — Andy Pask and Adam King. Each did well, and were eventually rewarded by sharing in a somewhat remarkable 3-2 victory. The Hammers went two down, A fifth-minute penalty award was converted and then another shot before the interval gave the Saints a two-goal advantage at the turn-around.

Some tactical changes brought the desired results, although it was a spot-kick for us that began the route to recovery. Stuart Slater was tripped, and Simon Livett levelled the penalty-count with satisfaction (he considered the Saints' award against him earlier on was somewhat harsh).

Phil Parkes then played a captain's part in our second goal. His long clearance was collected by Slater, who took on three opponents and beat them and the opposing 'keeper for pace to make it two apiece. Our duo of scorers then created the winner, Livett's free-kick being headed in by Slater who beat his marker to the opening.

The team against Reading Reserves at Upton Park included two returnees after injuries. Tommy McQueen had been out of action for a brief period, but Tony Gale had taken much longer to recover from his mishap; both came through the tests in a satisfactory manner.

The opposition began with an extremely defensive formation, and were apparently content with relying on the odd breakaway in the hope of adding to their meagre points total.

The ploy worked until they conceded a penalty; Livett coverted his second spot-kick in successive matches, so the score at half-time was one-nil to the Hammers.

It remained at that when the referee concluded play for the afternoon, and by keeping the margin to that figure the Royals were evidently satisfied; however, it could well have been heavier, as the goalkeeper gave an outstanding performance to deny further goals to emphasise our overall superiority.

The fixture against Swindon Town was originally dated for the preceding Tuesday, but the Wiltshire club's First XI were drawn at home in a cup tie that day so the Reserve engagement was put back, and also scheduled to be played on the ground of Forest Rovers FC at Nailsworth in Gloucestershire.

With The Robins not being engaged in a League game until the following Sunday they decided to give several of his senior squad a mid-week run out.

The Hammers included Phil Parkes plus Alan Devonshire and Tony Gale - both the latter continuing their recovery from lengthy injury.  Conditions were wet and windy at the enclosure which is considerably exposed to the elements, but it was an interesting game in which we twice held the lead. Simon Livett opened the scoring, but the opposition responded to make it one each at the interval.

Hammers' second was netted by Tshokedi Rose, following which our youngsters contributed a worthy share of keeping Swindon at bay.

Then the Reds equalised again and this was quickly followed by them taking the lead, and then adding a fourth goal in the closing seconds to make the 4-2 result look more lop-sided than it should have been.