A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1988-89 Ovenden Papers Football Combination

CHARLTON ATHLETIC : Football Combination

Upton Park

3 - 2 (Dolan 2, Devonshire)

27 August 1988

Mcknight

Pearson

McQueen

Kelly P.

Walford

Devonshire

Ince

Livett (Knibbs)

King

Dolan

Brady

88_08_27 WHU v. Charlton Athletic

The combined talents of Liam Brady and Alan Devonshire helped the Hammers take a two-goal lead against Charlton Athletic; "Dev" provided Eamonn Dolan with the opening for the first, and 14 minutes later he personally ended a move begun by Paul Kelly and carried on by Brady.

The visitors reduced their arrears on the stroke of half-time, and after the resumption forced Allen Me Knight to make three reflex saves; but with 15 minutes left Allen could only parry another shot, and the rebound was converted to make it 2-2. A minute to go; a short corner to Andy Pearson and a first-time centre enabled Dolan to divert the ball over the line to clinch a 3-2 victory.

NORWICH CITY : Football Combination

Carrow Road

3 - 2 (Kelly, King, Maclin [pen])

30 August 1988

Parkes

Pearson

McQueen

Walford

Strodder (Pask)

Devonshire

Kelly P.

Ince

King

Macklin

Clarke

88_08_30 Norwich City v. WHU 88_09_03 Wimbledon v. WHU

WIMBLEDON : Football Combination

Plough Lane

2 - 2 (Kelly, King)

3 September 1988

McKnight

Pearson

McQueen

Walford

Pask

Kelly P.

Livett

King

Clarke

Macklin

Shaw (Rush)

Norwich City went in at the interval one up. Andy Pask replaced Gary Strodder who  received  a foot injury. Our equaliser came from the penalty-spot, Tony Macklin making the conversion of a twice-taken kick after Devonshire had been brought down. Then Adam King headed in Simon Clarke's centre to make it 2-1, before Norwich made it 2-2. The winner came three minutes from the end, Kelly's header from Tommy McQueen's centre settling the issue.

We twice came from behind to take a point from Wimbledon at Plough Lane. Alan Cork gave the Wombles an early lead, but following a corner Macklin's centre was glanced in by King to put Hammers on level terms prior to the interval. John Gannon made it 2-1 in the home side's favour; then with 20 minutes to go McQueen crossed the ball into the Dons' penalty-area and Kelly nipped in to steer the ball past the 'keeper. Jason Shaw and Matthew Rush made their Combination debuts.

FULHAM : Football Combination

Upton Park

1 - 3 (King)

10 September 1988

Parkes

Pearson

McQueen

Kelly P.

Strodder

Walford

Pask

Macklin (Rush)

Clarke

King

Livett

88_09_10 WHU v. Fulham 88_09_13 Swindon Town v. WHU 88_09_21 Ipswich Town v. WHU Reserves

Two so-far undefeated teams met at Upton Park. Fulham opened their account from a penalty and went further ahead before half-time. We produced a brief rally after the interval and Adam King made it 2-1, but another Cottagers goal underlined Fulham's superiority.

SWINDON TOWN : Football Combination

County Ground

1 - 2 (Clarke)

13 September 1988

Parkes

Potts

McQueen

Keen

Walford

Strodder

Devonshire

Kelly P. (Pearson)

King (Clarke)

Slater

Livett

IPSWICH TOWN : Football Combination

Portman Road

0 - 0

21 September 1988

Parkes

Kelly P.

McQueen

Walford

Strodder

Potts

Keen

Pearson

King

Slater

Livett

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Football Combination

Upton Park

0 - 1

24 September 1988

Parkes

Pearson

McQueen

Pask

Walford

Martin

Kelly P.

King

Slater

Livett

Brady

88_09_24 WHU v. Tottenham Hotspur

Tuesday 13 September was an unlucky afternoon for the Hammers at Swindon Town's County Ground. The home team had the better of the first half and went in one up at the interval. During the second session they added to their lead and appeared set for a comfortable win, but young Simon Clarke went on as substitute and pulled one back. With the count at 2-1 we made a valiant effort to gain a point, but Swindon survived a hectic final 10 minutes to maintain their unbeaten record.

An afternoon kick-off for the fixture at Portman Road on Wednesday 21 September. The Ipswich Town line-up played some good football but were matched by a Hammers XI which deserved the point from a goalless draw, with the respective defences taking the honours of an interesting 90 minutes. Our starting line-up was on duty throughout, as we did not make any substitutions.

MILLWALL : Football Combination

The Den

2 - 2 (Stewart [pen], Ward)

4 October 1988

Parkes

Stewart

McQueen

Gale

Strodder

Devonshire

Potts

Walford

Brady

Keen

Ward

The home game against Spurs' Reserves ended in disappointment. We should definitely have dented the North Londoners' 100 per cent record of four previous wins this season, but ended by conceding a gift goal 10 minutes from the end as an opponent intercepted an under-hit back pass. There was still time to gain a deserved equaliser, but we continued our earlier series of clear misses and did not receive a sought-for penalty award. All very frustrating for our coaches and vociferous supporters.

Alvin Martin was a late addition to our starting line-up. He was definitely out of the travelling party for the match v Manchester United, and had lost a considerable amount of weight during the week; but our skipper had a test on the morning of the game and considered it worthwhile playing in the Reserves in preference to an otherwise idle afternoon, particurly as we had a Littlewoods Cup game on the following Tuesday.

88_10_04 Millwall v. WHU 88_10_08 WHU v. Oxford United 88_10_15 WHU v. Portsmouth

OXFORD UNITED : Football Combination

Upton Park

6 - 1 (King 2, Brady, Kelly, Livett, McQueen)

8 October 1988

Parkes

Stewart

McQueen

Pask

Walford

Kelly P.

Pearson

Clarke

King

Livett

Brady

PORTSMOUTH : Football Combination

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Livett 3)

15 October 1988

Parkes

Stewart

McQueen

Pask

Martin

Walford

Pearson

King

Slater

Brady

Livett

The Hammers, fielding fitness chasing trio Ray Stewart, Liam Brady and Tony Gale as well as Alan Devonshire, Gary Strodder and Mark Ward turned on an entertaining afternoon's football at Millwall. In only the third minute Mark Ward shot the Hammers in front with a deft chip over the goalkeeper after Tommy McQueen had slotted him through with a defence splitting pass. With Devonshire and Brady providing the craft in midfield and the central defensive combination of Gale, Strodder and Walford looking sound at the back the front pair of Ward and Kevin Keen were kept well supplied. Ward's pace proved too much for Danis Salman who pulled him down in the Millwall box in the 16th minute and Ray Stewart showed that he had lost none of his coolness as he rammed in the 16th minute penalty. Four minutes later the Hammers defence failed to clear a corner and Thompson volleyed the loose ball into the roof of the net as Phil Parkes desperately tried to get to the ball.

After the break West Ham continued to take the game to Millwall and with Steve Potts prominent on the right wing could well have added to the score. Time and time again Alan Devonshire sliced open the Millwall defence with long raking passes while Liam Brady waltzed through with deft short passing exchanges which had Millwall on the hook. But with three minutes to go the Hammers were caught on the break. Phil Parkes went full length but had been left too exposed and Dean Horrix beat him with a shot low to the 'keeper's left. Millwall had salvaged a draw from a game in which they had played but a supporting role throughout.

The visitors' side had scored 11 goals in their opening half-dozen fixtures but conceded 20. This turned out to be another high-scoring game for them, but it was the Hammers who ended well ahead by a final count of 6-1.

It took just over half-an-hour to record our first, Adam King taking the ball on the volley and beating the 'keeper to Brady's long pass into the area. Prior to that King hit the post and Brady subsequently struck the bar with a shot; it was not so surprising that we made it 2-0 a minute before half-time through Simon Livett's along-the-ground drive.

Three minutes after the resumption a move down the left flank ended with Tommy McQueen left-footing the ball into the angle of the woodwork lor our third counter. King's second came at 50 minutes as the goalkeeper fumbled the Hammer's deflecting header over the line. With 20 minutes to go Paul Kelly scored what was until then the best goal of the match with a 15-yard shot from Brady's pass; but five minutes from time Brady capped his happy afternoon with a mazy run, a one-two with Simon Clarke and an exquisite chip shot into the far corner. Between our last two goals, ex-Sheffield Wednesday Gary Shelton deservedly put his name on the scoreline at the end of a busy afternoon's work. Among the younger members of our XI, Andy Pask did very well, whife Clarke ran unselfishly up front to help his teammates put the Oxford rearguard under constant pressure.

With Brady, Martin and Stewart having further tests last Saturday. Portsmouth Reserves found the going difficult at Upton Park. The South Coast team included several youngsters, but their best player of the afternoon was ex-Chelsea and Q.P.R man Mike Fillery He scored Pompey's 11th minute equaliser with a tremendous 30-yard drive and generally proved a thorn in our side.

We had taken the lead two minutes prior to that goal, Simon Liven hitting a strong left-foot shot from outside the penalty area as Stuart Slater created the opening. Slater and Brady were involved in the move that brought Livett's second counter with a similar effort three minutes before the interval; but Livett's completion of his hat-trick was a truly solo spectacular, as he spotted the opposing 'keeper well off his line and lobbed the ball over the startled defender from 40 yards out.

The score could have been greater, because Brady's free-kick hit the inside of a post and came back into play whilst Adam King and Stewart went close with a couple of speculative volleys. At the other end Phil Paikes was called upon for successive saves in a matter of seconds with the count at 2-1. Altogether, it was a keen and interesting 90 minutes.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Football Combination

White Hart Lane

0 - 3

22 October 1988

Parkes

Pask

McQueen

Pearson

Strodder

Walford

Kelly (Macklin)

Clarke

King

Parris

Livett

88_10_22 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU 88_11_02 QPR v. WHU 88_11_05 WHU v. Crystal Palace

QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Football Combination

Yeading FC

1 - 0 (Livett [pen])

2 November 1988

Parkes

Potts

McQueen

Hilton

Strodder

Walford

Parris

Brady

King

Slater

Livett

CRYSTAL PALACE : Football Combination

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Kelly, Pearson)

5 November 1988

McAlister

Pearson

McQueen

Kelly P.

Strodder

Hilton

Walford

Macklin

Livett

King

Clarke

READING : Football Combination

Upton Park

0 - 0

15 November 1988

Parkes

Pearson

Walford

Strodder

Hilton

McQueen

Kelly P.

Parris

King

Rush (Clarke)

Livett

The Tottenham Hotspur second-string had won six and drawn the remaining one of their seven games played to date, conceding only four goals. It was obviously a difficult task for the Hammers, but our team combated the home side's early onslaughts and held them scoreless during the opening half.

Indeed, there were good prospects of taking the lead, but a certain amount of inexperience up front precluded the required finish on our part. Continuing pressure by the home attack eventually brought Spurs the opening goal, and during the space of the next 10 minutes they added two more. We then regained our equilibrium, and held the score to three-nil at the final whistle.

The away fixture against Queens Park Rangers on the evening of Wednesday, 2nd November was played on the ground of Vauxhall-Opel League club Yeading F.C. Although at present only giving a 'C' rating, the Beaconsfield Road ground at Hayes is in nice surroundings with accommodation in the clubhouse and dressing rooms of an excellent standard.

There were no problems for the players on a well-groomed pitch, well floodlit, and overall it was an interesting encounter. Our XI included nine with First Division experience, with Phil Parkes playing against his former club. Rangers had Ossie Ardiles in their line-up, and their performance belied their low position in the Combination standings.

The first half was goalless, and it appeared that the outcome might be stalemate with a point apiece. However, with only eight minutes remaining Stuart Slater was tripped in the penalty-area, and Simon Uvett's conversion of the spot-kick made it a one-nil victory for the Hammers.

The home game against Crystal Palace marked the return of goalkeeper Tom McAlister to competitive action, and he maintained a clean sheet without a great deal of difficulty.

Paul Kelly opened the score with a volleyed shot after a defender's deflection, and also hit an upright as we pressurised the Palace rearguard. We netted another good goal before the interval; Andy Pearson moved through from the back to collect a pass, and he hit the ball home through a crowded goalmouth to make it 2-0 at the break.

The score remained that way until the close, although we nearly added several more. Indeed, the visitors remarked that they considered themselves lucky to get away with the 0-2 score.

This was Paul Kelly's fourth Combination goal this season; his team-mates Adam King and Simon Livett both have five to their credit.

88_11_15 WHU v. Reading 88_11_19 Southampton v. WHU 88_11_23 WHU v. Norwich City

SOUTHAMPTON : Football Combination

The Dell

1 - 3 (Rush)

19 November 1988

McAlister

Pearson

McQueen

Rush

Knibbs

Walford

Kelly P.

Macklin

King

Clarke

Livett

NORWICH CITY : Football Combination

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Livett, Pearson)

23 November 1988

Parkes

Pearson

Pask

Strodder

Hilton

Walford

Devonshire

Kelly P.

Parris

King

Livett

SWINDON TOWN : Football Combination

Upton Park

1 - 2 (King)

3 December 1988

Banks

Pask

Walford

Strodder

Knibbs (Pearson

)Macklin (ShaW)

Kelly P.

Livett

Slater

King

Rush

88_12_03 WHU v. Swindon Town 88_12_07 Brighton v. WHU 88_12_20 Chelsea v. WHU

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : Football Combination

Goldstone Ground

0 - 0

7 December 1988

McAlister

Pask

McQueen

Strodder

Hilton

Pearson

Kelly P.

Macklin

King

Slater (Rush)

Clarke

WATFORD : Football Combination

Upton Park

3 - 4 (King 2, Hilton)

13 December 1988

McAlister

Stewart

McQueen

Strodder

Hilton

Kelly P.

Keen

Pearson

Clarke

King

Livett

CHELSEA : Football Combination

Stamford Bridge

2 - 2 (Clarke, Keen)

20 December 1988

McAlister

Stewart

McQueen

Pearson

Strodder

Kelly P.

Rush

Clarke

King

Livett

Keen

Visiting central defender Mark Robson went to hospital with a suspected broken leg during the course of our home fixture v Reading Reserves at Upton Park. The mishap, sustained during a possession-tackle for the ball, put a cloud over the subsequent proceedings of the afternoon, and a somewhat desultory game ended goalless,

The Third Division club included several with League experience, and were above the strength indicated by their foot-of-the-table position in the Combination. They stretched our line-up, although we had a couple of early near-misses by young Matthew Rush. Both managers put on subs during the closing stages, and each of the "newcomers" in turn missed an opportunity to secure victory for their team.

The Saints opened the scoring, but our young side came back into the game and held their generally more experienced XI to a 1-1 draw at half-time when Matthew Rush scored his first Combination goal at the end of an excellent move.

Southampton put on the pressure after the changeover, but our rearguard held firm and we looked set for a point. The the homesters' swirling corner-kick to the  near- post was back- headed by   Paul   Rideout  to   elude everyone   in   the  congested goal-mouth and the ball finished just inside the far post. Another   counter a minute from time made the score-line appear somewhat harsh at 3-1.

Our Reserves were without a fixture on Saturday, 26th November, so they had a 10-day break from competitive soccer. The second-string resumed their schedule with a home match against Swindon Town Reserves.

It did not turn out to be a satisfactory afternoon, although we were on level terms at half-time, as Adam King scored his sixth goal of the season to offset Swindon's success.

There were chances for the Hammers to ensure both points coming their way, but poor finishing proved costly as the visitors in turn capitalised on slack marking to net the decider a couple of minutes from time.

The Town's second scorer was ex-Hammer Bobby Barnes, who had lost his regular first team spot that weekend. With Tom McAlister out of action with 'flu and Phil Parkes on cover-duty with the First Team, we included young Steven Banks as goalkeeper for his initial Combination outing. He gave a good performance but had no chance of preventing Swindon's goals.

CONTINUE 2

SECOND-HALF

88_12_13 WHU v. Watford

Team selection for mid-week matches is often delayed by knocks received over the preceding week-end; as we had a Simod Cup match on the previous night we delayed confirming our XI for our home match versus Norwich City Reserves until the morning of the game (to check whether the subs v. Watford could also be given a mid-week competitive test). However, the Canaries evidently ran into similar problems, and it was not until after midday that we received their line-up for the 2,30pm kick-off.

The visiting side eventually included several well-known names, reflecting the strength in depth of the current League-leaders' squad. They gave us a first-half problem in a tight game and the goalless opening 45 minutes was fair comment in itself. However, the second session was in favour of the Hammers, and the two-nil victory ensured that the points went to the better team; Simon Liven and Andy Pearson were our scorers. Alan Devonshire had a full 90 minutes, having recovered from recent injury.

Although it was an early-afternoon kick-off, there were suspicions of surface-hardening by 4.15pm. A presage of the coming winter?

Our away match against Chelsea Reserves on December 20 was originally set to take place at Stamford Bridge. It was then announced that the venue would be their training ground at Harlington, near London Airport. Then on the preceding day it was switched back to the "Bridge" entailing hasty telephone calls to ensure that all our team turned up at the correct place at the right time.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw, and the result was generally accepted as a fair representation of the 90 minutes' play.

Chelsea netted the first goal after 15 minutes; but the Hammers were ahead at half-time with Simon Clarke and Kevin Keen as our scorers. We maintained that advantage until ten minutes from time when the Blues levelled the score following a corner-kick. Adam King was involved in both our goals.

Mel Rees in the visiting goal prevented us taking the lead by spectacularly stopping Kevin Keen's shot after a quarter-hour of end-to-end play; and his side went ahead as former Leytonstone-llford player Liburd Henry scored from close range after the first corner-kick of the match. The Hammers then forced their first corner a couple of minutes later, and Paul Hilton made it one apiece with a stunning header. Within eight minutes the visitors regained the lead, as Chris Pullan seized on a loose ball to slam it home from around 25 yards. Each 'keeper then made another fine save before the interval, at which time the score was 2-1 in favour of the Hornets. Henry had a trial in our youth team several years ago, and showed that he has created an impression since then when he hit a left-foot shot to net his second goal of the game in the 62nd minute. He would have completed a hat-trick but for another McAlister save; but the Watford attackers were not to be denied a further success, and with 10 minutes to go Dean Holdsworth made it 4-1 as his angled shot went in off the far post.

That quartet of goals was the most conceded in one match by our Reserves this season, but they nearly snatched a point through a late rally during which Adam King scored twice. A Ray Stewart-Tommy McQueen move was followed by a centre for a headed conversion; then Keen created a similar situation for a second header to find the net.

There was not a great deal to enthuse about following our visit to the Goldstone Ground on the evening of Wednesday, 7th December.

A goalless draw produced a sharing of the two Combination points at stake, contested by mid-table sides that were evenly-balanced.

Stuart Slater had a further test after playing throughout the previous Saturday's game v. Swindon Town, but a recurrence of injury necessitated his substitution 20 minutes from time.