A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved

theyflysohigh logo Sign Blue FA Cup Budweiser Blue

2011-12 npower championship

COVENTRY CITY : npower Championship

12_01_02 WHU v. Coventry City

Kevin Nolan got West Ham's npower Championship promotion bid back on track with the winner against lowly Coventry. The £4million midfielder, who was suspended for the defeat at Derby on Saturday, struck midway through the second half as the Hammers moved level on points with leaders Southampton. Sam Allardyce's side had been frustrated by in-form Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy for 65 minutes, but he was finally beaten when skipper Nolan headed his seventh goal of the season. It was only the Hammers' second win in six attempts but they are now only being kept off top spot on goal difference by Saints, who have been wobbling themselves of late. The Sky Blues had their chances, though, but top scorer Lukas Jutkiewicz could not add to his tally of nine goals. The visitors created the first opportunity when Gary McSheffrey raided down the right and crossed towards Chris Hussey, whose first-time shot flew narrowly wide. West Ham were denied by Murphy twice in quick succession, saving from Nolan with his feet and from the ensuing corner keeping out Jack Collison's snap-shot. The hosts were dominating possession but City were dangerous on the break and Jutkiewicz should have done better with a free header from Gary Deegan's cross which he nodded wide. At the other end Julien Faubert's volley flew wide and Papa Bouba Diop's header was deflected clear before the interval. Early in the second half Jutkiewicz squandered another good chance after Faubert made a hash of his clearance. Jutkiewicz had more time than he realised in the penalty area and headed the ball meekly over the top when he could have allowed the ball to drop and taken a shot. But the City goal was at times leading a charmed life with James Tomkins heading Mark Noble's corner wide and Sam Baldock also off target from Carlton Cole's cross. Murphy then produced two stunning saves to deny the Hammers, first pushing Baldock's shot onto the underside of the crossbar and then palming away a powerful header from Collison. The loose ball fell to Tomkins but the defender skewed his shot into the ground and it bounced over the top. But the breakthrough eventually came when Tomkins beat Hussey in the air to head George McCartney's cross back across goal where Nolan was on hand to nod it past Murphy and into the net. It should have been two minutes before the end after Richard Wood under-hit a backpass but Murphy saved well from Frank Nouble and Noble put the rebound wide with the goal gaping. And Hammers hearts were in their mouths when Carl Baker's shot was deflected onto the crossbar as the hosts survived a nervy ending.

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Nolan)

2nd January 2012

Att: 34,936

Referee: S. Hooper

12_01_02 WHU v. Coventry City

Green

Faubert

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

Diop

Nolan

Noble

Collison

Cole (O'Brien)

Baldock (Nouble)

IN THE NEWS : 6th January 2012

AFC Wimbledon have completed the signing of defender Callum McNaughton on a free transfer from West Ham. McNaughton, 20, had been on loan at the Dons since September and has agreed a permanent deal that keeps him there until the end of the 2013/14 campaign. "Callum has made great progress in the time he has been with us and will only improve over the coming years," said AFC Wimbledon manager Terry Brown. "I have no doubt he will have a long and successful time with us."

AFC Wimbledon complete Callum McNaughton signing

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY : F.A. Cup (Third Round)

The Football Association announced a three-year agreement with Budweiser, which will see the iconic global lager brand become the Lead Partner of The FA Cup, to be known as The FA Cup with Budweiser.

 

Budweiser and its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) are long-standing supporters of football around the world, with Budweiser having served as Official Beer of the FIFA World Cup™ for the last 25 years.  As Lead Partner, Budweiser will be bringing the world’s most prestigious cup competition closer to the fans through an exciting programme of activity, both in the UK and around the world.

The FA Cup with Budweiser

12_01_08 Sheffield Wednesday v. WHU FAC3

Hillsborough

0 - 1

8th January 2012

Att: 17,916

Referee: K. Stroud

12_01_14 Portsmouth v. WHU

PORTSMOUTH : npower Championship

A brilliant performance from goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and an 88th-minute winner from Chris O'Grady helped npower League One Sheffield Wednesday dump Championship high-fliers West Ham out of the FA Cup at Hillsborough. O'Grady swung the balance in the Owls' favour with a low drive drive from the side of the box that stand-in West Ham goalkeeper Ruud Boffin should have done better with, but it was veteran stopper Weaver who was the star of the show. The 32-year-old, once touted as an England international during his early days with Manchester City, produced a string of fine stops, including a stunning second-half penalty save from Sam Baldock, to keep his side in the game. This was just Weaver's third game back after missing four months with a knee injury, and his performance was the only real stand-out on an afternoon when, until O'Grady's goal, effort had failed to produce end product. Before the late drama, Wednesday missed their two best chances through James Tavernier and Jermaine Johnson, while Baldock was frustrated twice by the brilliant Weaver for Sam Allardyce's injury-ravaged side, who can now focus on their attempts to gain promotion back to the Barclays Premier League. Like Wednesday, they are second in the league, and both teams displayed the sense of freedom belonging to sides whose domestic position is secure. West Ham's Henri Lansbury was the first to try and make something happen, bursting into the box after six minutes and drilling low across the goal, with Weaver smothering and then watching anxiously as the loose ball reared up and on to the top of his crossbar. Tavernier then ran on to O'Grady's flick-on, but seemed to panic when he got a sight of goal, dragging his shot well wide of Boffin's goal. Baldock flashed wide at the other end as both sides looked for an opening, before the Owls' Jermaine Johnson wasted a golden opportunity with 20 minutes gone. Julian Bennett's pass went straight between the two United centre-halves, Winston Reid and George McCartney, and put the winger through. He took a touch, turned the recovering McCartney and created a near open goal for himself before somehow skewing wide. Despite the miss, Wednesday gained confidence from it and should have scored for a second time when Danny Batth ran on to a long Bennett throw and headed wide, but the Hammers remained dangerous themselves and Freddie Sears nudged a Lansbury cross just over. That effort signalled the start of some West Ham pressure which saw Jack Collison test Weaver before the break, and Reid win a penalty after it. The New Zealand international controlled a loose ball on the edge of the box and, as he turned inside, was felled by Reda Johnson, leaving Keith Stroud little alternative than to point to the spot. Baldock stepped up and drilled the spot-kick low to the left corner, with Weaver getting down to make a stunning two-handed save. Buoyed by their let-off, Wednesday went on the front foot and Reid put his body in front of a goal-bound drive from Chris Lines before, at the other end, Weaver and Baldock resumed their personal duel as the former pushed the latter's stinging 18-yard drive on to the post. Wednesday then saw Bennett taken off on a stretcher after he collided with the woodwork. The delay led to 11 minutes of injury time, by which point O'Grady had scored. He raced on to Clinton Morrison's pass, worked his way to the right of the area and fired a drive under the body of Boffin who should have done better. And, despite the lengthy extension to the game, West Ham could not summon a response, with Frank Nouble lashing over with two minutes remaining.

West Ham kept up the pressure at the top of the npower Championship with a win over 10-man Portsmouth. Mark Noble's first-half penalty proved enough to see off Pompey, who had David Norris sent off after the break. Victory means Sam Allardyce's men, who were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday in their previous match, remain level with Southampton at the top of the table, while Michael Appleton's Portsmouth may still be looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation zone seven points below. The hosts carved out the first opening as Liam Lawrence lifted in a free-kick and Greg Halford eluded his marker to get to the ball first before steering his header over the bar. But it was the Hammers using the ball to greater effect on the floor and midway through the half they crafted a move of genuine quality which saw Noble and Winston Reid play a clever one-two before the latter was brought down by Tal Ben-Haim in the box. Referee Kevin Friend did not hesitate to point to the spot and Noble stroked home his fourth penalty of the season despite Stephen Henderson getting a hand to it. Pompey were forced to make a change with just over half an hour gone as defensive midfielder Aaron Mokoena limped off following a challenge with Carlton Cole. Appleton took the opportunity to introduce a more attacking player, bringing on Norway international Erik Huseklepp, who almost made an immediate impact. He brilliantly controlled a lofted pass on his chest before cutting inside and feeding Norris, whose shot deflected wide off James Tomkins. The same two players linked up again to earn a corner two minutes later as the home side cranked up the pressure, but the visitors cleared at the second attempt. Portsmouth closed the half with another well-crafted opportunity as Dave Kitson sprayed a pass wide for Lawrence and the midfielder surged past George McCartney before stinging Robert Green's palms with a powerful effort. The hosts continued to press after the break and looked the more likely to score next, although Jason Pearce's 40-yard effort proved a little too ambitious as it sailed clear of the bar. Their chances of claiming something from the game were dealt a critical blow after 57 minutes though when Norris was dismissed for a foul on Reid. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Portsmouth still looked a threat in front of goal and Marko Futacs pounced on Reid's poor defensive header but dragged his shot just wide from 20 yards. It was West Ham who went closest in the second half, however, as Jack Collison curled in a superb long-range effort which came back off the angle of bar and post. Henderson then had to be alert to keep out a wayward chested backpass from Halford as Allardyce's side sought to make the points safe. They controlled possession for the final 15 minutes, sporadically threatening Henderson's goal and, crucially, denying Portsmouth any clear-cut opportunities to snatch a draw. Kevin Nolan should have put the icing on the cake with four minutes left when Collison played him in but he lifted his shot over and, with Southampton winning comfortably at Nottingham Forest, the Hammers stayed second on goal difference.

Boffin

O'Brien

Reid

McCartney

Potts

O'Neil (Montenegro)

Collison

Lansbury

Sears (Hall)

Baldock

Carew (Nouble)

8th January 2012 ON THIS DAY :

BRIAN MONTENEGRO make his Hammers debut (Sub 78 mins) against SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY at Hillsborough

IN THE NEWS : 13th January 2012

Hammers sign John

Highly-regarded American defender George John has become West Ham United's first new recruit of the transfer window. The imposing 24-year-old has signed on an initial two-month loan until 5 March from Major League Soccer side FC Dallas, with a view to a permanent signing. John, who had been tracked by several European clubs, will wear the No.25 shirt.

Fratton Park

1 - 0 (Noble [pen])

14th January 2012

Att: 18,492

Referee: K. Friend

Green

O'Brien

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

Faubert (Lansbury)

Noble

Diop

Nolan

Collison

Cole

IN THE NEWS : 18th January 2012

Striker Joe Dixon has joined the Hammers on a short-term deal

12_01_14 Portsmouth v. WHU

Young forward Joe Dixon is to spend two months with West Ham United after signing a short-term contract. The 22-year-old is set to initally go into Ian Hendon’s development squad in the hope of catching the eye at Chadwell Heath.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST : npower Championship

IN THE NEWS : 27th January 2012

Herita Ilunga has left West Ham United by mutual agreement after three years at the club

West Ham United have mutually agreed with Herita Ilunga to terminate his contract with immediate effect. The defender moved to the Boleyn Ground on an initial season-long loan move on 3 September 2008, before making the switch permanent in the summer of 2009 for a fee of £3m. He made 73 appearances for the club in total, scoring three goals.

12_01_08 Sheff Wed v. WHU 12_01_21 WHU v. Nottingham Forest

Two Mark Noble penalties fired West Ham to the top of the npower Championship for the first time this season. The midfielder's double from the spot was enough to ensure the pre-season promotion favourites leapfrogged Southampton, who do not play until Monday. But despite their lofty position, the Hammers rarely hit the heights against a struggling Nottingham Forest side. In fact, Sam Allardyce's men could, and probably should, have been two or three goals down before they benefited from some generous refereeing, allowing Noble to make it three successful spot-kicks in his last two outings. Referee Tony Bates twice took centre stage, penalising Guy Moussi and Chris Gunter for handball in each half to gift the hosts victory, despite a last-gasp consolation from Lewis McGugan. Forest had by far the better chances in the first half, with Marcus Tudgay twice blazing over and McGugan also wayward in front of goal. Their best opportunity came 15 minutes before the break when former West Ham striker Marlon Harewood and McGugan combined well to tee up Paul Anderson with the goal gaping. But Hammers defender Julien Faubert just did enough to put Anderson off the shot and Rob Green was able to collect his weak effort. The home side, by contrast, had created only half-chances, with skipper Kevin Nolan inches away from getting a touch on a dangerous cross from George McCartney and Jack Collison shooting too close to Lee Camp. But they were handed the lead in first-half stoppage time when referee Bates awarded a penalty after harshly adjudging Moussi had blocked Sam Baldock's cross with his hand. Noble, whose penalty was all that separated the sides when West Ham beat Portsmouth last week, repeated the trick despite Camp getting a hand to his shot. The West Ham goal continued to lead a charmed life after the break, with Green making a fine save to deny Chris Gunter. And from the resulting corner, McGugan's cross deceived everyone in the goalmouth and cannoned off the far post before it was hacked off the line by Noble. At the other end Collison should have doubled the hosts' lead after a mazy run into the area but his shot was deflected over the top, and Camp pulled off a fine diving save to deny Henri Lansbury. But the second goal did arrive in the 63rd minute when Bates pointed to the spot again, Gunter this time the guilty party, and Noble did the honours once more. McGugan pulled one back deep into stoppage time but there was barely time to restart and the Hammers celebrated hitting top spot.

 

Upton Park

2 -1 (Noble [2 pens])

21st January 2012

Att: 31,718

Referee: A. Bates

Green

Faubert

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

Collison

Diop (Lansbury)

Noble

Nolan

Cole (Piquionne)

Baldock (Hall)

Nottingham Forest :

Camp, Gunter, Morgan, Lynch, Cunningham (Anderson 23), Greening (Blackstock 56), McGugan, Moussi, McCleary, Harewood (Miller 73), Tudgay.

 

Portsmouth:

Henderson, Mokoena (Huseklepp 33), Ben-Haim, Pearce, Halford (Webster 75), Ward, Mullins (Mwaruwari 83), Norris, Lawrence, Kitson, Futacs.

 

Sheffield Wednesday:

Weaver, Otsemobor, Rob Jones, Batth, Bennett (Lowe 87), Tavernier (Jones 72), Semedo, Lines, Reda Johnson (Morrison 59), O'Grady, Jermaine Johnson.

 

Coventry City:

Murphy, Cranie, Keogh, Wood, Hussey, Bell (Bigirimana 67), Deegan, McSheffrey, Thomas, Baker, Jutkiewicz (Jeffers 69).

 

IPSWICH TOWN : npower Championship

12_01_31 Ipswich Town v. WHU

Portman Road

1 - 5 (Collison)

31st January 2012

Att: 22,185

Referee: F. Graham

Green

Faubert

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

Collison

Lansbury

Noble (Baldock)

Nolan

Taylor (Hall)

Cole (Nouble)

Ipswich made a mockery of their lowly position in the npower Championship as they put leaders West Ham to the sword at Portman Road. The league's tightest defence met its weakest but it was Town who celebrated their first win in eight matches in all competitions to boost their battle for survival. The home side led inside three minutes through Michael Chopra before Carlton Cole hit a post for the visitors moments later. A crazy end to the first half saw three goals in the final two minutes plus stoppage time, with Daryl Murphy doubling Town's advantage with a header but Jack Collison halving the deficit within seconds. Ipswich were then awarded a penalty which Lee Martin converted, and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas added a brace after the break as the Hammers saw their three-game winning run in the league come to an end. But they stay top after second-placed Southampton were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cardiff. Town made a flying start as they took the lead after three minutes. Emmanuel-Thomas held off the challenge of a couple of defenders before teeing up Chopra for his first goal in eight games. The Hammers came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the sixth minute but Cole's header from George McCartney's delivery hit a post and bounced into the arms of goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett. Moments later, Henri Lansbury, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Town's East Anglia rivals Norwich, fired a shot wide from 20 yards. The game was swinging from end to end and Chopra came close to a second in the 35th minute but his close-range header was easy for goalkeeper Robert Green. West Ham responded and James Tomkins headed a Mark Noble corner over before they fell further behind a minute before the break. Tommy Smith flicked on a corner and Murphy was on hand to convert from close range - his first goal since November. But the Hammers produced an immediate response as Collison headed in a Noble free-kick, although amazingly Ipswich went straight up the other end and restored their two-goal cushion. George McCartney was booked for a foul on Chopra and Martin sent Green the wrong way from the spot. An excellent save from Green prevented Emmanuel-Thomas from notching a fourth for Town 10 minutes into the second half. But there was nothing Green could do when Emmanuel-Thomas left fly from 30 yards in the 64th minute to make it 4-1. Winston Reid and Lansbury were denied by Lee-Barrett as West Ham attempted to get back into the game. Substitute Sam Baldock shot wide when he should have scored and Kevin Nolan was next to be foiled by Lee-Barrett as West Ham continued to fight back. But Emmanuel-Thomas added a fifth in injury time to cap a miserable night for the Hammers.

Ipswich Town:

Lee-Barrett, Edwards, Sonko, Smith, Cresswell, Martin, Hyam, Drury, Murphy, Chopra (Scotland 79), Emmanuel-Thomas.

12_01_31 Ipswich Town v. WHU

Green

Faye

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

O'Brien

Noble

Collison (Taylor)

Faubert (O'Neil)

Cole (Vaz Te)

Nolan

MILLWALL : npower Championship

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Cole, Reid)

4th February 2012

Att: 27,774

Referee : M. Jones

Winston Reid was West Ham's unlikely hero as the npower Championship leaders beat derby rivals Millwall 2-1 despite playing almost the entire match with 10 men. The New Zealand defender hit only his second goal for the Hammers moments after Liam Trotter had cancelled out Carlton Cole's first-half header. The drama came after Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan was shown a straight red card for a nasty two-footed lunge on Jack Smith with just nine minutes on the clock. Happily there was no repeat of the crowd trouble which marred the last meeting between these old foes at Upton Park, in the Carling Cup in August 2009. Nevertheless, the derby-day atmosphere clearly got to Nolan as his rush of blood left his team-mates to play more than 80 minutes a man down. The Hammers shipped five goals in a shock defeat at Ipswich on Tuesday night and were desperate to get back to winning ways to cement their place at the top. So the last thing they needed was to see their captain and most experienced player given his marching orders after just nine minutes. Nolan may have got some of the ball, but he also got a lot of Smith and both his feet were off the ground as he slid in, giving referee Mick Jones no choice but to brandish the red card. The home side had looked jittery even before Nolan trudged off, with Rob Green fumbling a deflected shot for a corner which Alan Dunne headed narrowly wide in the opening 25 seconds. Green also had to save bravely at the feet of Darius Henderson, but the 10 men improved as the first half wore on and took the lead in stoppage time with Cole's ninth goal of the season. Mark Noble floated in a free-kick, Reid's back-header looped high into the air and Cole rose above his marker to nod past David Forde. They were inches away from going 2-0 up four minutes into the second half when Julien Faubert's header from George McCartney's cross beat Forde but came back off the crossbar. Instead, they were pegged back in the 65th minute when Abdoulaye Faye tried to let the ball roll out for a goal-kick and was robbed by Henderson, who chipped it back for Trotter to lash home a fine volley from 15 yards. But Millwall were level for just two minutes before Reid popped up to grab the winner. Forde felt he was fouled by Faubert as he punched Joey O'Brien's up and under, but play continued and when the ball fell to Reid 20 yards out, the centre-half finished like a striker with a superb first-time shot past the floored Lions keeper and into the net.

Millwall:

Forde, Smith, Dunne, Ward, Barron (Kane 56), Feeney (Mason 81), Trotter, Abdou, Lowry, Henderson, Keogh.

 

IN THE NEWS : 31st January 2012

West Ham United triple signing

West Ham have completed the triple signing of Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison, Ricardo Vaz Te from Barnsley and Nicky Maynard from Bristol City. Several clubs, including Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Roma and Paris St Germain, had been linked with midfielder Morrison but the Hammers have clinched his signature. The 18-year-old, whose Old Trafford contract was due to expire at the end of the season, has reportedly penned a three-and-a-half year deal at Upton Park. Vaz Te, meanwhile, joins the Championship leaders having scored 10 goals for Barnsley this season. The 25-year-old Portuguese striker, who was due to be out of contract at Oakwell in the summer, has previously worked under Sam Allardyce after the Hammers boss brought him to England while in charge of Bolton. Nicky Maynard completed a £2.25 million move to West Ham United later today. It would mean City recouping the fee they paid Crewe Alexandra to sign Maynard in the summer of 2008. The player rejected a £2 million move to Wigan Athletic last week, but believes West Ham will offer a chance of Premier League football next season. Maynard netted 20 Championship goals in the 2008-09 season, but his career then suffered a setback with a serious knee operation that saw him miss most of the following campaign. This season he has netted eight times in 27 appearances.

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : npower Championship

12_02_11 Peterborough United v. WHU Post

SOUTHAMPTON : npower Championship

12_02_04 WHU v. Millwall

London Road

11th February 2012

MATCH POSTPONED

12_02_14 WHU v. Southampton

Green

O'Brien

Reid

Faye

Taylor

Noble

Tomkins

Collison (McCartney)

Faubert

Cole (Maynard)

Vaz Te (O'Neil)

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Noble [pen])

14th February 2012

Att: 32,875

Referee: L. Probert

Peterborough United have confirmed that a pitch inspection will be held at London Road at 10am on Saturday 11 February ahead of the npower Championship visit of West Ham United. Heavy snowfall overnight between Thursday and Friday resulted in the pitch and stadium areas being covered in snow. With sub-zero temperatures expected on Friday night the decision has been made to leave the snow on the pitch until early Saturday morning as it will act as an insulation blanket until it is removed.

The Cambridgeshire club has appealed for at least 300 volunteers to assist with clearing the snow from the pitch early on Saturday morning.

12_02_21 Blackpool v. WHU 12_02_25 WHU v. Crystal Palace 12_03_04 Cardiff City v. WHU 11_12_03 WHU v. Burnley

Jos Hooiveld grabbed a point for second-placed Southampton as 10-man West Ham missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the npower Championship. The Dutch defender struck late in the second half of this top-of-the-table clash to cancel out Mark Noble's penalty, with the Hammers playing a man light from the opening stages for the second successive game. This time it was Matt Taylor who saw red following a shove on Billy Sharp after 18 minutes. The 10 men battled to victory against Millwall last weekend but could not hold out against their promotion rivals Saints and remain one point clear at the summit. Just like Kevin Nolan's last week, Taylor's dismissal was utterly needless. His side were well on top, with Ricardo Vaz Te and Winston Reid going close, and had just been awarded a penalty at the third time of asking. Referee Lee Probert had waved away appeals for handball against Rickie Lambert and Hooiveld, but had no option but to point to the spot after Noble was blatantly tripped in the area by Morgan Schneiderlin. However, tempers promptly flared down by the right corner and Taylor, who must have covered quite some ground from his position at left-back, charged into the melee and pushed Sharp to the floor. Probert whipped out a straight red card and Taylor trooped off before stand-in skipper Noble stepped up to coolly send Kelvin Davis the wrong way for his seventh goal from seven penalties this season. West Ham had played for 81 minutes without regular captain Nolan against Millwall and another resilient display was called for. Goalkeeper Robert Green certainly stepped up to the plate before the interval with a stunning double save from point-blank range to deny Sharp and another fine stop from Lambert. Southampton tried to make their numerical advantage count after the break but the hosts were holding firm. Reid deflected Jason Puncheon's shot wide and Joey O'Brien hacked the resulting corner off the line with Sharp about to strike. However with 15 minutes to go Hooiveld, just as he had done when Saints beat the Hammers at St Mary's in October, found the net from a set-piece. The home defence could not clear Danny Fox's free-kick and Hooiveld stuck out a boot to prod the loose ball past Green. West Ham still had a chance to win it but Davis saved well from substitute Nicky Maynard to ensure Saints stay hard on the Hammers' heels.

Southampton:

Davis, Richardson (Connolly 80), Hooiveld, Fonte, Fox, Do Prado (Puncheon 55), Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Lambert, Sharp (Hammond 83).

 

BLACKPOOL : npower Championship

Bloomfield Road

4 - 1 (Tomkins, Maynard, O'Neill, Vaz Te)

21st February 2012

Att: 13,043

Referee: O. Langford

Green

O'Brien

Faye (O'Neil)

Tomkins

McCartney

Faubert (Lansbury)

Noble

Reid

Collison

Maynard (Cole)

Vaz Te

Emergency goalkeeper Henri Lansbury kept out Blackpool as 10-man West Ham returned to the top of the npower Championship. In the absence of a specialist replacement, on-loan Arsenal midfielder Lansbury was summoned from the bench to reprise a role he briefly filled for England Under-21s last season after Robert Green was sent off for a professional foul on Blackpool substitute Roman Bednar in the 53rd minute. At that stage United were 2-1 to the good following a dominant first-half display. James Tomkins and Nicky Maynard scored two goals in four minutes, but Kevin Phillips brought the Seasiders back into the contest on the stroke of half-time. But Ian Holloway's men rarely resembled a side on a seven-match unbeaten run and, with the exception of some routine handling that drew huge cheers from the away support, Lansbury was largely untroubled as Gary O'Neil and Ricardo Vaz Te completed a handsome victory. West Ham are now one point ahead of Southampton at the summit with a game in hand, while Middlesbrough's victory at Millwall means Blackpool drop out of the top six. Winger Matt Phillips returned form a hamstring problem to celebrate his Scotland call-up with a place in a Blackpool starting line-up that displayed five changes from the 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Everton on Saturday. West Ham made two alterations to the side that drew with Southampton last week as George McCartney replaced the suspended Matt Taylor and Carlton Cole dropped to the bench for Maynard to make his full debut alongside fellow January recruit Vaz Te. A clever Julien Faubert pass from the right flank gave Maynard a yard on the Blackpool backline, and the former Bristol City striker's low effort across goal was touched wide by goalkeeper Matt Gilks' outstretched boot. Blackpool were struggling to establish any rhythm and when Ian Evatt fouled Maynard on the right in the 28th minute, the visiting supporters' chant of "We're gonna score in a minute" proved prophetic. Mark Noble delivered the set-piece beautifully for Tomkins to plant a header past Gilks. Moments later it was 2-0 as Jack Collison and Joey O'Brien combined down the right channel. Collison collected the scraps on the byline when O'Brien's cross was blocked, and cut the ball back to make Maynard's first West Ham goal a formality. Holloway took action soon afterwards, introducing Kevin Phillips in place of Chris Basham, and the veteran striker gave Blackpool a lifeline they scarcely deserved in first-half stoppage time when he nodded home Alex Baptiste's speculative cross. Seemingly buoyed by this success, Holloway sent on two further attacking options from his bench, with Nouha Dicko and Bednar replacing Ludovic Sylvestre and the frustratingly wayward Lomana LuaLua. The contest was thrown wide open when Kevin Phillips' through-ball pierced the Hammers defence and Green charged rashly from his line to bring down Bednar. Referee Oliver Langford was well placed and ignored the efforts of West Ham defenders chasing back, to brandish a red card. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce turned to Lansbury and sacrificed Faubert. Lansbury was impressively protected by the West Ham defence and with 16 minutes remaining substitute O'Neil lashed a crisp 20-yard drive into the bottom corner after Winston Reid's effort from Vaz Te's corner was blocked by Stephen Crainey. Kevin Phillips then rattled the inside of the post with a lofted volley as Lansbury's positioning finally failed him, before Vaz Te raced clear of a largely absent Seasiders defence to open his Hammers account in the final minute.

Blackpool:

Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Sylvestre (Dicko 46), Ferguson, Basham (Kevin Phillips 34), Matt Phillips, Fleck, LuaLua (Bednar 46).

 

CRYSTAL PALACE : npower Championship

West Ham kept 11 players on the pitch for a change but could not find a way past Crystal Palace. The promotion-chasing Hammers had goalkeeper Rob Green to thank for keeping them in the game in the first half, and then some wayward finishing cost them after the break. Green was only able to play after winning an appeal against his midweek red card, having become the third player West Ham player to be sent off in the last three matches. From those games West Ham still picked up seven points, including three on Tuesday in a stunning 4-1 win at Blackpool where midfielder Henri Lansbury deputised for Green in goal during the second half. However, they could only manage a single point with a full complement of players against London rivals Palace. The Eagles almost shocked their hosts with just 30 seconds played, Wilfried Zaha wriggling free down the right and crossing for Darren Ambrose, who curled a shot just wide. A minute later James Tomkins created West Ham's first chance with a clever through-ball but George McCartney's chip floated the wrong side of the post. Green, whose eventful week also included an England recall, was kept busy throughout the first half, blocking a fierce Chris Martin drive and tipping over the deflected follow-up from Zaha. From the resulting corner, Mile Jedinak was left unmarked right in front of goal but the midfielder headed over. Australian Jedinak kept trying his luck, though, and he forced another fine save from Green with a 20-yard shot and also fired wide in first-half stoppage time. Home boss Sam Allardyce hauled off the error-prone Julien Faubert at half-time, sending on Carlton Cole to partner Nicky Maynard in attack. The change almost paid immediate dividends when a mistake by Zaha let in Maynard who found Cole on the edge of the area, but the striker's curled shot was off target. Moments later Ricardo Vaz Te was denied by a well-timed tackle in the area from Anthony Gardner just as he was about to shoot. Tomkins then headed Mark Noble's cross over and Maynard's shot was also too high. Sam Baldock almost made himself an instant hero within seconds of coming on as a substitute after Noble put him through, but his shot was too close to Julian Speroni. Speroni denied Baldock again and Winston Reid late on, before Jack Collison blazed over in stoppage time to cap a frustrating afternoon for the Hammers.

Crystal Palace:

Speroni, McShane, McCarthy, Gardner, Parr, Zaha, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Ambrose (Scannell 63), Easter (Murray 74), Martin (Garvan 82).

 

4th February 2012 ON THIS DAY :

RICARDO VAZ TE makes his Hammers debut (Sub 89th min) against MILLWALL at Upton Park

14th February 2012 ON THIS DAY :

NICKY MAYNARD makes his Hammers debut (Sub 65th min) against SOUTHAMPTON at Upton Park

Green

O'Brien

Reid

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Tomkins

Faubert (Cole)

Collison

Maynard (Baldock)

Vaz Te (O'Neil)

Upton Park

0 - 0

25th February 2012

Att: 34,900

Referee: G. Salisbury

West Ham have signed Stoke defender Danny Collins on an emergency loan until the end of the season. The 31-year-old spent three months on loan at Ipswich earlier in the season and has since played in the FA Cup and Europa League for his parent club.

"I've won the Championship twice, the first in 2005 and then in 2007, so it would be nice to complete a hat-trick. "It'll be a battle but, with the position West Ham are in, the finishing line is there and hopefully we can achieve promotion over the next 12 games."

Collins will provide cover for Winston Reid, who was injured on international duty with New Zealand, and is available for Saturday's game with Doncaster.

IN THE NEWS : 9th March 2012

12_02_18 Blackpool v. WHU Ticket 12_02_25 WHU v. Crystal Palace

CARDIFF CITY : npower Championship

12_03_04 Cardiff City v. WHU

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Collison

Nolan

Noble

Lansbury (O'Neil)

Vaz Te

Maynard (Cole)

Cardiff City Stadium

2 - 0 (Nolan, McCartney)

4th March 2010

Att: 23,872

Referee: C. Foy

Kevin Nolan reminded West Ham fans just how valuable he is to their promotion push with the opening goal of a scrappy game in south Wales. Nolan, who returned from a three-match ban at the Cardiff City Stadium, coolly slotted past David Marshall in the Cardiff goal two minutes before half-time to hand the visiting Hammers an advantage they never surrendered. It was a rare moment of quality in a match that lacked the fervour and intensity of the home side's previous outing in the Carling Cup final defeat to Liverpool seven days ago. In fact, after a bright start, the after-effects of that memorable evening at Wembley seemed to tell in Cardiff's display. They began the second half sluggishly and were fortunate not to find themselves three down inside an hour after Marshall saved well from Nicky Maynard and Mark Hudson backtracked to prevent Ricardo Vaz Te from tapping in. The Bluebirds briefly looked like staging a comeback as Peter Whittingham struck the inside of a post from a free-kick. But they were finished off in the 77th minute with George McCartney beating Marshall from a tight angle. Cardiff manager Malky Mackay made one change to the side which so valiantly took Liverpool to penalties, with goalkeeper Tom Heaton dropping to the bench to make way for Marshall. The Hammers were boosted by Nolan's return, while Henri Lansbury came into the side for Julien Faubert.

Cardiff City:

Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Mason, Miller, Gestede  (Vuckic 35).

WATFORD : npower Championship

12_03_07 WHU v. Watford

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Vaz Te)

7th March 2012

Att: 31,674

Referee: K. Stroud

Watford:

Kuszczak, Doyley, Mariappa, Bennett (Taylor 58), Dickinson, Murray (Buaben 88), Hogg, Eustace, Kacaniklic, Deeney, Iwelumo

West Ham needed a late Ricardo Vaz Te goal to salvage a point against Watford as they blew their chance to go top of the npower Championship. The Hammers, needing a win to leapfrog Southampton at the summit, created a host of chances only to fall behind to a second-half sucker-punch from Watford teenager Sean Murray. Substitute Vaz Te struck with three minutes of normal time to play and West Ham laid siege on the Watford goal throughout nine minutes of stoppage time following a nasty injury to Dale Bennett. Manager Sam Allardyce felt they should have had a last-gasp penalty as the final whistle approached when Carl Dickinson appeared to handle. But an expectant crowd, anticipating a comfortable home win against a side they had beaten 4-0 in August, had to settle for a point. Matt Taylor was back in the West Ham line-up after a three-match ban and looked determined to make up for lost time, crashing a shot against the crossbar from 30 yards with less than a minute on the clock. It set the tone for the match with Julien Faubert then missing a gilt-edged chance when, six yards out at the far post, he sidefooted the ball back across goal. The Hammers twice opened up a stubborn Watford defence just before half-time, only for Tomasz Kuszczak to come to the visitors' rescue with saves from Mark Noble and James Tomkins. The hosts began the second half in the same vein, Tomkins heading Noble's cross into the ground and over the bar after just two minutes. Moments later, as three Watford players threw themselves in front of Joey O'Brien's shot, defender Bennett came off worse in a clash of heads with team-mate John Eustace. Eustace returned to the field in a heavy bandage but Bennett received lengthy treatment on the pitch before he was gingerly carried from the field in a neck brace. Allardyce sent on Sam Baldock in a bid to pep up his misfiring attack, but instead it was Watford who took a shock lead. There appeared to be little danger when Murray collected the ball 20 yards out to the right of West Ham's penalty area, but the rookie midfielder lashed a fierce low drive across Green and in off the post. Watford promptly retreated back into their own half and Faubert fired over, Nolan shot wide and Kuszczak pushed a Vaz Te header wide. But from the resulting corner Vaz Te fired goalwards and the ball squeezed over the line, via the far post, before Kuszczak could react. There was still time for the Hammers' penalty appeals to fall on the deaf ears of referee Keith Stroud to leave them contemplating a missed opportunity in the title race.

Green

O'Brien (Lansbury 74)

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Nolan

Taylor (Vaz Te)

Faubert

Maynard (Baldock 62)

Cole

DONCASTER ROVERS : npower Championship

West Ham United have completed the signing of highly-rated goalkeeper Stephen Henderson on emergency loan from Portsmouth. The 23-year-old stopper has linked up with the Hammers until the end of the season. The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has been a regular for Pompey this season, making 27 appearances, and is considered to be one of the best young goalkeepers in English football.

IN THE NEWS : 16th March 2012

12_03_10 WHU v. Doncaster Rovers

West Ham lost ground at the top of the npower Championship as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Doncaster outfit. Kevin Nolan's ninth goal of the season capped a dominant start for the hosts but they took their foot off the gas and were punished when James Coppinger levelled in the 73rd minute. The hosts looked to have got off to a flying start when Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the net inside the opening minute but the Portuguese was penalised for a foul on Pascal Chimbonda. It took just another two minutes before the Hammers threatened again as Carlton Cole collected a pass from Jack Collison and rifled a 20-yard effort against the crossbar. The inevitable breakthrough came after nine minutes as Nolan stabbed in from close range after Rovers failed to clear their lines following Henri Lansbury's shot. Dean Saunders' men briefly relieved the pressure when El-Hadji Diouf broke away down the right but his threatening cross was plucked out of the air by Rob Green just as Mamadou Bagayoko was closing in. Sam Allardyce was forced to make a change midway through the opening half when Vaz Te went down clutching his hamstring. He was replaced by Sam Baldock. With the home side beginning to lose some of their impetus, Doncaster sensed an opportunity to get a foothold in the game and Coppinger's powerful strike, which Green had to palm around the post, underlined their increasing threat. They continued to grow into the game after the interval, with Diouf providing their most promising outlet. The Senegalese whipped in a free-kick which Giles Barnes nodded narrowly wide. The Hammers sought to reassert their authority with a prolonged spell of pressure but Rovers pressed the ball well, restricting the space the hosts had to work in. When Doncaster won it back they caused panic in the penalty area as Coppinger's cross was left by Green before James Tomkins eventually took charge of the situation to clear to safety. But with 17 minutes to go the visitors deservedly drew level as Simon Gillett kept the ball alive in the box and Coppinger capitalised to steer it in from close range. Upton Park held its breath when Coppinger delivered for Diouf with five minutes to play but he could not make clean contact with his shot and Green turned the ball away for a corner. The draw extends West Ham's unbeaten run to seven matches but Southampton's victory over Barnsley means they are three points behind in the race for the title. Doncaster, meanwhile, are still fighting for survival after taking six points from their last four games.

Green

McCartney

Faye

Tomkins

Taylor

Noble

Lansbury (O'Neil)

Nolan (Collins)

Collison

Cole

Vaz Te (Baldock)

10th March 2012 ON THIS DAY :

DANNY COLLINS makes his Hammers debut (Sub 80th min) against DONCASTER ROVERS at Upton Park

LEEDS UNITED : npower Championship

12_03_17 Leeds United v. WHU 12_03_04 Cardiff City v. WHU Travel Voucher

The hosts started the game well and Kenny Miller went within a whisker of firing a 20-yard effort into the bottom corner after 13 minutes. For all Cardiff's early possession, however, West Ham should have taken the lead midway through the first half. Lansbury crossed from the right, Jack Collison nodded the ball across goal and Maynard lashed over. Aron Gunnarsson's 25-yard drive skidded past the left-hand post before the visitors sneaked into the lead on the stroke of half-time. Cardiff dallied on the edge of their own area and Maynard capitalised to feed Nolan, who opened his body up beautifully to curl a sidefooted effort around Marshall. West Ham could have made it two after 52 minutes when Nolan won possession in midfield and fed Maynard, but after hesitating in the box he poked the ball narrowly wide. It was a worrying passage of play for Cardiff and Kevin McNaughton cut a relieved figure when his headed back-pass gifted Maynard a free shot on goal, only for Marshall to get down well to deny the ex-Bristol City striker. Cardiff were rocking, but out of nowhere they almost got themselves back on level terms. Gunnarsson's long throw picked out Hudson, but the City skipper could only head over the bar. The Bluebirds went even closer five minutes later as Whittingham curled a delightful free-kick onto the left-hand post with Robert Green beaten. However, with 13 minutes left, the Hammers put themselves out of sight. McCartney broke down the left and when his cross was not properly cleared by the Cardiff defence, he fired the rebound beyond Marshall from an acute angle. Miller struck the bar from a close-range header in stoppage time, but the game was gone for the home side.

West Ham United break club record for 12 Away victories in a season

Travel Voucher

12_03_10 WHU v. Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rovers:

Ikeme, Chimbonda, Martis (Hird 75), Beye, Spurr, Bennett, Barnes, Gillett, Coppinger, Diouf, Bagayoko (Oster 60).

 

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Nolan)

10th March 2012

Att: 34,650

Referee: A. D'Urso

Elland Road

1 -1 (Collins)

17th March 2012

Att: 33,366

Referee: P. Walton

Green

O'Brien

Collins

Faye

McCartney

Noble

Nolan

Collison (Morrison)

Tomkins (O'Neil)

Taylor

Maynard (Cole)

12_03_17 Leeds United v. WHU

Loan defender Danny Collins scored a last-minute equaliser to earn West Ham what could prove to be a vital point at Leeds, as they extended their unbeaten run to eight games. When Luciano Becchio nodded Leeds ahead with seven minutes to go, the ever-changing npower Championship promotion picture was not looking too favourable for the Hammers, with top two rivals Southampton and Reading both winning. But, right on cue, Collins rose the highest to head in a Mark Noble corner and peg Leeds back in an act of damage limitation for Sam Allardyce's men, who are now five points off the lead and three points shy of second. It was just the second goal Leeds have conceded under new manager Neil Warnock and perhaps one of their most costly of the season. Since the veteran replaced Simon Grayson a month ago, a renewed play-off push had seemed a possibility. A win was needed today, though, and until Collins struck, it seemed they had got it. Warnock had succeeded in his wish to see Elland Road sold out for the game, but those inside had little to cheer about in a chanceless opening 10 minutes. Things livened up after that, with Leeds defender Tom Lees' scuffed effort scraping just wide and Robert Snodgrass jinking his way into a shooting position, only to be crowded out. West Ham's players were then angered by Paul Connolly's tackle on Kevin Nolan - deemed legal by referee Peter Walton - but had more to be concerned about moments later when Nicky Maynard missed the game's first genuine chance. The striker nipped in ahead of Darren O'Dea to find himself through on Andy Lonergan's goal with 22 minutes gone, but his first touch was heavy and the goalkeeper was able to get out and smother the ball at his feet. More clever play from Snodgrass then saw him create an angle to set Ross McCormack free but Matt Taylor nicked possession from him, before Snodgrass flashed a free-kick from the corner of the box just wide of the post. Maynard's chance remained the best going into the break, though, but both sides had cause for complaint when the whistle was blown, with West Ham claiming a handball in the box against Michael Brown and Leeds confused as to why Snodgrass' touch beyond Robert Green was ruled out for apparent pushing by Becchio. The Hammers had to replace James Tomkins, so effective in the sweeper position, at half-time, and his replacement, Gary O'Neil, skimmed an effort just wide within 60 seconds of his introduction. With Maynard isolated and getting little change out of Lees and O'Dea, Allardyce opted to replace him with the more physical Carlton Cole and the former England striker nearly made an immediate impact, putting a ball across the six yard box that evaded everyone. A couple of thundering tackles from loan defender Paul Robinson then helped whip up the home crowd, but it was West Ham who continued to probe with greater intent - Abdoulaye Faye nodding wide from a corner and Lonergan denying O'Neil after Jack Collison's shot flew loose. Cole then arched a header over the bar from a Noble free-kick, before Green was forced to make his first save in the 70th minute when he showed terrific reactions to turn away a Connolly header. Connolly rarely ventures into opposition territory but, when he did again with 83 minutes on the clock, it created the opening goal. Snodgrass' cross got to the back post, Connolly headed against the bar and the ball fell to Becchio who did the rest. The lead would only last seven minutes for the home side, though, as West Ham secured a deserved point when Collins connected with Noble's well-taken corner.

Leeds United:

Lonergan, Connolly, Lees, O'Dea, Robinson, Snodgrass, Brown, Clayton, White (Webber 76), McCormack (Forssell 76), Becchio.

MIDDLESBROUGH : npower Championship

12_03_20 WHU v. Middlesbrough 12_03_24 Burnley v. WHU 12_03_27 Peterborough United v. WHU

BURNLEY : npower Championship

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : npower Championship

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Faye)

20th March 2012

Att: 27,250

Referee: S. Mathieson

17th March 2012 ON THIS DAY :

RAVEL MORRISON makes his Hammers debut (Sub 80th min) against LEEDS UNITED at Elland Road

Green

O'Brien

Collins

Faye

McCartney

Noble (Baldock)

Tomkins

Nolan

Cole (Carew)

Maynard (Collison)

Taylor

Middlesbrough:

Steele, Hoyte, Bates, Hines, Bennett, Thomson (Ogbeche 80), Smallwood (Martin 80), Bailey, Emnes (Zemmama 76), Jutkiewicz, Hammill.

Middlesbrough substitute Bart Ogbeche inflicted yet more midweek misery on West Ham at Upton Park. Abdoulaye Faye's deflected goal midway through the second half looked to have reignited the Hammers' npower Championship promotion bid. But the east Londoners have not won a league match on a Tuesday night in front of their own fans in more than two years, and Nigerian forward Ogbeche's superb strike ensured that sorry run continued. In fact it could have been worse for the under-fire hosts but Lukas Jutkiewicz hit the bar and Ogbeche had a shot cleared off the line at the death. Manager Sam Allardyce admits his players currently feel anxious every time they play on their own turf, having been booed off following three straight draws. And that was certainly apparent in a tense first half against a Middlesbrough side hardly bursting with confidence themselves on the back of successive defeats. Faye headed wide from a corner, Matt Taylor's shot was blocked by Seb Hines, Nicky Maynard's long-range effort was held by Jason Steele and Noble drove over the bar, but there was little to lift the home faithful. Boro were not faring any better, though, with Adam Hamill firing wide and Jutkiewicz putting a couple of headers too high. As half-time approached West Ham felt they should have had a penalty for handball but James Tomkins' header seemed to come off the shoulder of Matthew Bates. Carlton Cole then curled a shot narrowly wide and George McCartney's 30-yard effort was dealt with by Steele, but the hosts trooped off at the break to familiar murmurs of discontent. But the Hammers went on the attack in the second half and Maynard's chip dropped on to the roof of Steele's net before Cole just failed to get on the end of Taylor's looping cross. And the slice of luck they needed finally arrived in the 67th minute, courtesy of Faye. The giant defender rose to meet a long, high ball from McCartney and his header spun off the back of marker Joe Bennett's head and looped over Steele into the far corner. Tomkins could have killed Boro off with a close-range header only to see Steele pull off a stunning save, pushing the ball on to the bar. And instead Ogbeche pegged West Ham back seven minutes before full-time, skipping past Danny Collins on the edge of the area and crashing a superb shot past Rob Green. Suddenly West Ham were clinging on as Jutkiewicz's shot was deflected on to the bar and McCartney cleared off the line from Ogbeche. But holding out for a draw did not stop more boos ringing out at the final whistle.

Turf Moor

2 - 2 (Nolan, Tomkins)

24th March 2012

Att: 15,246

Referee: M. Haywood

Green

O'Brien

Tomkins

Collins

McCartney

Collison (Carew)

Noble

Nolan

O'Neil

Taylor (Baldock)

Cole (Maynard)

Two goals in as many second-half minutes rescued a point for West Ham at Turf Moor as Sam Allardyce's side fell further off the npower Championship promotion pace. Victories for top two Southampton and Reading meant there was little comfort for the Hammers to take after Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins secured a fifth successive draw on the back of a dismal first-half showing. Martin Paterson sent Burnley in two goals to the good at the interval after Marvin Bartley opened the scoring with a fine individual effort. Carlton Cole and Martin Taylor both spurned good chances for West Ham and their challenge appeared to have petered out until the second-half rally arrived. The result left Allardyce's men four points shy of Reading in second with a game in hand, while opposite number Eddie Howe has not tasted victory for seven games. The first clear-cut chance fell to the home side when recalled left-back Ben Mee found space to cross for Paterson, who sent his free header wide. In the ninth minute West Ham should have taken the lead. Cole latched on to Taylor's through-ball and rounded Clarets goalkeeper Lee Grant, but scuffed his shot into the side netting with the goal gaping. Cole then fired high and wide after Joey O'Brien's cross deflected into his path and he would soon play for his profligacy. There appeared to be little danger when Paterson and Ross Wallace combined to tee up Bartley midway inside the West Ham half. The midfielder proceeded to charge past Danny Collins and unleash a low drive that Robert Green could only touch into the corner of his net. The Hammers thought they had an immediate response when Nolan planted home a header via the underside of Grant's crossbar, but his effort was ruled out for a push on David Edgar. Allardyce's frustration was compounded as Burnley doubled their lead 10 minutes before the half-time. West Ham failed to heed their earlier warning as Mee was once more allowed to advance down the left, with Paterson converting successfully at the near post on this occasion. Clarets defender Michael Duff almost handed the visitors a lifeline in first-half stoppage-time when he missed a back header and Taylor fired straight at Grant. Taylor and Cole were punished for their missed chances as Allardyce sent Sam Baldock and Nicky Maynard at half-time and reverted to 4-4-2. Paterson outmuscled Tomkins as Burnley looked to increase their advantage in the opening minutes of the second half. Baldock had a 25-yard effort deflected wide, but West Ham threatened only sporadically until their comeback began in the 68th minute. O'Neil lofted a speculative ball forward and Nolan capitalised on a moment's hesitation from Duff to lob the on-rushing Grant. Two minutes later it was all square when Tomkins found the decisive touch after Maynard flicked on Mark Noble's free-kick, awarded when Wallace felled George McCartney 30 yards from goal on the left. West Ham almost had a third goal in five minutes as Baldock sprung the Burnley offside trap and fired a low cross beyond Grant that Kieran Trippier hacked clear with Baldock and Nolan in close attendance. Baldock spurned a golden opportunity to take the points at the death, but blazed over from six yards when substitute John Carew chested into his path.

London Road

2 - 0 (Vaz Te, O'Neil)

27th March 2012

Att: 13,517

Referee: C. Sarginson

Green

O'Brien (Faubert)

Tomkins

Faye (Collins)

McCartney

O'Neil (Maynard)

Noble

Nolan

Taylor

Cole

Vaz Te

Burnley:

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Marney, McCann, Bartley (Austin 81), Wallace, Paterson (Stanislas 90), Ings (McQuoid 86).

 

Second-half goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Gary O'Neil helped West Ham make their game in hand count to bounce back to winning ways. Despite heading into the game - which was postponed due to weather on February 11 - unbeaten in 10 matches in the npower Championship, the Hammers had drawn their last five, equalling a club record. But two goals in the space of six minutes early in the second half put the Hammers in control as they moved to within one point of second-placed Reading with their 11th away win of the season. They took the lead in the 51st minute when Vaz Te headed home a Matt Taylor delivery and then O'Neil doubled his side's advantage with a brilliant curling effort from 25 yards, his second goal for the club. Kevin Nolan also hit the bar for the Hammers while Peterborough - who hit the woodwork in the early stages - failed to mount a fightback as they lost for the fifth time in seven matches. Peterborough went straight on to the offensive from the kick-off and Lee Tomlin fired in a bobbling shot from 18 yards which Hammers keeper Robert Green comfortably collected. The home side went even closer in the 10th minute. Paul Taylor cut inside from the left and curled an excellent shot against the crossbar, with Lee Frecklington's weak follow-up saved by Green. West Ham struggled to get going in the opening 15 minutes but produced their first effort at goal moments later when Vaz Te's strike from range, which was heading for the bottom corner, was saved by Posh keeper Paul Jones. Peterborough continued to pass the ball around neatly and another patient move resulted in Taylor having another pop at goal this time failing to test Green from 25 yards. West Ham started to get on top and had a good spell of pressure. Taylor lofted a shot over the bar before doing likewise with another effort after jinking his way past a couple of defenders and into the box. The Hammers then had a huge let-off in the closing stages of the first half. A swift Peterborough counter-attack saw George Boyd take the ball down on his chest and volley towards goal but a brilliant block by James Tomkins prevented him from opening the scoring. Boss Sam Allardyce would have been looking for the away side to up the ante in the second half and that is exactly what they did as Vaz Te headed Taylor's cross back across goal and inside the far post six minutes after the restart. Kevin Nolan then flashed a shot just wide and things got even better six minutes later when O'Neil produced a fine curling effort into the corner past Jones. Green produced a stunning save to deny Frecklington and the Hammers nearly added a third in the 67th minute but Nolan's effort hit the bar.

Peterborough United:

Jones, Alcock, Zakuani (Little 62), Brisley, Rowe, Frecklington (Kearns 88), McCann, Boyd, Tomlin (Sinclair 62), Taylor, Barnett.

 

READING : npower Championship

12_04_06 Barnsley v. WHU

Upton Park

2 - 4 (Cole, Vaz Te)

31st March 2012

Att: 33,350

Referee: C. Foy

Green

Faubert

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney

Nolan

Noble (Collins)

O'Neil

Vaz Te

Cole (Maynard)

Taylor (Baldock)

Reading took a giant stride towards promotion to the Barclays Premier League as West Ham imploded at Upton Park. The Hammers, who had drawn their last five home matches to slip out of the top two, were leading through Carlton Cole's strike as half-time approached. Not only that, Sam Allardyce's side were also putting in comfortably their best performance in front of their own fans this season. But, the match, and possibly West Ham's entire campaign, turned in the space of two minutes. 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. In the second half Ian Harte added a third from the penalty spot and, although Ricardo Vaz Te pulled one back, any hopes of a comeback were extinguished by Mikele Leigertwood's disputed fourth six minutes from time. After booing their recent bore draws, the West Ham fans at least got the entertainment they craved, but their side now appear destined for the play-offs. Yet it had all looked so different after seven minutes when Cole fired the Hammers ahead. Kevin Nolan's neat footwork sent Matt Taylor away down the left and the United skipper arrived in the area to meet the return ball with a firm downward header which hit the foot of Adam Federici's post. The ball fell to the feet of Cole who took a touch before thumping it past the grounded Federici for his 10th goal of the season, and his first in 10 games. Reading should have equalised in the 23rd minute but Hunt's fierce drive from eight yards out was headed clear by James Tomkins. However, the hosts seemed well in control and Vaz Te headed straight at Federici before firing over from close range. But, instead of pushing home their advantage, West Ham promptly fell to pieces by conceding a soft leveller a minute before half-time. Harte swung in a routine corner but defender Gorkss got in ahead of the flat-footed Nolan to head in at the near post. And the hosts were stunned in first-half stoppage time when Julien Faubert's challenge on Jason Roberts served only to present the ball to Hunt, who made no mistake with a low drive past Rob Green from 12 yards. Things got worse for West Ham 12 minutes into the second half when Hunt tumbled over Abdoulaye Faye's challenge in the area and referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot, allowing Harte to step up and convert the penalty. With 15 minutes left Vaz Te's towering header from Gary O'Neil's corner threatened a home fightback. But instead, Leigertwood rammed home the fourth despite Hunt being well offside when the ball clipped his heels and bounced to the midfielder. West Ham's luck was well and truly out - and their hopes of automatic promotion have been severely dented.

Reading:

Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe (Afobe 82), Karacan (Tabb 55), Leigertwood, McAnuff, Hunt, Roberts, Tabb (Robson-Kanu 67).

 

BARNSLEY : npower Championship

West Ham kept Reading and Southampton in their sights in the npower Championship's automatic promotion race thanks to some kamikaze Barnsley defending at Oakwell. The Hammers, who started the game seven points adrift of new leaders Reading, never looked back once midfielder Kevin Nolan tapped the ball home in the sixth minute after Nicky Maynard's corner had bounced between Barnsley striker Craig Davies' legs. Maynard added a fine second with a low finish from the edge of the penalty area after a neat interchange with Nolan in the 23rd minute and Mark Noble cashed in on some more hapless defending 12 minutes later to curl home a third goal from a tight angle. Five straight draws last month meant Sam Allardyce's side have seen Reading cruise past them into the top two, but their second league win in eight games was already secured when Ricardo Vaz Te added a fourth goal from close range against his former club early in the second half. Barnsley have now won only one of their last 10 league matches and were left looking anxiously over their shoulders despite a nine-point cushion between themselves and the bottom three. Maynard went close to making it five with a spectacular 30-yard shot which crashed back off the crossbar soon after Vaz Te's effort. It took the Hammers only six minutes to make the breakthrough as Maynard's corner from the right somehow found its way to an unmarked Nolan on the goal line and the midfielder prodded the simplest of finishes beyond Barnsley goalkeeper David Button. Vaz Te, on his first return to Oakwell since his January move to West Ham, saw his overhead kick comfortably held by Button, on loan from Tottenham, before the Hammers extended their advantage in the 23rd minute. Nolan was this time the provider, cutting the ball back inside on the edge of the penalty area, where Maynard drilled a low shot into the bottom corner. Barnsley then gave themselves a mountain to climb with some more shocking defending 10 minutes before the break. Winger David Cotterill played Button into trouble with a short back pass and when the goalkeeper's clearance rebounded to Noble on the left edge of the area, the Hammers midfielder curled the ball home in some style from a tight angle. West Ham defender George McCartney's 20-yard shot was well saved by Button soon after the restart before Vaz Te put the Hammers out of sight with a fourth goal in the 55th minute. The Portuguese striker latched on to McCartney's cross from the left six yards from goal and buried the ball beneath Button into the centre of goal. Barnsley substitute Jim O'Brien went close with a raking drive in the closing stages, but it was another afternoon to forget for Keith Hill's side.

Oakwell

4 - 0 (Nolan, Maynard, Noble, Vaz Te)

6th April 2012

Att: 11,151

Referee: A. Bates

Green

Demel (Collins)

Reid

Tomkins

McCartney

Nolan

Noble (Diop)

O'Neil (Lansbury)

Taylor

Vaz Te

Maynard

Barnsley:

Button, Wiseman, Foster, McNulty, Golbourne (Collins 61), Cotterill, Dawson, Smith (Perkins 64), Higginbotham, Gray, Davies (O'Brien 64).

 

BIRMINGHAM CITY : npower Championship

12_04_09 WHU v. Birmingham City

Upton Park

3 - 3 (Vaz Te 2 [1 pen], Cole)

9th April 2012

Att: 31,045

Referee: J. Moss

Green

Reid

Tomkins

Faye

McCartney (Collins)

O'Neil

Noble (Baldock)

Nolan

Vaz Te

Cole

Maynard (Lansbury)

Ricardo Vaz Te's 89th minute penalty salvaged a point for West Ham, although they made it seven home games without a win after drawing 3-3 with Birmingham. The Hammers were left shell-shocked at the break as they found themselves 3-1 behind. Jordon Mutch struck first with an impressive solo goal for the visitors, bamboozling Abdoulaye Faye with some trickery before firing a shot past an unsighted Rob Green. And Blues doubled their advantage moments later when Marlon King beat the offside trap before keeping his cool to slot home. The home supporters were beginning to voice their displeasure before Vaz Te headed in his fourth goal in as many games in first half stoppage time. However, Birmingham went straight up the other end and restored their two goal advantage when Chris Burke fired a volley into the ground which somehow bounced into Green's net. Carlton Cole pulled one goal back before Vaz Te lashed in the equaliser from the spot which was awarded after Henri Lansbury's shot hit Burke's arm. West Ham's recent home form has threatened to scupper their bid to immediately return to the Barclays Premier League and the Blues broke the deadlock in the 27th minute thanks to a terrific effort from Mutch. The midfielder won the ball with a sliding challenge before launching a counter attack following a one-two with King. Mutch drove straight at Faye, creating space with a step over, before squeezing a left foot shot into the bottom corner. Chris Hughton's side were then two goals to the good just three minutes later courtesy of King. Cole was robbed in the middle of the park and King, played onside by Winston Reid, collected Keith Fahey's pass before opening his body and placing the ball past Green. With murmurs of discontent circling around the ground, Vaz Te's goal offered some hope. Mark Noble's corner was hung up to James Tomkins and he headed the ball across goal for Vaz Te to nod in. But Birmingham had their two goal advantage back just over a minute later when Burke hit a volley into the ground which somehow looped over Cole and into the net. Allardyce threw Lansbury on at half-time and he nearly had an immediate impact after Peter Ramage clumsily clattered into him in the penalty area, although referee Jon Moss ignored the Arsenal loanee's appeals. The hosts were incensed when Cole was also denied a penalty after Steven Caldwell pulled him back, but the former England striker was on target in the 70th minute. Kevin Nolan lifted the ball back to Cole from the byline and he controlled the ball before smashing a left-foot half-volley past Boaz Myhill. The home side flooded forward in search of an equaliser with Cole and Danny Collins firing narrowly over. And referee Moss awarded a spot-kick to the hosts right at the death when Lansbury's vicious shot struck the raised arm of Burke, who was in close proximity to the effort. Vaz Te stepped up and crashed his penalty straight down the middle, into the roof of the net, to earn a share of the spoils.

Birmingham City:

Myhill, Ramage, Caldwell, Davies, Murphy, Burke, Mutch, N'Daw (Zigic 68), Fahey, Elliott, King (Townsend 80).

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : npower Championship

12_04_14 WHU v. Brighton 12_03_31 WHU v. Reading 12_03_31 WHU v. Reading 12_03_24 Burnley v. WHU 12_02_11 Peterborough United v. WHU

Green

Demel (Collins)

Tomkins

Reid

Taylor

Noble

O'Neil (Collison)

Lansbury

Nolan

Cole

Vaz Te (Carew)

Upton Park

6 - 0 (Vaz Te 3, Nolan, Cole, o.g.)

14th April 2012

Att: 32,339

Referee: R. East

Ricardo Vaz Te's hat-trick hauled West Ham back into the automatic promotion race in a stunning demolition of Brighton. The Hammers shrugged off their recent home misery by blitzing Gus Poyet's play-off hopefuls with three goals in the first 10 minutes, before finishing them off in the second half. Portuguese winger Vaz Te started the rout with a quickfire brace before skipper Kevin Nolan added the third. Vaz Te struck again with a superb scissor kick just after the hour mark to take his tally to five goals in his last two matches. Carlton Cole added the fifth and Brighton's misery was complete when Gary Dicker put through his own net. Sam Allardyce's side, who had slipped off the pace following a rotten run of seven home matches without a win, are now just three points behind second-placed Southampton with three games to play. Poyet, by contrast, has maintained for most of the season his team are not ready for promotion, and they certainly set about proving him right in a disastrous start to the match. Henri Lansbury set the tone when his shot from the edge of the area hit the crossbar after only 30 seconds. Two minutes later West Ham were ahead when Nolan robbed Brighton's Spanish midfielder Vicente and played in Vaz Te, who let fly from 25 yards. His shot had some swerve on it but should not have troubled Peter Brezovan unduly, yet the Seagulls keeper was flapping at thin air as the ball whistled past him. With West Ham suddenly laying siege to the visitors' goal Brezovan was beaten again in the eighth minute. Guy Demel launched a deep cross from the right and Vaz Te sneaked around the back to squeeze a header inside the far post. There was no respite for Brighton with Nolan making it three two minutes later, the midfielder tucking his 12th of the season past the hapless Brezovan after James Tomkins headed Matt Taylor's free-kick back across goal. The shell-shocked Seagulls eventually managed to stem the flow and even came close to pulling one back before half-time, but Rob Green clawed away Gordon Greer's header with the Seagulls defender claiming in vain that the ball had crossed the line. But normal service was resumed after the interval with Vaz Te completing his sparkling treble in the 62nd minute. Cole headed the ball across goal and, as West Ham appealed for a penalty for a push on Lansbury, Vaz Te launched himself in the air and crashed his acrobatic effort into the net. Two minutes later Cole's shot was deflected off the heels of Lansbury to dupe Brezovan yet again. And with 11 minutes left Dicker diverted Mark Noble's corner into his own net to seal an emphatic win to take some of the heat off Allardyce - and maybe set a few nerves jangling on the south coast.

 

Brighton & Hove Albion:

Brezovan, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Painter, Navarro, Bridcutt, Dicker, Assulin (LuaLua 53), Vicente (Noone 64), Barnes (Mackail-Smith 53).

 

BRISTOL CITY : npower Championship

LEICESTER CITY : npower Championship

12_04_17 Bristol City v. WHU 12_04_23 Leicester City v. WHU

Ashton Gate

1 - 1 (Tomkins)

17th April 2012

Att: 16,669

Referee: C. Pawson

Green

Demel (Collison)

Tomkins

Reid

Collins (Carew)

Lansbury

Noble

Nolan

Taylor

Maynard (Collison)

Vaz Te

A Robert Green blunder all but confined West Ham to the npower Championship play-offs and helped edge Bristol City closer to safety. The Hammers goalkeeper failed to deal with a routine Cole Skuse attempt from range after 29 minutes of a scratchy encounter at Ashton Gate, allowing the ball to bounce up and over his diving body. It means his side have plenty to do if they are to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League. With Southampton winning at Peterborough, Sam Allardyce's outfit are five points off the top two with just two games remaining. It could have been so different for the Hammers, who led thanks to James Tomkins' header midway through the opening period and saw second-half chances spurned by Henri Lansbury and John Carew. But for City, a battling point improves their chances of playing in the Championship next season. West Ham spent the first 15 minutes camped in the City half, and Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the back of the net on the quarter-hour mark, only for referee Craig Pawson to disallow the goal for a handball by Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan in the build-up. At the other end, Skuse dragged a tame daisy-cutter well wide, while Vaz Te followed suit as neither side could open the other up. But with 25 minutes gone the away side finally found a way through. Andre Amougou fouled Maynard wide on the left, Noble floated in the resulting free-kick and Tomkins picked his spot with a free header back across Dean Gerken. The hosts, already firmly on the back foot, could have been forgiven for folding - but within four minutes they were level. Skuse latched on to a bobbling ball 25 yards from goal and took aim, more out of hope than expectation. Green appeared to have the effort covered, but the ball bounced up off the turf in front of him and, although the England stopper got a hand to it, nestled in the right-hand corner of the net. The Hammers almost nudged ahead just before the break, but Gerken dived bravely on Nolan's shot-cum-cross before Winston Reid could bundle the ball home, and the two teams went into half-time all-square. The visitors started brightly after the interval, and Lansbury clipped the top of the crossbar before forcing a decent save out of Gerken from a narrow angle. Allardyce introduced striker Carew for full-back Danny Collins as his side desperately chased a winning goal. Carew was quickly in the game, shooting low at Gerken after being played in by Vaz Te, but City always looked lively going forward and it required a good stop from Green to keep out Chris Wood's effort with 18 minutes remaining. Carew headed Matt Taylor's free-kick over and toe-poked wide late on but the Hammers could not find a crucial second.

Bristol City:

Gerken, Foster, Amougou, Fontaine, McGivern, Bolasie (Woolford 69), Skuse, Cisse (Adomah 69), Pearson, Stead (Carey 88), Wood.

 

West Ham took their npower Championship automatic promotion challenge to the final day of the season as they came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1 at the King Power Stadium. Anything but victory would have handed Southampton their return to the Barclays Premier League behind champions Reading and left the Hammers in the play-offs. Saints remain favourites to follow the Royals up in second spot but at least Sam Allardyce's men have made the south coast club earn their reward on the pitch at Saturday lunchtime against already-relegated Coventry. It looked like that may not be the case when Jermaine Beckford headed Leicester in front against the run of play. But West Ham responded quickly through Winston Reid before Jack Collison smashed home the winning goal in the second half. Joint-leading scorer Carlton Cole looked a handful on his return from a knee problem and it was his presence that forced a mistake from Sol Bamba inside his own penalty area after six minutes. The Leicester centre-half dwelled on the ball, Cole dispossessed him and teed-up Gary O'Neil whose low shot was well held by Kasper Schmeichel getting down to his right at full stretch. Cole went close himself with 15 minutes gone, glancing a header wide from Mark Noble's whipped free-kick. Immediately afterwards, the England striker found himself bearing down on Schmeichel - with Wes Morgan in tow - after latching on to Noble's through-ball. As Cole was about to pull the trigger 12 yards out, Morgan made a superb last-ditch tackle. Leicester were forced into a change after 22 minutes when captain Richie Wellens limped off injured. Lloyd Dyer replaced him and the winger almost made an immediate impact, crossing dangerously from the right but Beckford headed wide. West Ham threatened again when Kevin Nolan volleyed a dropping ball narrowly wide from the left-hand side of the area. It was against the run of play when Beckford put the hosts in front after 34 minutes. Ben Marshall evaded Matt Taylor down the right and crossed for Beckford to plant a header past Robert Green. But it was a terrific response from the promotion chasers, who were level within five minutes. Taylor whipped in a brilliant low cross and Reid poked home from inside the six yard box. James Tomkins almost sent the Hammers into half-time in front but his header from another Taylor cross went inches wide. Perhaps concerned by the number of chances West Ham were creating, Leicester boss Nigel Pearson made another change at the break. Sean St Ledger replaced King, with Bamba moving into midfield. However, West Ham still created opportunities and should have gone ahead after 57 minutes but Nolan miscued horribly from a useful Noble pass. A minute later though it was 2-1 as Collison thumped a powerful 18-yard effort beyond an unsighted Schmeichel after St Ledger had initially blocked a shot from O'Neil. The visitors took their foot off the gas a little, perhaps trying to defend what they had, but still looked a threat on the break. Ricardo Vaz Te and Collison passed up the chance to settle the game between them with 16 minutes remaining - both hesitating inside the box to allow former Hammer Paul Konchesky to make a brilliant saving tackle. West Ham came within inches of a third goal late on as Taylor's low cross from the left was turned inches past his own post by St Ledger. Nolan then spurned a one-on-one in injury-time, tamely shooting straight at Schmeichel. And the Hammers were almost made to pay for their latest missed chance but Green hung on to Morgan's header at the death.

King Power Stadium

2 - 1 (Reid, Collison)

23rd April 2012

Att: 23,172

Referee: E. Iderton

Green

Demel (Faubert)

Tomkins

Reid

Taylor

Collison (Lansbury)

Noble

Nolan

O'Neil

Cole (Collins)

Vaz Te

Leicester City:

Schmeichel, Peltier, Morgan, Bamba, Konchesky, Marshall, Wellens (Dyer 22), Drinkwater, King (St. Ledger 46), Beckford, Nugent (Waghorn 65).

 

HULL CITY : npower Championship

12_04_28 WHU v. Hull City

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Cole 2)

28th April 2012

Att: 35,000

Referee: N. Miller

Green

Demel

Tomkins

Reid

Taylor

O'Neil

Noble

Nolan

Lansbury

Cole (Baldock)

Vaz Te (Maynard)

West Ham missed out on automatic promotion back to the Barclays Premier League despite victory over Hull. Two goals from Carlton Cole were not enough to overhaul Southampton, whose 4-0 win against Coventry ensured they held onto second spot in the npower Championship. Instead, the play-offs beckon for Sam Allardyce and his side, who will face Cardiff in the first leg on Thursday. Allardyce had planned to be in Las Vegas on May 19 watching Amir Khan's next fight, but now he hopes to be at Wembley instead as the Hammers attempt to secure promotion the hard way. It is their home form which has proved costly - West Ham have won a club record 13 games on the road but dropped 28 points on their own turf to slip out of the top two. Unfortunately for them, a third-placed finish means they will have the dubious 'advantage' of being back at home for the second leg a week on Monday. The Hammers were desperate for an early goal to set the nerves jangling down at St Mary's, and they should have grabbed one in the fourth minute only for Ricardo Vaz Te to somehow head wide from all of three yards out. And any scrap of pre-match optimism around Upton Park quickly evaporated as the news Saints were making short work of the Sky Blues filtered through. The atmosphere suddenly went flat but the hosts continued to attack and Henri Lansbury blew another chance to put them in front when he blazed a volley over from 12 yards. Matt Taylor then clipped the crossbar with a curling cross which left Hull goalkeeper Vito Mannone bewildered. And in the 35th minute West Ham did get their noses in front when Cole met Mark Noble's corner with a downward header which Paul McKenna could not keep out on the goal-line. They should have gone further ahead before half-time but Vaz Te fired across goal, Kevin Nolan made a mess of a header and Noble's fierce shot was blocked. But three minutes after the break the lead was doubled when Cole controlled Lansbury's cross on his chest and expertly dinked the ball over advancing Mannone. Hull had barely threatened Rob Green's goal, but they were gifted a consolation with 10 minutes left when Guy Demel's ludicrous header let in Corry Evans to nod the ball home. For West Ham, their consolation is the play-offs as they attempt to bounce straight back from last season's relegation.

Hull City:

Mannone, Rosenior, Chester, Cooper, Dawson, Cairney (Brady 73), McKenna, Evans, Garcia, Fryatt, King (Stewart 46).

 

CARDIFF CITY : npower Championship (Play-off Semi-Final : 1st leg)

CARDIFF CITY : npower Championship (Play-off Semi-Final : 2nd leg)

12_05_03 Cardiff City v. WHU PlayOff 12_05_07 WHU v. Cardiff City PlayOff

Jack Collison's double strike helped West Ham take a huge stride closer to the Barclays Premier League. The Welshman, a product of the London club's youth system, registered twice in the first half of his side's npower Championship play-off semi-final first leg encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium, nodding home from close range after nine minutes and then seeing his deflected volley find the back of the net five minutes before the break to give the Hammers a huge advantage going into the second leg on Monday. The hosts struggled for any kind of rhythm for much of the match and West Ham could have taken an even more comfortable lead back to Upton Park, but for David Marshall's superb save from Carlton Cole's header. The Hammers may still have two more games to negotiate before they can celebrate a return to the top flight but, on this showing, the class and determination is there to achieve exactly that. Cardiff almost went ahead after two minutes, Peter Whittingham's deflected effort dipping narrowly over the crossbar. Moments later, Robert Green had to be alert to beat away Kenny Miller's volley as the Bluebirds started at a furious pace. But with their first attempt at goal, the Hammers gained the upper hand. Ricardo Vaz Te crossed from the left and, although Collison's first attempt was brilliantly stopped by Marshall, the Welshman was on hand to nod in the rebound. Quickly, West Ham got a stranglehold on the game. Gary O'Neil tested Marshall from range and James Tomkins headed Matt Taylor's fizzing cross wide. Cardiff, in part, were the architects of their own struggles, frequently gifting possession to their guests. The Welsh side tried to rally, with Miller firing wide, but Collison soon stunted their comeback with his second. Taylor's corner was half-cleared to the midfielder, who controlled the ball on his chest, pulled the trigger and saw a wicked deflection off the head of Liam Lawrence wrongfoot Marshall. Cole must have thought he had put the tie out of sight before half-time, but Marshall pulled off a sensational low save from the striker's header. Cardiff showed intent to get back into the game after the interval, with Whittingham volleying wide and Ben Turner seeing his header cleared off the line by Cole, before Miller fired horribly off-target. With space tighter in the Cardiff half, West Ham created far fewer chances - the best of the lot being Kevin Nolan's point-blank header which failed to test Marshall - and the visitors had to withstand a spell of concerted pressure from their hosts in the final quarter. Mark Hudson nodded Aron Gunnarsson's cross wide from 10 yards, substitute Robert Earnshaw missed the target with a wild volley and Gunnarsson squandered a decent chance from the edge of the area. For all their late huff and puff, however, the Bluebirds could not fashion a goal, leaving themselves with a lot to do in London in four days' time.

Green

Reid

Tomkins

Demel (Faubert)

Taylor

Collison (Maynard)

Nolan

Noble

O'Neil

Vaz Te (McCartney)

Cole

Cardiff City Stadium

2 - 0 (Collison 2)

3rd May 2012

Att: 23,029

Referee: N. swarbrick

Cardiff City:

Marshall, Blake, Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Cowie (McPhail 74), Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Lawrence, Miller (Earnshaw 74), Mason.

 

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Nolan, Vaz Te, Maynard)

7th May 2012

Att: 34,682

Referee: M. Dean

Green

Demel

Tomkins

Reid

Taylor

O'Neil

Nolan (McCartney)

Noble

Collison (Lansbury)

Cole (Maynard)

Vaz Te

West Ham are 90 minutes away from a return to the Premier League after sweeping aside Cardiff in their play-off semi-final. The Hammers quickly shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion as goals from Kevin Nolan, Ricardo Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard booked a trip to Wembley for the first time in 31 years. One year on from relegation, they will now face either Blackpool or Birmingham on May 19 for a shot at returning to the top flight and the estimated £90million reward promotion brings. As for Cardiff, they began the season with victory at Upton Park but ended it suffering play-off heartache for the third successive year. Malky Mackay's side arrived in east London as huge underdogs, trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Wales last week. Both teams knew the importance of an early goal, Cardiff to haul themselves back into the tie and West Ham to kill it off. And the visitors did pose a brief threat, having a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down when Kenny Miller tumbled under Winston Reid's challenge. But it was West Ham who struck the crucial first blow from Matt Taylor's 15th-minute corner. Carlton Cole's close-range header was blocked by Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson but Nolan was on hand to nod the rebound over the line for his 13th goal of the season. It was one-way traffic from then on with a disappointing Cardiff side already resigned to their fate. West Ham were inches from going two up when Jack Collison, the two-goal hero from the first leg, crossed to Gary O'Neil, whose first-time volley came back off the bar. O'Neil then forced a fine diving save from David Marshall with a swerving effort from outside the area. And five minutes before the interval the hosts did double their lead in style. Cardiff defender Stephen McPhail missed Guy Demel's pass but Vaz Te did not, taking the ball in his stride before blasting an unstoppable angled drive past Marshall and into the net. After the break Taylor and Reid had shots blocked while a rare Cardiff foray forward saw Liam Lawrence drive wide. But it was Hammers substitute Maynard who had the final say with a superb finish from Henri Lansbury's through-ball a minute from time. The jubilant home fans burst into a rendition of 'we're going to Wembley' - and they actually meant it for the first time since Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Co lost the League Cup final to Liverpool way back in 1981.

Cardiff City:

Marshall, McNaughton (Blake 81), Hudson, Turner, Taylor, Lawrence, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, McPhail (Cowie 76), Mason, Miller (Kiss 76).

 

West Ham United break club record for 13 Away victories in a season

BLACKPOOL : npower Championship (Play-Off Final)

12_05_19 WHU v. Blackpool Final

Wembley Stadium

2 - 1 (Cole, Vaz Te)

19th May 2012

Att: 78,523

Referee: H. Webb

Ricardo Vaz Te's late strike fired West Ham back to the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Blackpool in the npower Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The Portuguese forward, a bargain £500,000 January signing from Barnsley, earned the Hammers an estimated £90million windfall with the goal which sank Blackpool. Boss Sam Allardyce vowed to take the club back to what he calls the Promised Land at the first attempt following last season's relegation, and he was as good as his word as his side saw off Ian Holloway's play-off specialists. Carlton Cole had given them the lead in the first half, but Thomas Ince showed he has inherited his dad Paul's uncanny knack of irritating West Ham's fans when he equalised just after the break. However, after an end-to-end second half it was Blackpool, who were unbeaten in their previous 11 play-off matches, who cracked as Vaz Te rifled in the winner four minutes from time. They may have been short-priced favourites having put eight goals past Blackpool in their league meetings this season, but West Ham looked extremely twitchy in the opening stages. After just three minutes Matt Taylor's attempt to chest the ball back to Robert Green fell short and Stephen Dobbie sneaked in behind the left-back. Fortunately for Taylor, the angle was tight and Dobbie's shot was kept out by a combination of Green and the near post. Matt Phillips then twice squandered glorious opportunities to put the Seasiders ahead. The winger latched onto a ball over the top only to shoot weakly at Green, and passed up an even better chance moments later when Guy Demel slipped, allowing him time to curl a shot narrowly wide. West Ham eventually settled into the game and a slick move between Cole, Gary O'Neil and Vaz Te ended with the latter hitting the side-netting. Cole then headed O'Neil's cross over before Jack Collison curled a shot just too high. And the goal West Ham had been threatening arrived in the 33rd minute when Taylor robbed Ince and charged down the left before sending a cross towards Cole. The striker took the ball in his stride, held off the challenge of Seasiders defender Ian Evatt and swept the ball past Matt Gilks and into the net. Vaz Te could have doubled the lead before half-time but he dragged his shot wide. Instead, two minutes after the restart Blackpool hit the Hammers with a sucker-punch. Cole gave the ball away near the halfway line and Matt Phillips raced forward before swinging in a diagonal cross over the heads of the West Ham defence and right to the feet of Ince. The winger, whose every touch was jeered by the Hammers fans who never forgave Ince senior for the manner in which he left the club some 23 years ago, still had plenty to do. But he found a superb finish his dad would have been proud of, firing the ball across Green and inside the far post. With West Ham reeling, Blackpool almost went ahead moments later when Kevin Phillips played in Alex Baptiste, who dinked the ball over Green only for Taylor to clear the danger on the line. Back came West Ham and Collison poked Taylor's low cross wide before Gilks made a fine save low down to deny Cole, while at the other end Dobbie missed his kick in front of goal and also forced a fingertip save from Green. The Hammers were inches away from taking the lead again when substitute George McCartney overlapped down the left and crossed for Nolan, whose first-time volley was tipped onto the crossbar by Gilks. But the winner arrived four minutes from time in the most dramatic of fashion. Nolan crossed from the left and Cole's attempt was blocked by Gilks but the ball fell kindly for Vaz Te, who crashed it over the grounded Gilks and into the roof of the net.

12_05_19 WHU v. Blackpool Play-off Final

Green

Demel (Faubert)

Tomkins

Reid

Taylor

O'Neil (McCartney)

Nolan

Noble

Collison

Cole

Vaz Te

Steve with Trophy Stuart with Trophy

Steve Marsh

Stuart Allen

Blackpool:

Gilks, Eardley, Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Ferguson, Dobbie (Bednar 90), Angel (Dicko 90), Ince, Matt Phillips, Kevin Phillips (Sylvestre 71).

 

IN THE NEWS : 7th May 2012

Kurucz departs

West Ham United have confirmed that goalkeeper Peter Kurucz has departed the club by mutual consent. The 23-year-old joined the Hammers from Ujpest, initially on loan, in February 2009. Kurucz made just one first-team appearance for the club, coming on as substitute in a Premier League defeat against Manchester United in December 2010. Injury has curtailed his progress and he missed all of last season through a knee problem. He returned to full fitness this term and spent a spell on loan with League One side Rochdale, playing 11 games.

 

IN THE NEWS : 23rd May 2012

John Carew leads exodus from West Ham

John Carew and Julien Faubert head the list of players West Ham will release when their contracts expire next month. Faubert has been at Upton Park for five seasons after signing from Bordeaux in July 2007 and made his final appearance for the club when he came on as a second-half substitute in last weekend's Championship Play-off Final victory over Blackpool. Former Valencia striker Carew joined West Ham on a free transfer at the beginning of the season after spells at Aston Villa and Stoke but he will not have his deal renewed after making just seven Championship starts.

Also leaving West Ham following the end of one-year deals will be central defender Abdoulaye Faye and midfielder Papa Bouba Diop. Young striker Frank Nouble, who made 19 first-team appearances for the club, has also been released along with Oliver Lee, son of former Charlton Athletic and Newcastle Unitedstar Rob Lee.

Blackpool Final Unofficial 1 Blackpool Final Unofficial 2

PIRATE PROGRAMMES

IN THE NEWS : 29th June 2012

Sears departs

West Ham United confirmed that Freddie Sears has left the club by mutual consent. Striker Sears, a product of the Hammers’ famed youth Academy, had beed at the Boleyn Ground since the age of eleven and after a polific journey through the ranks, progressed into the West Ham first team. He made his senior debut in March 2008, making an immediate impact in the match by coming off the bench to score the winner in a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. Sears made 58 appearances, scoring three goals in all competitions for the Hammers.

2010-11 First XI 2012-13 First XI Season 2011-12