Its been a while so even though I’ve watched this on the telly, I thought I’d put in a match report.
Spurs had a tough game against Florentina a few days earlier and WHU had a weeks rest after their embarrassing exit from the FA cup at the hands of West Brom the previous weekend. So we had a chance, but recent games would suggest the opposite with Spurs and Harry Kane on the rise and WHU losing form like a 3 legged horse.
Sam changed thing around for the better by dropping Nolan to allow Kouyate take his place back in the midfield, as Reid was fit and we could play with a full complement of centre backs. Spurs started on the up, with Adrian forced into action a few times in the early exchanges. Harry Kane went near with a chance that went off the post and out for a goal kick from close range. As usual WHU looked nervy and seem to struggle making the 3rd or 4th pass to make any attacks count. That said, after 22 mins, Song put Cresswell through with a fantastic ball. Cresswell provided one of his now trademark crosses and Kouyate met it with a great header to make it one nil against the run of play.
This inspired the Hammers into a good period of play, and both Sakho and Valencia went close, and we seemed to be taking control. We got through some late pressure to hold onto the lead by half time.
The Second half was more WHU, and finally we started to look comfortable. This was aided by the fact that Spurs seemed to have lost their way and were actually looking a like a post Xmas 2014 WHU team. At about the same time into the half as the first half opener, WHU got a second as Sakho crossed a ball in that ended up going out to Noble on the far side, who then crossed it back in for Sakho to meet it on the far post and double the lead. There was a question regarding the positioning of Valencia being offside, but the ref was right (with the current debatable rules) and it’s 2-0.
Then WHU stopped playing. We went back into our shells and tried to defend for 30 mins. We should know by now that this is usually suicide for us. Man U at home anyone?
Mark Noble forced a change on us , as he should of been sent off for a second yellow, but the reaction from Vertonghen helped him out, and the ref let it slide. So Sam subbed him, oddly for Carlton Cole. Nolan was on the bench, and should of been brought on, but Sam is Sam. This also backfired, although not Sam’s fault when his injury forced James Collins into the fray.
Spurs kept the pressure on, and got a (in my opinion) deserved goal from an odd source. Adrian punched out a cross to Danny Rose, who was outside the box. He mishit a shot which bounced over a now out of position Adrian to get Spurs back in the game.
From here on , Spurs laid siege to the WHU goal, but the Hammers seemed to getting away with it. Not controlling it, just getting away with it.
The 4th official put up 5 mins of extra time, and Spurs has their tails up, and we still don’t try and hold onto the ball. The inevitable happened with 10 seconds (!) to go, as Alex Song leant on Harry Kane and he went down. Penalty given. Soft penalty but given. Kane forced a save from Adrian but caught the follow up to draw the game.
This is the 3rd time this season we have given away points (ManU at home, Totts at home, and here) in the last knockings of a game. We have to stop this 10 man defending nonsense. We are just not good enough to carry it off. Simple. Those 5 points would put us 4th (ManU would have 2 less).
Next up is resurgent Crystal Palace at home. We need to win this if this season isn’t going to be a washout. 2 wins in our last 10 games is relegation form. Of the draws (5), we should of had at least 3 wins. It’s just very frustrating. But with 3 centre backs now available again, we should be able to keep the shape that won over the plaudits earlier in the season.
MOTM Kouyate. Don’t know what happened to his broken arm, but he played like a man on a mission again.