Cardiff City vs West Ham United 03/05/2012 Championship Play Off Semi Final

Come the hour and all that. Here we are at the end  of the season, with West Ham having failed in their quest for automatic promotion, only to meet their start of the season conquerers Cardiff City, in a game that ‘dif fans are delighted about having sneaked in the top six on the last day for their third consecutive play off campaign. Normally the team with momentum win out, but it’s been a long season for both teams, and now the slate is clean. The punters are saying West Ham with their squad and money (!), but Cardiff have the experience of this situation. Once again this game finds me on the sofa, for a bit of live blogging. Having read the last one, i apologise up front for mixed tenses.

West Ham lined up with a nearly unchanged team from the win against Hull, with Collinson coming in for Lansbury.

Cariff nearly get a sneaky of the bat with Whittingham putting one just over the bar after 1 minute, the Rob Green made a save from Miller after 2 minutes. All in all a shaky start from WHU. Nerves ?

Obviously not, after withstanding the early pressure, Jack gets on the end of a quality Vaz Te cross to go one nil up in the 9th. Get in. Nice work chaps.

WHU seem to settle, after this but not without some continued pressure from Cardiff. The game then went a bit tit for tat niggly, which seems to suit Cardiff better. By half an hour the game appeared to be going flat but the Hammers seem to have most of the possession. By 35 Cardiff were back on top after a dismissed penalty claim, and a near miss ranger from Miller. It also appeared that CC had taken a knock, as he slowed dramatically. Then after 40 minutes, WHU doubled their lead against the run of play, as Jack again got the second from distance (with some help from a defensive deflection). Great save from Marshall to deny CC a goal just on the stroke of half time.

Cardiff started off like a train in the second half, with several chances in the first 10 minutes. WHU appeared unsettled with James Tompkins getting a card for losing the plot with the ref. And then Noble gets a yellow for half a tackle just after the hour mark, about 30 seconds before Miller fires another ball over. Then Nolan get a card for diving in on the ‘dif keeper. In amongst all this McCartney came on for Vaz Te, who did seem quiet.

With 70 mins gone, WHU seemed to be back in control, of tempers and the ball. Nolan could of put the game beyond doubt when he put a clear header wide from an excellent Taylor cross (one of few tonight). At 74 Faubert replaced an improving Guy Demel.

With 2 mins to go McCartney nearly gave away a penalty, luckily the ref didn’t agree. But he did find 5 mins of ET from somewhere.

The game ended as the last game here for the Hammers, in a 2-0 victory. A professional victory but not an easy one. The first half hour on Monday will tell where this tie is going.

Told you it would be OK !

MOTM Jack Collinson (who else). Ran close by Carlton Cole.

WHUFC vs Burnley 03/12/2011. Championship

After missing last week’s comeback against Derby, i arrived at Upton Park hoping for a another impressive hammers display. This season i have missed the great home wins against Pompey, Derby, and Blackpool, but have witnessed the games against Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol City. This is starting to form a pattern, and one that i would of liked to rid myself of yesterday.

May i add that yesterday the Upper Bobby was exceptionally cold and windy, or maybe i’m just getting to that age !

After the now obligitory 1 minute for Gary Speed (let us not forget one of the greatest midfielders of all time – Socrates, passed away this weekend. RIP), the game got under way and WHU came out of the blocks, winning plenty of possession and corners.

Although industrious, i have mentioned in the blog previously that CC, cannot play on his own up top, and this was once again proved. Although, the midfield were supporting quicker than usual, especially Collinson, who overall had one of his best games this season (and was actually played in position – coincedence ?).

Nolan missed an open goal ,after some great work from CC to get the ball across the box. Maybe the ball could of been slightly better, but Kev should of buried it.

So, half time finds us at  0 0, but the Hammers were more than in control.

Early in the second half, CC flicked on a ball, that Nolan read perfectly, and then lobbed the keeper from distance to open the scoring. From then on it looked a formality. Until someone on the Burnley bench pointed out that we dont defend corners or crosses very well. Within 5 mins McCann had equalised heading in a cross, and then on the 75th minute, substitute Vokes took his chance, and headed in the winner from a corner.

How we threw it all away.

In all, it was a bad day at the office, and thats all. We should of won, with Jack and CC both hitting the post. Another day we could of had a rout, but all credit to Burnley for their attitude and not giving up. I assumed that without Eagles they wouldn’t move it around as well, but i was wrong.

Some final comments. Jack played really well and i hope BFS keeps him in a position that suits him rather than suits the side. Nolan looked lively for a change, and with this being the 3rd game in seven days, maybe is approaching some level of fitness. CC needs help up front, and this is easily sorted while Baldock is out, by using either Nolan or Collinson in a real no. 10 position.

Now defending. Faye and Tompkins look fantastic in one to one situations (Faye to me looks as good as Bilic and Martin, from back in the day), but there is some misorganisation in the way they defend crosses and corners. BFS, who is a diligent student of tactics, needs to sort this out, as that is one of the reasons we went down last year.

Lets get the show back on the road next week, against Reading. I’ll take a well defended one nil.

On a slightly different  note, I happen to mention to my wife that all the cool kids are going for romantic breaks to the Ukraine this summer. I don’t think she believes me !

WHUFC vs Bristol City 01-11-2011

Due to laziness, i;m post up my comments from elsewhere.


Still not blogged as I am fuming. Not because of the result, because we didn’t play to bad, just didn’t get the luck in front of goal. But as mentioned above, big and little Fred starting, just pissed me off massively. Collinson was not too clever on Saturday, but Sears, do me a lemon.

I think Baldock got subbed because he didnt look the same after he took a nasty bang on the head near the end of the first half. Noble did play well (there I’ve said it), but Nolan,  he was useless. Can’t handle 2 games in 4 days?,then leave mate, this is the Championship, not the Champions League. He had a sitter early in the second and hit it straight at James, who also made 2 good saves in the first half. Nolan spent most of the game out of position and blowing out of his arse.

Not the worst game ever as reported by Talk Sport the morning after.

In other news, by using the new DLR extension and the HS1 I got home to Kent, from UP in 40 mins. Quicker then driving and I get a beer.

UPDATE: Nice win against a Hull team who themselves were unbeaten in 9 Games. A goal each for Baldock and Collinson in the second half and another clean sheet for West Ham . Sears and Piq were non starters. Long may it reign.