After Southampton threw us a lifeline by losing the Middlesborough, we go to the Walkers (now King Power !) stadium, full of hope, on St Georges day. Being in front of the telly means i can blog as its happening, so apologies for any opinions that might not pan out, eg we are going up whatever, etc ! This game at the start of the season, was supposed to be a celebration of both teams being promoted, but with Leicester out of the playoffs by some distance, it was far more important for the Hammers.
Sam selected a attacking formation, leaving Taylor at left back, and pushing Vaz further up top with Cole. 2 up top ? Wonder where that came from 🙂 , so did the Foxes, with Nugent and Beckford up top (and Vassell, aged 100 on the bench).
The game kicked of to a half empty ground.
Within the first 5 minutes, Jack Collison find himself with two shots well saved by Kasper Schmeichel. Bearing in mins some of the struggles we have had with defenders this season, why didn’t we get Konchesky back.? He is far better than any full backs we have.
Nothing else to report for the first 15, except Carlton Cole seems to be on top, and has started lively. That said he was clear on 15.5 and was caught and excellently dispossessed by Wes Morgan, when he should of took on the shot. Captain Wellens appeared to take a freak knock from Nolan, and it looked like he was coming off, but he struggles on. On 21 Beckford got on the wrong end of a Demel 50/ 50 and startd hobbling as Wellens does get subbed. Dirty West Ham ??
That said he didn’t appear to be hobbling on 25 when he met Dyers cross and put it just past Green’s post. A couple of mins later Nolan was unlucky with a trick volley from distance, after a rare forage forwards from Demel, but the first half hour was honours even in everything including the score. Gary O’Neill took one for the team with a professional foul on Dyer to get the first yellow card of the game.
On 33 minutes, Marshall left Taylor for dead (on his arse actually !), and placed a lovely cross onto the head of Darren Beckford to open the scoring. One nil Leicester (Southampton ?).
West Ham respond well immediately but cannot get a shot off. Taylor should of crossed into a crowded box but was too relaxed by far. But on 38, he overlapped well, and did get the cross in for Winston Reid to connect and equalise. Game on. 1-1.
Vaz Te had a long ranger blocked on 40 by Wes Morgan. Tompkins had a trademark back post header just go wide, just before half time.
The second half begins with 45 minutes for West Ham to define their season. Noble takes an out of the box chance that nearly troubles the post, after a corner. Cole had been quiet since the early parts of the 1st half, and almost looks disinterested. Demel and Taylor spent the first 5 mins of this half camped in the Foxes half.
On 56 Nolan snatches a great through ball from O’Neill , and puts it over the bar, when on target should of been the minimum. This is forgotten when Jack Collison bangs in a half volley from 25 yrds +, and Kasper is close but no cigar. 2-1 West Ham. They then pile on the pressure, but Jack’s next shot deflets off a defender for a corner.
The next 15-20 nothing happened as i had to pick up my wife from the station 🙂 Oh and Faubert came on for Demel. Then CC came off on 80 mins for Danny Collins. This is not a good move as far as I’m concerned. Too defensive, and we do like to let in a late goal. But Collins has pushed into left back and Taylor moved forward avoiding 5 at the back.
With 5 to go, Shaun St Leger nearly helped out with an own goal for the Hammers, and Collison was replaced by Landsbury. All action in the last couple as Green had to make a point blank save, and Nolan was greedy and should of passed to Landsbury for an easy 3rd.
Another win for the hammers on their record breaking season away from home.
We move onto the finale on Saturday with West Ham playing Hull, and Southampton playing a dead and buried Coventry. Southampton should go through, and fair play to them and Reading, but we can dream…………….
MOTM : James Tomkins.