Saturday, March 15, 2008

West Ham 2 Blackburn 1

Ashton watches the ball hit the back of the net
West Ham's defence, perhaps understandably, looked a little nervous at the beginning of this game. Nervous or not though there was no excuse for the defending for Blackburn's opening goal.

West Ham were attacking through Parker when he lost the ball on the edge of the Blackburn penalty area. The ball was pumped forward by Blackburn to Pedersen who was standing completely alone on the left wing (Neil having decided to take a few minutes out to book his flight to China). Pedersen was able to amble forward and cross the ball to Santa Cruz (again completely alone) in the penalty area to head the ball into the net from seven yards.

After about half an hour the crowd began to turn and a few jeers rang out. This seemed to spur Ashton into a response. In the 39th minute the ball was pumped forward, Zamora headed the ball on, Ashton picked the ball up with his back to goal, flicked the ball around his marker and spun himself around the defender in the other direction, ran onto the ball and chipped it left footed over the out-rushing Friedel. - Beautiful.

Forget about the first part of the second half (there were a couple of long shots from Zamora and Ashton and Pederson should have scored for Blackburn), because all that should be remembered is the introduction of one Freddie Sears.

In the 74th minute Noble came on for Parker and Sears for Solano. Five minutes and 16 seconds after coming on Sears got West Ham's winner. The ball was pumped forward from deep, Ashton ran onto the ball and on the touchline back-heeled the ball to Sears. Sears shot first time from 6 yards, Friedel saved the ball low down but the ball flew up and Sears ran on and his diving header hit the back of the net.

In the 83rd minute Blackburn had an excellent opportunity to draw level. Roberts shot from 6 yards out and Green somehow managed a brilliant save low down to his left. In the 90th minute Derbyshire also had a very good chance but shot tamely at Green.

However in the end Blackburn couldn't ruin Sears' day. A new West Ham legend has been born ...


At 5:03 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

the least you could say is great effort by West Ham. they really played cohesively as a team and the partnership between Zamora and Ashton worked nicely as well. they were in it to win it from the start. the 4-4-2 worked and kept the pace in an attacking mode and substituting Sears on to the field at that moment was an inspired decision by Curbishley.

what this game says is that you win some and you lose some. and sometimes you might get into a losing streak. but that can happen to any team. probably the best part of all of this is that Curbs delivered a deft response to David Whelan’s questionable assertion.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

I thought Ashton was brilliant today. Hopefully that performance has cemented his place in the first eleven.

Sears looks like he will be a good sub to bring on late in games.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

yes ed, i will give you that: ashton was great.

with regards to sears, i would like to see him paired alongside all of the forwards so that WHU can get a sense of what is working and not working with the forward line.

i just don't think that it is a coincidence that today we started two _fit_ forwards and we won so beautifully. this really took the pressure off of the mid field.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

also, did you notice that the fould situation was really under control today.

when i said earlier that the team played as a team, i really meant it. the players and the manager seemed to be on the same page.

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

A positive step and a good response not only to the recent run, but to going a goal down. we still look very vulnerable from set pieces ,especially corners ,though. I the presence of solano as opposed to boa morte made a difference ,and I d agree that Ashton had a very strong game. As good as his goal was, it was the other things he did that were as ,if not more important. his workrate was good and when needed, he got back to help defend. His attitude was right ,and that coupled with his performance i imagine has cemented his place in the side,which is not something I had expected to see for quite awhile . agree on sears being good to bring on as a sub -even apart from the goal he looked positive and bright from the second he came on. Although I think Mullins is good, I prefer Noble and was disappointed to see Noble not start again. But I agree that it was a bold decision to put Sears on, and it paid off. I think the result should provide some confidence to the players,especially in terms of being able to come from behind ,but I hope Upson is available for Everton. We look very exposed without him, and even today ,we were a bit fortunate not to concede 2 or 3. We fought hard for the points,which is perhaps as pleasing as the result itself.


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