Saturday, April 26, 2008

West Ham 2 Newcastle 2

West Ham started with Neill and Tomkins again paired in the centre at the back and Ashton up front with Zamora.

West Ham came out with all guns firing and made all the early running. In the 3rd minute Faubert curled a free-kick from the edge of the box just over the bar. In the 5th minute Ashton shot right-footed from the edge of the box but it was straight at the keeper. Three minutes later Harper came out for a McCartney cross, missed it, but Zamora headed over. Two minutes after that McCartney and Ljungberg exchanged passes on the left wing. McCartney swung in a great cross and Mark Noble slotted the ball past Harper.

That was too much fortune smiling on West Ham so fortune decided to go back into hiding. In the 19th minute Ljungberg fell awkwardly with
Taylor falling onto him. Ljungberg was stretchered off and Boa Morte came on to replace him. Fortune then decided to come out of hiding and two minutes later West Ham were two goals up. Zamora flicked the ball onto Ashton who turned and shot the ball home from 18 yards.

West Ham continued to dominate the play with Newcastle not managing a single shot or winning a single corner in the first 40 minutes. In the 37th minute
West Ham had two glorious chances to make it three after Faubert found space in the box, but his shot was blocked. Boa Morte then followed up after making a couple of yards for himself, however he drove a soft effort straight at Harper.

Then in the 42nd minute
Martins, with Newcastle's first shot of the game, lobbed the ball from the centre of the penalty area 12 yards into the back of the net. Three minutes later and Newcastle's second shot of the game by Martins was redirected by Geremi with his head into the back of the net and the score was levelled.

You have to say West Ham were extremely unlucky not to go in at half time with a sizeable lead. West Ham battered Newcastle for 40 minutes, the Toon managed two and half shots in the whole half and come away with two goals - lucky northern monkeys.

West Ham started the second half on the front foot. In the 48th minute Ashton shot from twenty yards but the ball flew way over the bar. In the 53rd minute first Ashton had an 18 yard effort blocked by Edgar then Boa Morte shot wide from the same distance. In the 56th minute Ashton fired a shot across the mouth of the goal.

In the 68th minute Cole was brought on for Zamora. In the 71st minute Ashton collected a McCartney back heel but shot straight at Harper from the edge of the box. In the 75th minute Ashton volleyed from 12 yards but shot wide. In the 79th minute McCartney fired a shot way over the bar. A minute later and Ashton fired in another effort and Harper did well to tip the ball over the bar.

In the 83rd minute Michael Owen hand-balled in his own penalty area right in front of the referee but Rennie decided to ignore the Hammer's pleas. In the 85th minute Noble had an 18 yard effort saved by Harper.

In the 90th minute Newcastle finally managed a 3rd shot in the game and with West Ham's recent luck the crowd were delighted to see Green save.

Alan Curbishley will now probably spend the week wondering how the fans can be happier with him after a draw than after a win.


At 5:59 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

i am quite happy for the manager that he was not booed. fortunately, the manager had enough good players fit to start with a 4-4-2 formation because it really improved the style and quality of play west ham exhibited during the first 40 minutes. the team came out swinging; it was all the more impressive given that newcastle has had excellent momentum from their last few league matches.

however, it just seemed to me as if the entire team had a mental breakdown from the players down to the manager after newcastle found their metal balance on the pitch. the team was as uninspired as the manager was careless.

where were the defenders during the first newcastle goal? the second goal seemed unlucky, but it seemed as if west ham were just stunned into inactivity after the first goal. today's substitutions might have been better if cole had come on for LBM. three fouls in 3 minutes and i just saw a replay of tottenham all over again. just wondering why the manager would not substitute out a player who gets 2 fouls in 2 minutes right before he commits the third which results in a yellow card. consequently, why wait so late to bring solano into the game? the 90th minute? i was just wondering if the manager wanted to win the game, or just wanted the came to be over asap not to lose. but that is not the same as staying in the game to win.

newcastle remaining mentally agile after a rough first 20 minutes is really commendable -especially in an away game. west ham not being able to overcome the tie was just disappointing. 3 points would have been great. but thank goodness we didn't lose.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

I think "thank god we didn t lose"
from dublin sums it up. To go into the interval level, having been 2 goals up ,fearing it was going to end up 3-2 against us ,or worse ,was an awful feeling. I honestly felt that it was 90 per cent certain that we wud lose once we conceded the second,so to hang on for the draw ,in the end ,was a pretty good result.

Playing against an in-form side ,whilst having to play a 19 year old at center back ,and Neill there as well, suggested to me before the match that we d be lucky to draw. So to score as early as we did was a shock,and even once we went 2 up, as well as we were playing ,I didn t ever feel like we were home and dry.

The second goal I don t think Green cud do much about ,although for the first he seemed to be caught in two minds about whether and when to come out. Tomkins ,similarly to the Everton match ,played well overall, despite having some responsibility for conceding the first goal. Learning against the likes of Martins can t be easy. Regarding their second goal, we left a couple of their players near the area with too much space,for reasons I can t explain.

I thought Boa Morte did a number of things right ,although ,again, he did commit some unnecessary fouls. I wud have preferred to have seen Solano replace Ljungberg ,rather than LBM.

Despite being gratfeul for a point that at the start of the day I wasn t optimistic on us getting, that doesn t remove the irritation of being unable to hang on to a 2 goal lead , when we were 3 minutes away from being able to walk into halftime with that lead intact.


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