Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birmingham 3 West Ham 1 (4-3)

For much of the first half, like most of the first leg, there was only one team in this game. Both teams probably shared the territory and possession of the ball but only West Ham really looked like scoring.

For West Ham, Cole and Hines both had early chances that both the strikers would probably feel they should have done better with. After half an hour of the game gone all West Ham really had to worry about was that they had not extended their lead and so, despite their dominance of the goal scoring chances, the game was still evenly poised.

However in the 32nd minute Cole scored a beautiful goal from distance that curled around Foster and landed sweetly in the back of the net. Six minutes later, Hines, with his back to goal, 10 yards out, managed to audaciously hook the ball goalwards, only to see the ball clip the post as it went wide.

At the other end Birmingham managed to get the ball on target from a freekick, which Green managed to easily gather. But that was a rare effort from Birmingham and West Ham went into half-time with the tie seemingly sewn up.

Birmingham brought on the man-freak Zigic for the second half, so it was fairly obvious that West Ham were going to face an aerial bombardment. The tactic worked brilliantly for Birmingham. In the 53rd minute Zigic chested the ball down for Gardner, whose shot from the edge of the box hit the bottom of the post and rolled across the goal-line and wide.

In the 58th minute Bridge clearly handballed in the area but the ref gave a corner. From the corner Bowyer reacted first to the second ball and fired home from 10 yards.

Most of the second half continued to be one way traffic and Birmingham got the seemingly inevitable equaliser (over the two games) when Johnson headed a corner in from 7 yards. With seconds left in the half Gardner hit the post from 25 yards. That miss ensured the game went to extra time.

Four minutes into extra time Gardner got another chance from exactly the same spot and this time, despite Green getting a hand to the ball, he got a goal.

After Birmingham's goal West Ham huffed and puffed a bit and Noble and Parker both had efforts on goal, which didn't trouble Foster unduly. Birmingham therefore strolled through the first period of extra time without much trouble.

In the second period of extra time Parker had a tame effort on goal which flew wide. West Ham's best chance was a Cole hooked shot from 6 yards which was saved by Foster.

So again West Ham demonstrated that they are incapable of holding onto a lead. West Ham probably played the better football over the two legs. The major difference between the two side was that when Birmingham went behind they seemed able to lift themselves and get back into the game, whereas the one time West Ham went behind in the tie they never really looked like they could get back on even terms.


At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh joy!!
Now we can concentrate on being relegated.
Bob The Hammer

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Philip Ely said...

Watching on TV I thought we looked outstanding in the first half but needed that precious second goal. I didn't think Noble had a good game at all: some wayward passes and slow into the challenges. Parker didn't have his best game either but it is unfair to expect one man to carry the team.

Tomkins had a good game until Zilgic came on. The 6' 7" giant looked like 10' and clearly unsettled the back four.

One can only wonder what Piquionne and Obinna might have done : we looked leggy and short of ideas.

Can't work out why Boa Morte continues to be picked.

Now to focus on survival. Keep going lads...pick yourselves up (you're still getting paid remember) and focus on Prem survival and a thrashing of Forest in the real cup that matters! Remember: we've been ManU 4-0 this year! More please.

At 4:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was delited with the 1st half performance but dissapointed once again with boa morte and faubert playing. spector has done ok lately but he's also not good enough. if we wanna stay up players like faubert,boa morte,spector,kovac,mccarthy and dyer should never play again for us it hurts even seein them on the bench. dyer was a great player on his day but that day is gone and he's a cripple and benni mccarthy is the worst forward we have why bring him on when nouble and sears where available.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Simon said...

Spirited first half, but always the fear is the teamtalk at halftime if we are ahead.. Avram never rallies the troops, we looked a different team after half time and definately played 2nd best.
tomkins had a good game, he put himself about and cant fault him for Zigic coming on, though his impact was far too great for reasoning..
Boa Morte had a shocker, he is committed but he has little or no invention.
what annoyed me most was the gardener goal. Not one midfielder had tracked him after he hit the post twice. This should have been a direct instruction from the manager or even the common sense to track his runs.
If Kovac could have played i think we would have won, holding (limited) midfielder who can allow freedom for parker and noble.

All in all we bottled it, made a great game of it, but to lose like a team to birmingham (with all due respect) isnt good enough. Especially on performance.

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

firstly the tackle on dyer was a foul and now we can all see the great team talks that bag of shit manager gives. you had the birmingham manager shouting and geeing up his players while our useless wanker just walked around the picth with his hands in his pockets not talking to any of them. should of got rid of him when they had the chance.

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt Upson was outplayed by his counterpart Roger Johnson. And Grant was totally outplayed by his counterpart. We all knew what birmingham's second half plan wud be, yet Grant had no answer. It is not a coincidence that we cannot hold on to a lead under this manager. To concede 3 goals inside of 45 minutes is unacceptable. We're better in attack with Bridge,but defensively we have not improved a jot.

The whole league knows that we cannot hold onto a lead. Which is why the opposition never lets their heads go down if we go in front. Complete lack of character on the pitch and off it.

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bag of shit were going down

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No passion, no desire, no chance.


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