Saturday, January 08, 2011

West Ham 2 Barnsley 0

Avram made wholesale changes for this game. Only Noble, Tomkins, Green and Piquionne managed to retain their places as Grant took the opportunity to rest players.

Despite the unfamiliar line-up West Ham settled down well. Noble soon began to pull the strings in midfield and West Ham took the game to Barnsley.

In the 25th minute Barrera had a great opportunity to grab the lead but missed with his head from close range when it looked easier to score. Just as West Ham might have begun to worry that they hadn't taken advantage of all their possession cup hero Jonathon Spector stepped up to the plate. In the 28th minute Spector pounced on a blocked shot from Noble and passed the ball into the back of the net.

In the 35th minute a mistake from Tomkins allowed Lovre behind the defence but he wasted a golden opportunity to equalise by shooting straight at Green. Two minutes later Obinna was clearly taken down in the area by goalkeeper Steele, however the ref decided to only give a corner.

In the 40th minute Hines had a great chance to extend West Ham's lead. Hines appeared to have an open goal from close range but Steele somehow managed to recover in time and block the shot. The ball fell back to Hines but Steele also managed to block his second attempt.

A great first half from West Ham ended with the home team wondering how they went into the break only one goal to the good.

Barnsley started the second half strongly. In the 56th minute Tomkins fouled Hammill in the area but the referee evened things up by denying the second clear cut penalty of the game.

Barnsley continued to perform much better in the second half, sending the game into a bit of a stalemate. In the 70th minute Nouble did manage to break behind the Barnsley defence but could only scuff the ball past Steele and Hassell was able to get back to clear.

With Barnsley continuing to press forward Avram Grant was forced to being on Parker for Obinna and then Piquionne for Nouble. I'm sure Grant would have preferred to have kept both players on the bench but West Ham's second half performance demanded the change.

In the final minutes the game came back to life again. First Edgar, with his first involvement of the game, had a great opportunity but shot wide from ten yards. Then Barnsley had a great chance at the other end and Hammill was unlucky to see his shot hit the crossbar. West Ham then broke in turn and Piquionne claimed West Ham's second with a shot from the edge of the area.

This really was a game of two halves. West Ham were in total control in the first half and should have had the game wrapped up by the break. In the second half Barnsley showed a bit more adventure and West Ham returned to type. In the end though West Ham probably just about deserved to go through to the next round.


At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

should have gone out now wont progress with a team and manager like ours .

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous comment, 6.37. We don't want supporters like you, thanks.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Simon said...

its enough to insult the manager,& you insult the team too?!? Its not liverpool here, anyone who can consider themselves a supporter will always have belief, be it blind or just stupidity..
2nd part is mainly for liverpool fans.. If kenny fails it shows rafa bought the worst team ever but also knew how to manage them well! :D

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't make up for the disgrace at Newcastle,but it's a step in the right direction and will help restore confidence after the Toon debacle. Any win is a good win ,be it cup or league,and this win will be good preparation for Arsenal. Same if we win again vs. Birmingham.

It shud be obvious that if Noble or Parker are not fit or available for zny reason,Spector shud play in central midfield,not Kovac. Spector is miles better on th eball, has more desire, and can score the odd goal as shown recently.

Grant,however,must go. His presence at the club is holding us back. No coincidence that Sidwell did not come with Grant as the manager. Get Hughton in immediately,or even Curbishley. Either wud give us a much better chance than Grant of surviving

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sidwell agreed personal terms and passed a medical before the move stalled. He's hardly likely to have gone through that, then suddenly thought 'hold on a second, Avram Grant is the manager, actually I'm not going here' is he?


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