Adrian off but Hammers show true grit


Saints 0 Irons 0

Adrian was red-carded but the Hammers battle for over half an hour with ten men.

The keeper made a real ricket when trying dribble round Saints dangerman Mane who half tackled him as the Spaniard flopped onto the ball  ‘hands first’ outside the area.

There was a suspicion of a foul from the Saints striker but in the end referee Craig Pawson appeared to have few options but to point to the dressing room.

However, Jussi Jaaskalainen  – coming on for Carlton Cole – made some important saves as he made his first appearance since New Year’s Day, 2014 to ensure we came away from the south coast with a precious point.

There had been no alarms in the first 45 minutes which ended with the home fans booing their team off.

That was a tribute to the Irons strong defensive performance which kept the third placed team at bay with relative ease.

Saints went close after 13 minutes when  Mane received Davis’ pass, drove past Tomkins and clipped towards goal from an acute angle but Jenkinson was well positioned to  clear.

The hosts followed that three minutes later with a set piece which saw Adrian leave his line but failed to punch clear and a Gardos header was cleared by Cole.

Kouyate was again composed at centre half again and turned away very cleverly from Pelle when facing his own by-line. Pelle comes back with a strong but fair challenge but Kouyate had the better of him.

Mane had a real chance as half time approached but his curling  effort sailed a couple of feet wide of Adrian’s left hand post.

Valencia had worked hard and, finding some space  to shoot for the Hammers, saw his effort blocked as the half came to its end.

There was nothing in it at all until Adrian’s departure saw Saints charge forward with real purpose.

Pelle had a couple of chances, thrashing over the top before a looping effort was held by JJ.

For all their pressure the hosts didn’t create a real chance until Jaaskalainen saved well from Fonte low to his left and claimed a clipped ball into the box.

Tadic then found  space on the right and crossed towards Pelle who got there but saw the ball slid off his forehead and wide.

Jaaskalainen topped a fine 30 odd minutes right at the end when he did brilliantly to sharply push away a low Davis drive to safety.

It was a scrappy affair from the start and in the end a draw was probably a fair result as the Irons showed real grit.

Adrian 4 Jenkinson 7 Tomkins 7 Kouyate 7 Cresswell 7; Song 7 Amafitano 6, Downing 6, Valencia 5, Sakho 6, Cole 5

Subs: Jaaskalainen 7 Jarvis 5 Carroll 5


About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

3 comments on “Adrian off but Hammers show true grit

  1. Another BFS wrong call’,all that nous make his tactics hard to fathom,Kouyate in mid field Oxford or Boothe with Tomkins and Cole on the bench how hard was that,
    The mans a genius it’s all that talk about changing 3 point into 1 I can’t quite wrap my head around,
    HUGH you can’t give a 4 to Adrien for 1 mistake,he did nothing else wrong and he did not cost us the game because we would not have scored if we had played for another 3 hours,
    What a good game to have before WBA while the Pulis Factor is setting in already.

  2. I think the headline should read ‘Adrian off as West Ham get away with it again’

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