Hammers lose way in dreary affair


Irons 1 WBA 1

sakho-diafra_3214372Diafra Sakho gave the Hammers a fabulous start before the team completely lost its way in a game to forget!

After the thrills and spills of Sunday’s clash against Arsenal, this was desperately dull fare to kick off  the New Year as the team extended its win-less run to three.

Sakho was withdrawn on the 72nd minute slowly trudging off  holding his back after goalmouth melee in the Baggies penalty area. Questions were immediately being asked as to whether he would make the African Nationsw Cup!

By the end of this dull affair we had seen both Matt Jarvis and Carlton Cole enter the fray – hopefully not a sign of things to come as we await news of the Sakho injury.

That is all for later, sufficient for now to say that this was a less than average performance from the team who had little idea how to break down a resolute Albion defence after Diafra’s early effort.

It had taken him just 10 minutes to find the net with a great header after fine work from Amalfitano – playing against his last season loan club – had sent Cresswell up to cross.

That should have settled the Irons down but instead they seemed content to sit back and slowly the visitors found a way into the game.

Downing, however, might have added to the lead when Song played a great ball out of defence  but the winger could only fire from a tight angle and Foster saved with difficulty.

After that the Hammers appeared to switch off completely and Adrian was forced to save low down from Baird before Brunt flashed a cross-shot wide.

Next Song conceded a free-kick five yards outside the box after hauling down Mulumbu but Brunt  fired narrowly wide.

Three minutes from the break though, Albion were level when Berahino slid home his shot past Adrian.

With new Albion boss Tony Pulis becoming increasingly animated in the stands – instructions were carried to the dug out as the visitors grew in confidence at the start of the second period

Adrian was forced to save from Berahino before Mulumbu shot into the side netting as the Baggies tried to answer the pleas of their new boss.

But Cresswell was the width of the woodwork away when slamming in a free kick with keeper Foster well beaten but sickeningly the ball rebounded off the post to safety.

Sam Allardyce decided to remove live wire Amalfitano for Matt Jarvis  but it was Downing who was responsible for our next effort which flew wide.

And Foster came out on top when Sakho attempted an overhead from ground before hobbling off holding his back just over midway through the second period.

Although failing to create real chances, the visitors had maintained more than a strong foothold in the game and the Hammers could find no answer to the two banks of four they had set up at the back.

And in the four minutes extra time, the Baggies broke out to threaten but Kouyate tracked back to thwart a threatening move.

Varela almost had the last word when curling a shot wide just ahead of the final whistle which saw the home side finish with one point from a possible last nine.

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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


  • rads45 says:

    Disappointing display.Just got home,dog has had a good kickng,feel a lil better now.Im joking before an RSPCA irons fan reports me.How i long for the movement & pace of Diafra & Valencia upfront.Guess we aint going to see it again until AC picks up a knock.I like Carrol but surely people are not blind to see we played a far better style of football with these guys up top.A style applauded by most pundits who acclaimed us to be a scary proposition to defend against when both were paired upfront.Still,Swansea next time round in the Prem,bring it on,i shall remain forever an optimist 😉

  • jig says:

    just after watching the Chelsea v Spurs game , take your breath away , maybe its me , maybe other fans are getting stuff that i dont get , but will someone , anyone explain to me what he hoped to achieve by bringing on Cole , did he expect him to blast one of his customary 25 yarders into the net ,or he’d rise majestically over everyone to blast a ten yard header into the top right hand corner ?sarcastic , , im seriously perplexed how this man can not only keep the likes of Cole and Nolan on the bench , let alone bringing them anywhere near the field of play when in the same week letting go of zarati , a player with huge potential, im afraid being 4th at one stage was giving us a major nose bleed , get rid of this dinosaur from the dark ages , Carlton Cole would do well making it into the first team of any club in 2nd division

    • baddowhammer says:

      He bought Cole on because everyone else was shattered after 3 games in 6 days.saves injuries,at what i think is a ridiculous schedule of games over the xmas period. C.O.Y.I.

  • Roman says:

    I wonder what our chances of retaining Song will be if the momentum is lost as I suspect it will?

    • baddowhammer says:

      The amount of times he gave the ball away yesterday and some before that,i think we have a good chance of keeping him.He is not top four material,well over rated.He is capable of playing some great balls,but tends to over do it at times. C.O.Y.I.

  • @baddowhammer Yes, I’m sure the six minutes he was on made a huge difference 😉

  • philtheiron says:

    Ok, so Xmas was very disappointing but if you are going to have a little wobble and a blip in form then it’s not a bad time to have it.

    With the games coming thick and fast and fatigue playing a major part in proceedings there are going to be more than a fare share of unusual results.

    For this reason a blip can be almost hidden as a bad performance can always be blamed on tiredness. However Xmas has gone and we are into the new year and as usual our next game has now become the most important one till, eh the next one.
    Having players missing due to the ACON is not an excuse Hammers fans will except. We will have to dig deep and give a backs to the wall display and pray the officials have been to spec savers.
    The result will be all that matters and I for one couldn’t care how ugly it gets just as long as we win.
    This is not a time for fancy football as we need to stop the rot and the only way to do this is by winning. It will be the same at Swansea next weekend, stuff the football dig in and get a result!
    If we progress in the cup on Tuesday and take at least a point in Wales I’ll be more than happy, not least because we would have stood up to be counted and stopped the slump. COYI!

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