The week 3 – 9 October in West Ham history is another that has seen many Football League Cup matches since its inception in the 1960/ 61 season. My perception is that this is a competition that West Ham usually fare badly in and one where we are invariably eliminated on a proverbial damp Tuesday night somewhere up north by a lower league side. It was a surprise, therefore, to see that the week has witnessed far more League Cup successes than failures including a creditable 3-1 away victory over Arsenal in 1966 (Hurst 2, Peters) as well as comfortable wins against the likes of Darlington (1975), Southend (1979), Bristol City (1984), Swansea (1985), Preston (1986), Bradford City (1991), Chesterfield (1993) and Walsall (1994).
That is not to say that there have not been embarrassing exits and these include a straight 2-1 defeat away to Stockport County in 1972 and two legged defeats to Barnsley (1987) and Crewe (1992). Against Barnsley a goalless draw in the away leg was followed by a 2-5 home hammering at home while the Crewe tie saw a goalless home draw followed by an emphatic 2-0 away defeat.
Notable League fixtures have included a 4 goal haul for Vic Keeble in an exciting 6-3 victory over Blackburn Rovers in our first season back in the First Division in 1958 as well as the one and only Steve Potts goal in the 7-1 demolition of Hull in 1990. A victory over Liverpool is always welcome and in 1982 goals from Alvin Martin, Geoff Pike and Sandy Clarke (remember him?) helped the Hammers run out 3-1 winners and climb into second spot in the league.
The 6 October 2013 was the date of the famous Ravel Morrison goal in the surprise 3-0 win at White Hart Lane; what a player we thought we had on that day. Many of us believed going into the game that we would be on the wrong end of a hammering; a team who had yet to score an away goal against a buoyant Tottenham side. A chance to re-live the 3 goals in 13 second half minutes below:
This week’s featured game is from 3 October 1999 where two goals from Paolo Di Canio gave West Ham victory over high flying Arsenal at Upton Park. It was Arsenal who bossed the early stages of the match and went close to opening the scoring on several occasions with Bergkamp, Henry and Suker causing problems for the West Ham defence. On 29 minutes, however, PDC set off on a mazy run from inside his own half. It was not the most elegant of dribbles and there was a touch on pinballing before the ball broke wide to Trevor Sinclair. Sinclair’s initially shot was blocked but his cross broke to Paolo who slotted home to make it 1-0. On 72 minutes Di Canio got on the end of a Paulo Wanchope header, flicked the ball over the head of a confused Martin Keown and fired past Seaman for 2-0.
The two goal advantage didn’t last long, however, as Arsenal pulled one back when Steve Lomas set up Davor Suker (one of the many duds that we subsequently took off Arsenal’s hands) to make it 2-1. The remaining minutes was mostly Arsenal pressure and desperate West Ham defending and, although there was still time for Patrick Viera and Marc-Vivien Foe (RIP) to get sent off for second bookable offences, there were no further goals. Viera’s sending off sparked a mini melee which ended with him pushing and then spitting in the face of Neil Ruddock. A win for the Hammers in front of just over 26,000 supporters saw them end the day in 9th place.
Hislop, Potts, Ruddock, Stimac, Sinclair, Lomas, Lampard, Foe, Moncur (Margas), Di Canio, Wanchope (Kitson).
This time it is not much of a week for Hammer’s birthdays:
3 October Clive Charles (d 2003)
7 October Jermaine Defoe (34)
8 October Paul Hilton (57)
9 October Frank O’Farrell (89)