Continuing from last week’s theme there was an unprecedented run of League Cup successes during this week in history with victories, sometimes convincing ones, over Stoke, Sunderland, Mansfield, Bournemouth and Villa (twice). It seems that if we avoid the first round ‘banana skin’ then we are on a roll in this competition; so set your expectations for the impending Chelsea clash in a few week’s time. The one League Cup defeat though was a poor one in the shape of a 1962 away defeat by 3 goals to 1 against Rotherham.
Looking through the results I am generally attracted by the high scoring games and there have been a number of these which we will look at in a little more detail.
At the start of the 1986/87 season expectations were high following the record third place place finish last time out. The season started encouragingly, stuttered a little with successive home defeats to Forest and Liverpool but then picked up again to put us on the fringes of the top 6. On 11 October 1986 Chelsea were the visitors at Upton Park; a side that represented the highs and lows from the 85/86 season including their final day defeat to Liverpool. With Devonshire and Martin absent, the Hammers had Paul Hilton in defence, a young Kevin Keen in the midfield and Billy Bonds back on the bench. It was a game of 3 penalties (including 2 that were quite debatable) and it was one of these that gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead. However, a McAvennie header and a Tonka Stewart special penalty put the home side back in front at half time. In the second half Chelsea grabbed two more goals to reclaim the lead before another Stewart penalty and two from Cottee earned a thrilling 5-3 victory.
Parkes, Stewart, Parris, Gale, Hilton, Keen, Ward, McAvennie (Bonds), Dickens, Cottee, Orr
By 1992 were sitting out the inaugural season of the Premier League following relegation from the First Division to the First Division. After a sluggish start we had started to build some momentum when we met Sunderland at home on 11 October. The game was something of a romp as goals from Keen, Morley, Martin Allen, Martin and Mark Robson (2) gave the watching 10,326 supporters an afternoon to remember with an imperious 6-0 victory. The win put West Ham back in the top 6 where they stayed for the rest of the season. By the middle of January we commenced a long run in second spot behind Newcastle until surrendering it to Portsmouth during the run-in only to nick it back at the death and secure automatic promotion on the final day of the season.
Miklosko, Breacker, Dicks, Potts, Martin, M Allen, Robson, Butler, Morely, C Allen, Keen
On 14 October 2001 new manager Glen Roeder took his floundering side to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn Rovers. In the previous match West Ham had conceded 5 without reply at Everton and so started the game looking to keep things tight at the back. The tactic worked for 18 minutes until 3 goals in 10 minutes ruined Roeder’s game plan although Michael Carrick managed to pull one back before half time. The introduction of Hayden Foxe and Grant McCann at the break gave the Hammers some added impetus and might easily have reduced the deficit further (including one shocking miss by Trevor Sinclair) until Tomas Repka was sent off (his second dismissal in 3 games) after picking up a second yellow card. Four more Blackburn goals ensued (including a Grant McCann own goal) to make it 7-1 and a humiliating afternoon for the Hammers; leaving them second from bottom in the Premier League. Despite this a post Christmas surge saw West Ham finish in a respectable 7th place.
Hislop, Schemmel, Soma, Dailly (Foxe), Repka, Hutchison, Sinclair, Carrick, Kanoute, Di Canio, Moncur (McCann)
For anyone into self-flagellation there are extended highlights of this match below:
Notable West Ham birthdays this week:
10 October Mark Ward 54
12 October Paul Goddard 57
13 October Scott Parker 36