Defeats to the teams you love to hate feature strongly in this week’s ‘Week in Hammer’s History’. We start with a routine 2-1 reverse at White Hart Lane in November 1982 in a match where we started the day in 2nd place sensing that victory could have put us top of the pile with 11 games played. Sadly that didn’t happen and, as with most of our opportunities to hit top spot, lines were fluffed and a collective freeze ensured that we would not reach the same dizzy heights again that season.
The West Ham team from the early 1980’s is one of my all-time favourites. A side with Brooking and Devonshire at the top of their powers brought a famous FA Cup win followed by the runaway promotion winning campaign of 1980/81. The league was won with a record points total and a meagre 4 defeats is an all-time West Ham record. However, two of the four losses were at the hands of the same team – Luton Town. Defeat in the first home game of the season was followed up by another in November 1980 to put an end to a 14 match unbeaten run and inflict a first away defeat of the campaign. The final score 3-2 with two Trevor Brooking goals unable to save the day.
Some years later in November 1988 we were back at Kenilworth Road which now sported a new plastic pitch. This was a surface that we have never appeared to be comfortable with and a halfhearted performance resulted in a painful 4-1 drubbing. See for yourself in the clip below.
In November 1992, with the new Premier League underway, West Ham travelled south of the river to face Millwall in what would be their last visit to The Den. The game was featured on ITV’s London Match and ended in a 2-1 victory for the hosts; Malcolm Allen and Phil Barber scoring for Millwall with Mark Robson replying for the Hammers. If you are so inclined you can find the whole of this game on Youtube.
Raising the mood a little there have been the usual smattering of high scoring affairs during this week including a 4-0 demolition of Leicester City in 1968 (Peters, Dear (2), OG), a 5-0 League Cup massacre against the much loathed Blades in 1971 (Best (2), Robson (3)) and a 5-2 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1974 (Lampard, Bonds, Jennings, Gould, Brooking). The win against Sheffield United (see below – the game was played on 17 November 1971) set up the epic League Cup semi-final quadrilogy against Stoke City either side of the new year.
Finally, we end with an 8 goal thriller against Charlton at The Valley in 2001. Paul Kitson making his first start for almost 2 years opened the scoring after 3 minutes (his first West Ham goal for almost 3 years). Defensive errors by Dailly and Repka saw Charlton take the lead before Kitson scored again to make it all square at half time. Charlton regained the lead early in the second half, Scott Parker the provider for Jonatan Johansson, before West Ham equalised again as Kitson prodded home to complete an unlikely hat-trick. Jermaine Defoe, on as a substitute for Kitson, fired the Hammers ahead before Johansson’s injury time equaliser evened things up for a final time.
Hislop, Schemmel, Minto (Lomas), Dailly, Repka, Foxe, Sinclair, Carrick, Kitson (Defoe), Di Canio, Hutchison (J Cole)
This week’s birthdays:
14 November: Alan Taylor (63)
15 November: Jimmy Neighbour (d. 2009)
15 November: Keith Robson (63)
17 November: Titi Camara (43 – 63)
18 November: Jimmy Quinn (57)
19 November: Tony Gale (57)