It is not often that you score 4 goals away from home but still end up losing but that was the case in the Second Division game against Blackburn Rover on 25 November 1989 where goals from Dicks, Brady, Slater and Ward could not prevent the Hammers suffering a 5-4 defeat. In the Hammer’s lineup that day was Justin Fashanu making one of just two of his starts in the claret and blue as he attempted to resurrect his career.
From a long list of games played in the week 21 – 27 November there were not too many stand out games and so it is the high scoring ones that catch the eye.
Starting with the most painful memory first it is a year ago tomorrow that Harry Kane scored two as West Ham slid to a humbling 4-1 defeat at White Hart Lane (at least the manner and margin of defeat were different this time even if the pain is the same). It was the same score when Glenn Roeder took his doomed eleven to Villa Park in November 2002 to reclaim bottom spot in the league.
High scoring successes include 5-2 against Coventry in 1981 (Stewart, Martin (2), Neighbour and Brooking); 5-3 against Oxford in 1992 (Breacker, Dicks (2), Morley and C Allen); and 4-3 against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999 (Foe, Wanchope, Di Canio and Lampard). Extended highlights of the last of these matches, an incident filled encounter in what was Wednesday’s last season in the top flight to date, can be seen below and includes Marc-Vivien Foe’s solitary league goal for the Hammers.
In European competition, West Ham opened their defence of the ECWC on 24 November 1965 with a routine 4-0 first leg victory over Olympiakos of Greece with goals from Brabrook, Byrne and Hurst (2). The return leg the following week ended all square at 2-2 as the Hammers progressed to a third round tie with FC Magdeburg.
A rare, although not high scoring, phenomenon was victory at Old Trafford on 27 November 1976; the match which had a West Ham debut for Anton Otulakowski saw the Hammers win by 2 goals to nil (Jennings and Brooking). What chance a repeat exactly 40 years later?
Finally a return to a painful derby defeat this time against arch-villains Millwall in 2004 when Danny Dichio grabbed the only goal of the game against 10 man West Ham. In a typical fiery encounter at the New Den Marlon Harewood was sent off for a second bookable offence just after the hour with the score at 0-0. It was a largely uninspiring Hammer’s team at the time and this game featured the one and only Mauricio Taricco appearance; a career which lasted just 27 minutes before a torn hamstring led to his retirement from professional football. Strange to think now that the season eventually ended with promotion through the Play-Offs; it was a classic scraping through the back door in a campaign where we were never a threat for automatic promotion.
Manager Alan Pardew comments on the Millwall match make interesting reading “I am not so stupid not to realise that (the fans) were unhappy with my substitution (taking Luke Chadwick off when Harewood was sent off). But I will always be strong enough to make the decision that I think is right. Our fans want promotion at all costs. There is not much room for sympathy: we are desperately trying to get up, we have had a tough week and we are still missing some key players.”
So missing players and poor substitutions are nothing new. Bywater, Taricco (A Ferdinand ), Chris Powell, Darren Powell, Repka, Reo-Coker, Lomas, Fletcher, Etherington, Chadwick (Zamora), Harewood
Notable birthdays during this week:
22 November Frank McAvennie (57)
24 November Dean Ashton (33)
25 November Ted Hufton (d. 1967)
26 November Junior Stanislas (27)
27 November Freddie Sears (27)