This Week in Hammer’s History

FA Cup skirmishes and home debut goals for Hartson and Kitson in a windy Monday night match feature in this week’s Hammer’s History.

This Week Hammers HistoryIn last week’s Hammer’s History we remembered the 1972 FA Cup 4th round replay with Hereford United, memorable for its midweek afternoon kick-off as a consequence of the ongoing miner’s strike affecting electricity supply.  Just a few days later it was straight on to the 5th round with an away trip to Huddersfield Town.  The Terriers played Manchester City in the 2016/17 competition this weekend aiming to reach the 6th round for the first time since the elimination of the Hammers in 1972.  This was an all First Division at the time but the Hammers, who had recently lost out in the epic League Cup semi-final to Stoke, were favourites to go through against a team who had not scored in their last four outings and were languishing second from bottom in the league.  League standings counted for nothing, however, as Huddersfield tore into the Hammers to take the lead midway through the first half.  West Ham managed to level before half-time through Pop Robson but three second half goals (including one from Frank Worthington) put the hosts in control and despite a late Clyde Best consolation the tie ended 4-2.  Huddersfield were beaten by Birmingham in the semi-final and finished the season bottom of the First Division.

Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Hurst (Heffer), Brooking, Robson

In 2011, indifferent league form was again thrown aside in the FA Cup but on this occasion it was Avram Grant’s West Ham who were putting Eddie Howe’s Burnley to the sword.  The game marked a West Ham debut for Thomas Hitzlsperger some six months after signing on at Upton Park.  Der Hammer had begun his West Ham career in typical fashion by being injured for six months but it took him just 23 minutes to open his goal scoring account and set West Ham on the path to victory against Burnley.    Further goals from Carlton Cole (2) plus Winston Reid’s first for the club put the Hammers 4-0 up; a touch of comedy defending involving Wayne Bridge and Robert Green allowed Burnley to pull one back before Freddie Sears neat finish sealed a 5-1 victory.

Green, Reid, Tomkins, Jacobsen, Bridge, Sears, Parker, Noble, Hitzlsperger (Barrera), Cole (Spector), Ba (Piquionne)

It was 5-1 again against north-western opposition in the 5th round this time last year as West Ham eased past Championship side Blackburn Rovers.  Blackburn had gone ahead after 20 minutes through Ben Marshall but the lead was only to last 6 minutes as Victor Moses was allowed a clear run and shot to equalise.  Before half time a former French player scored from a trademark free kick to give West Ham a 2-1 interval lead.  The game was effectively over when Blackburn had a player sent off for two yellow card offences early in the second half and West Ham sealed the win with two goals from Emmanuel Emenike and another from the former French favourite.

Randolph, Cresswell, Collins, Ogbonna (Oxford), Antonio, Kouyate, Obiang (Lanzini), Noble (Song), Moses, Payet, Emenike

In league action West Ham lost 4-2 at home in 1984 to next weekend’s opponents Watford at Upton Park.  After the previous round of matches the Hammers were an encouraging third in the league just behind Liverpool and Nottingham Forest but a cup defeat at Birmingham and then a run of poor league performances led to a gradual slip down the table in Trevor Brooking’s final season.

In 1997 West Ham were struggling at the wrong end of the table when they entertained Tottenham in the Monday night match.  On a very windy night in east London, West Ham gave home debuts to expensive new striker signings John Hartson and Paul Kitson.  It was Spurs, however, who took the lead though Teddy Sheringham’s header marking the first of five first half goals.  West Ham snatched the lead when Julian Dicks and then Kitson headed home from corners, Darren Anderton lobbed an equalizer past Ludek Miklosko, and a brave header from Hartson made it 3-2 at half-time.  In a nail biting second half David Howells equalized once again for Tottenham before Hartson was fouled in the area allowing Dicks to blast home the resultant penalty.

Miklosko, Breacker, Dicks, Potts, Ferdinand, Bowen, Moncur, Bishop, Kitson (Dowie), Hartson, Hughes   

This Week’s Hammer’s Birthdays

20 February        Jimmy Greaves                 77
20 February        Billy Jennings                     65
22 February        Paul Brush                           59
22 February        Shaka Hislop                       48
24 February        Clyde Best                           66
24 February        John Lyall                             (Died 2006)
25 February        Kevin Keen                         50