Sunday, August 14

Oh what fun it is to see West Ham win away!

Doncaster 0 West Ham 1

Hammers in shock win at Doncaster on my birthday. Exactly the sort of game we need to gain three points from if we're to go up - and our first away win since Fulham at Christmas.

Kevin Nolan scored 18 goals when he won the Championship at Newcastle, and could be the goalscoring midfielder we've lacked since Big Fat Frank left.

Interesting to see Allardyce opt for a five man midfield, bringing in Jack Collison. Most of us expected Collison to have replaced Parker by now, but he certainly gives an extra option for away games and made Nolan's goal. Meanwhile Scotty exudes professionalism, wherever his future lies, still prepared to scrap in Yorkshire despite his likely transfer before the window closes.

Big Sam appears to prefer Piquionne to Cole - perhaps a sign either that he doesn't think CC is fully fit or that he's likely to leave.

A clean sheet is a boost and Ilunga will gain confidence from that, even if he is likely to be replaced by McCartney. With our squad so thin we need all the players we can get.

Yes it was only Doncaster, who had ten men out. but then we played Rotherham away at a similar stage the last time we were in the Championship and lost 1-0. Encouraging.


matt said...

We enjoyed a romantic weekend break in Doncaster, taking in West Ham's first game there in more than half a century. It is a nice little ground, although far from full, causing us to chorus: "We've go more fans than you!" After shaking hands with Donny the Dog, the match started well with Nolan crashing in Collison's cross after 5 minutes - just what he was bought to do. Our fans started chanting "Easy, easy" - but of course it never is wuth West Ham. Piquionne is really struggling with the lone striker role, and Ilunga appeared badly affected by his mistake that gifted the game to Cardiff last week (and probably Linda MacCartney getting back to the Boleyn. Taylor struggled to get in the game, and Scotty was poor by his own standards, especially when a Tomka pass sold him short from one of our corners and he bottled the tackle, allowing Rovers to to go on a 2-2 overlap they should have scored for (credit to Herita for stopping them). Apart from Nolan's sublime chip, which their keeper just pushed onto the bar, we had very few chances, while in the second half they had a free header just wide, and then a free shot in the area, that forced Green into a decent save. Our substitutions didn't help - Carlton tried to come on wearing Faye's shirt, and frankly the centre-back couldn't have done much worse (and probably knows the offside law, which Cole clearly does not).

We still seem short of pace, and it is not clear how Carew will solve that.

The crowd were not over impressed, but it was our first away win since Blackpool, and even against an injury-hit team that only just avoided relegation last season, I suppose it is progress of a sort.

We've sold out our tickets for Watford tomorrow, but we must be looking for another win there. If we get it, we will be set up nicely for Leeds.

Pete May said...

Lisa is a lucky WAG indeed to sample the boutique hotels and clean sheets of Doncaster. Cheers for the match report. Sounds like a work in progress but at this stage the result is everything.
And that first away win has resulted in us thrashing Watforf.

As you say we need a fast striker to play off the big men. Maybe Freddie Sears when he's grown up? Robbie Keane wasn't the solution and has now entered showbiz in the US, I see. leeds will be a good test on Saturday. Irons1