Saturday, April 14

The joy of six

West Ham 6 (six) Brighton 0
Good news for young Billy in Ken’s Café as Jo has found him a late spare ticket for the game – he’s so excited he can barely shout out the lunch numbers.

Matt’s returned from Uzbekistan and taking in Registron Samarkand v Yoshlik Kocon at the Olympia Stadium; Big Joe is bemoaning the dodgy internet link from Sri Lanka that cost him Bristol City tickets and then wanting to discuss Beckett plays in French; Big Phill is enjoying a breakfast grill and anecdotes of Bas Vegas; while Nigel’s there with CQ and basking in the light of being a proper groundhopper, hoping that Fleetwood don’t go up and that AFC Wimbledon and the old Wimbledon count as one club in his tally of 92 grounds.

We start the game on fire. Nolan finds Lansbury in the first minute and his shot is deflected on to the bar. Two minutes in and Vaz Te sends a long-range effort through the hands of the kneeling Brezovan for the first goal. Brezovan then produces two great saves from Nolan before O’Neil crosses and Vaz Te heads in at the far post after eight minutes. Demel is looking strong and efficient at right back on his home debut. We also appear to be playing 4-4-2 with Vaz Te and Cole up front.

There’s ten and a half minutes gone when Tomkins heads Taylor’s free kick across goal and Nolan prods home as the Seagulls’ defence goes missing again. Don’t they know we’re supposed to always draw at home?

Fraser says that he only has 20 cigars on him. Nigel suggests that if we win 10-0 we’ll better Southampton on goal difference. Matt and myself counsel caution and cite the Wimbledon and West Brom 3-0 up 4-3 down home games.

Cole scuffs a couple of good chances and as so often happens, West Ham relax a little and Brighton come back into it, playing some nice midfield stuff with Gai Assulin, on loan from Man City, prominent. But they lack penetration for all the pretty football and their best and only chance is when Green palms a header from Greer – who may feel his teammates are playing like female eunochs - off the line.

There’s time before the break for Nolan to send Lansbury clear with a superb ball, only for Henri to slice his shot wide of goal when he should score.

In the second half we start off with renewed energy, a bit like the Birmingham game. Cole has a one-on-one saved by the keeper and on 64 minutes we go 4-0 up. There’s a certain penalty appeal as Lansbury is pushed in the box, but Vaz Te plays to the whistle and scores with a brilliant bicycle kick to claim his hat-trick and tenth goal in 12 games at WHU. Not bad for 500 grand.

Cole surges through to score with a shot that is deflected in off Lansbury and then from a West Ham corner the aptly-named Dicker scores a comedy own goal. Even substitute Carew causes a few problems. It should be mentioned that the ref is rubbish too, allowing Cole to be clattered whenever he gets the ball, but we’re still 6-0 up.

There’s time for a chant of “We want seven!” I wonder if we should boo them off anyway, just for old time’s sake, but it’s Bubbles that resonates around the stadium. Nigel’s so excited he tweets the score to his followers. The only quibble is that the ground is half-empty at the final whistle, as numerous fans have rushed for the Silverlink or to drink the Black Lion out of Doombar. We don’t score six very often so why leave early?

We retreat to the Black Lion to celebrate with a Broadside and some Adams Mild as the kids in the garden whack footballs against our table.

We discuss our biggest ever scores. Mine is 10-0 versus Bury, who had the great Paul Hilton at centre back. Fraser remembers seeing Geoff Hurst get six goals in the 8-0 demolition of Sunderland when he was a kid (or possibly running Stirling Cooper or being Adam Faith) in the 1960s. Someone in the pub says he was at that Sunderland game with his son too. Does his son still go, asks Matt."No mate, he's banged up!"

It’s still in all likelihood going to be too late to catch Southampton, but with a deficit of three points and only three goals behind on goal difference it’s now possible. And having finally tonked someone we can go into the final games of the season with some confidence.


Anonymous said...

Great blog always reading,I was at the game against Bury and if I remember right they missed a penalty early on. I bunked the tube and the train back home to Crawley. I used to have to jump over a very high wall at the station but I had extra strength that night and I ran all the way home told my dad it was 10-0.
He just laughed said i was dreaming,making up stories again !

Was on par with the night I got into White Hart Lane as a young lad and saw David Cross get all four goals.
Happy Days!

Pete May said...

Cheers Anonymous! I remember being in a packed Paxton End at Spurs for Psycho's four goals too.. And was lucky enough to se us beat Newcastle 8-1 as well in 86...