Sunday, May 5

Drawing drawing West Ham

West Ham 0 Newcastle 0

Unseasonal hail and rain batters Green Street, which will at least make the Geordies feel at home. Inside Ken’s Café Matt is relaying scores from Watford and the KC Stadium, as Nigel looks forward to taking the highway to Hull.

My comment about not really caring who is relegated from the Championship, having assumed that Millwall are safe, has Machiavellian Matt spinning this into a claim that I’m a closet Millwall fan. Meanwhile my remark that I’ve given Carol The Joy of Essex has CQ quipping, Carry-On style, “And did you give her a book too?” Michael the Whovian arrives at ten to three and orders a full breakfast, as you do.

It’s full sunshine by the time we make the stadium. The first half isn’t good enough from the Hammers. Diame shoots over and then it’s general torpor, as it all feels very end-of-season. Coloccini calms Newcastle’s nerves at the back and we fail to press a team that conceded six the previous week.

The defence plays well though, none more so than Winston Reid, favourite to win Hammer of the Year. When Cabaye finds Cisse who has got round the back of Collins, it’s Winston who clears it off the line. Newcastle claim it’s in, though the TV evidence suggests the ball is only two-thirds over the line.

“Andy Carroll, he wants to come home!” chant the wistful Toon fans.

Allardyce has clearly thrown a few players against some granite kitchen worktops at half time as West Ham are much improved and at last play with some passion. Jarvis sets up Carroll for a header wide and we have a decent penalty appeal turned down. 

Then in our best moment Carroll is blatantly pushed by Coloccini in the box, Nolan has an effort cleared off the line and Jarvis’s shot is tipped over by Elliot.

Newcastle nearly score when Jussi rushes out of the box and Gouffran shoots just wide from an acute angle. The ineffectual Vaz Te continues to get some abuse from the East Stand and is finally withdrawn for Collison. Then the game seems to settle into a mutual stalemate despite a cameo from Joe Cole and Michael the Whovian suggests that the West Ham cuddly toy slumped face down over the front of the Bobby Moore Stand is symptomatic of  the game.

West Ham continue to waste free kicks, though one excellent spin and cross from Carroll will have impressed Roy Hodgson. The game ends goalless and Jeremy Nicholas plays Walls Come Tumbling Down, which they haven’t looked likely to in this game.

Still it’s another point and we are now on 43, though we are not mathematically safe, but still lie in tenth position. The Doombar in the Black Lion is a welcome relief from the Central and for once we can let teams like Newcastle do the worrying.

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