Monday, December 15

Drawing drawing West Ham…

Sunderland 1 West Ham 1

We’re in Lewes on a mini-break to celebrate our wedding anniversary for this one. Strangely Her Indoors has eschewed an afternoon at the Stadium of Light in favour of staying the White Hart, where Thomas Paine once formed the Headstrong Society for the Julian Dicks types of his day, a trip round Lewes Castle, tea at Anne of Cleves’ house, an Italian dinner and Sunday climbing Mount Caburn followed by a pint of Harveys best bitter in the Snowdrop.

Upon returning to London my recording of Match of the Day reveals a decent away draw. Jenkinson has a volley well saved by Pantilimon early on, though Sunderland go ahead with a Gomez penalty after Johnson collapses when brushed by James Tomkins. Never a penalty. West Ham show a bit of character to equalise, as Downing cuts in from the right and fires a deflected left-foot shot into the corner.

After that it appears to be a game that could have gone either way. The hapless Altidore somehow contrives to miss a cross from Larsson while just a couple of yards from goal and Winston Reid is lucky to get away with a handball in the box.

Andy Carroll scoops a delicate chip on to the roof of the net, while Downing finds Cresswell on the overlap, but the keeper smothers his effort. Adrian makes a decent stop from Fletcher and a brilliant tip over from Wickham’s fierce shot. At the end Andy Carroll almost wins it for the Irons, sidefooting the ball just wide of the post.

It’s the sort of game we might have lost season, so as Big Sam says, we’ll respect the point against the league’s draw specialists. Got to be happy with 28 points collected from 16 games.

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