Monday, March 23

Diafra Sakho: He scores when he wants!

West Ham 1 Sunderland 0

It’s an early dinner in Ken’s Café with my no-longer kids for a quid daughter Lola. Michael the Renaissance Man and Matt discuss why we shouldn’t have video evidence in games, which seems to be mainly because it would spoil the flow of the game and more importantly Matt wouldn’t be able to shout at the refs anymore. Lola asks where Marlon Harewood is now and Matt is able to inform us he’s at Hartlepool.

Then it’s on to the Newham Bookshop where Lola buys Ghostwritten by David Mitchell for her mum’s birthday. Though I always thought he was an old Fulham player. Or was that John Mitchell?

Inside the stadium we learn that Fraser has been advised by his doctor to avoid over-excitement, but West Ham games will be fine. While Nigel looks very pleased with the return of his West Ham hat that I rescued from a District Line train after the Chelsea game.

Sunderland look better motivated under new gaffer Dick Advocaat, and give West Ham a couple of early scares. Jermain Defoe, who’s frequently reminded that he’s not a popular man by the Bobby Moore Stand, crosses and Wickham produces a good volley that is blocked by Adrian. Kouyate is then caught out of position as a flick sends Defoe clear, but Small Paul Ince volleys over the bar.

West Ham dominate the rest of the half, even if it’s a scrappy game. A fizzing centre from Downing is just missed by Jarvis in the middle and then Sakho heads Cresswell’s cross wide. Jarvis produces a great cross into the box only for Nolan to be held back by a defender. Song produces a good long-range shot that Pantilimon does well to push wide.

The second half sees Nigel change his claret West Ham hat for a claret and blue hooped version in a desperate bid to bring WHU some luck. Carlton Cole comes on for Jarvis and does a decent job up front, holding up the ball and being a nuisance for the Sunderland centre backs.

Cresswell produces another fine cross and Sakho heads wide when he should score. A Collins punt into the box sees Nolan blatantly held by Vergini, but the ref gives offside even though the ball flicked off O’Shea.

The stadium clock stops and then moves backwards towards a singularity. Michael the Whovian believes it’s a time rift in E13.

Adam Johnson comes on for Sunderland and is promptly reminded by some members of the crowd that West Ham have a very good kids-for-a-quid ticketing scheme for games such as this. He brings more threat to Sunderland though and Van Aanholt’s long-range shot produces a good save from Adrian.

At least Matt never gives up hope (much), apart from the odd tirade at Downing and the ref. I reassure Lola that West Ham will still win, without really believing it. But then Jenkinson finds Noble, whose first pass is blocked, but as Nene climbs over Larrsson, the ball comes back to Nobes who dinks a great ball through to Sakho. Diafra finishes confidently into the corner, as Upton Park erupts with relief. “Diafra Sakho he scores when he wants!” sing the fans. Nene has got away with a foul, but we deserve a break after recent weeks.

The clock stopping has helped. We think there’s ten minutes left but actually there’s only three minutes of added time, as Big Sam brings on Joey O’Brien to waste some time. Poor game, great result. The side should regain some confidence from this and start looking up rather than down again.

PLAYER RATINGS: Adrian 6; Jenkinson 6, Collins 7, Kouyate 6, Creswell 6; Noble 6, Nolan 5 (Nene 5), Song 5, Downing 6, Jarvis 5 (Cole 6); Sakho 7 (O’Brien n/a).


mj said...

Can he want to score a bit earlier? We were on the verge of leaving and nearly missed it!

Frankieboyhammer said...

Good training for a young girl as the game panned out like a 'chick flick', nothing happened for 80 minutes then a happy ending

Pete May said...

Yes MJ, it's normally the other team that scores at the death. Luckily they stopped the crowd getting too edgy by putting all the clocks at 0.00. Like the idea of West Ham as a Chick Flick Frankie — Bridesmaids and 10 Things I Hate About You come to mind!