Sunday, May 17

Lukaku late show as Hammers blow it again

Hawaiian Hammers in the Bobby Moore Stand
West Ham 1 Everton 2

It’s our final lunch in Ken’s Café as Michael the Whovian sneaks to the front of the queue for another big breakfast as Matt, inspired by Everton’s selection of Zimabwean-born Galloway, wants to know the four other Zimbabweans to play in the Premier League. Meanwhile The Gav arrives and announces he is in an online dispute through controversially maintaining that John Radford is not the worst player West Ham have ever had.

There’s a photographer taking pictures in Ken’s (no press, please). And the bloke on our table says he used to mind the window of Bobby Moore Sports and that after the 4-0 defeat at Blackpool he told Ron Greenwood “You couldn’t sign a Christmas card!” causing chuckling from Harry Redknapp and co. He also has some interesting and unprintable revelations about certain former employees. Then Nigel arrives wondering why the bloke on the train was slagging off Cresswell, only to discover that it t was Ukip’s Carswell. Then sadly we have to leave the café and go into the ground.

There’s a couple of scares early on as Osman’s low shot is tipped past the post by Adrian and Lukaku fires over when he should hot the target. But West Ham come back into the game, with Song looking fitter than in recent games. Noble prods a shot wide and Downing has a rasping effort turned away by Howard. The ref also misses a clear handball in the box by an Everton defender. We suffer yet another injury as Collins goes off after 14 minutes to be replaced by Reece Burke.

It’s a fast game for an end of season affair with a few tackles flying in and Everton winning 4-1 on the bookings front. Looks like we might be winning that fair play Europa League spot.

The game gets going in the second half when Stones makes a great tackle to deny Valencia. After 62 minutes Downing does well on the right and picks up Song’s clever return to get behind the Everton defence and pass the ball into the corner. It’s well-taken and the end of a 14 game drought for Stewie. Surely we can’t blow this?

West Ham press for a second, but sadly it looks like Carlton Cole's legs have gone and Valencia still appears lightweight and hasn’t got enough goals this season to justify his fee. “Tim Howard’s beard grew another three inches while we were waiting to shoot,” suggests Nigel.

Following a West Ham corner Mark Noble fails to play a simple ball to Cresswell, gets dispossessed and Everton race down the field. Lukaku is allowed to cross from the right and Leon Osman, who always scores against us, gets ahead of Burke and Reid to control and acrobatically volley home.

The game looks to be ending in a draw but three minutes into added time we fail to respect the point yet again. McGeady beats Cresswell too easily on the right and Lukaku, who also always scores against us, gets beyond Burke, stooping to head home.

Hammers' fans turn to drink in the Black Lion
There’s a chorus of “You’re getting sacked in the morning!” at Big Sam from some home fans. Conceeding added time goals to Man United, Spurs, Stoke and Everton suggests a problem with fitness, concentration and workrate. And it’s the one thing Allardyce teams aren’t meant to do.

We are in no mood for the lap of honour, so head to the Black Lion, which is the best result of the day. My first point of Old Bob is slightly cloudy, but The Gav comes to the rescue with a round of Maldon Gold. It’s been a bizarre season; fantastic up till Christmas, but then, after injuries to Sakho, Carroll, Tomkins and Reid, we’ve produced relegation form (16 points from 20 games). And now it looks like we might be back in July for an undeserved European tour.

PLAYER RATINGS: Adrian 6; Jenkinson 6, Collins 5 (Burke 5), Reid 6, Cresswell 5; Downing 6, Noble 5, Song 6, Kouyate 6, Cole 4 (Nene 4), Valencia 5.


mj said...

Everton were faster and fitter for the 93 plus minutes. Do the players know we are taking the gamble and replacing Sam?

Pete May said...

I think they do as lacking in intensity and concentration...

Paul Revere said...

They certainly lack the ability to concentrate after about 88 minutes.