West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul, Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals and Goodbye to Boleyn
Wednesday, February 10
Ogbonna wins a classic for the Irons
KUMB's take on the result…
West Ham 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup)
What a game. Had to miss this one as celebrating my
daughter’s 15th birthday in Byron (strangely she turned down Ken’s
Café) but caught the latter stages on the radio.
It’s a cracking start to the match with a stronger Liverpool
line-up starting well. Coutinho hits the woodwork for the Scousers and Benteke is
blocked by Randolph. Goal machine Joey O’Brien has a deflected shot against the
post for the Irons. Payet then strikes the post with another superb free kick
with Mignolet making a sharp save to deny Kouyate’s header from the rebound.
West Ham take the lead just before the break as Payet finds
Valencia and Enner’s fine cross sits up for Antonio to score with a Van
Basten-esque controlled volley. Great effort.
It’s a superb atmosphere at the Boleyn as the radio
commentator gets involved in a not very PC metaphor of, “the old girl bats her
eyelids and shows she can still do it.”
But it goes wrong early in the second half as West Ham’s
wall jumps over the ball and Coutinho scores with a low free kick. Randolph
looks slow to react too.
It’s more end-to-end to stuff after that as Sturridge and
Origi come on for Liverpool and Collins andCarroll for West Ham. Winston Reid pulls a hamstring and late in the
game the curse of WHU right-backs strikes Joey O’Brien who limps off to be
replaced by Moses.
THE QUALITY OF MERSEY IS STRAINED
Text reports reach me from Upton Park claiming that Matt is
struggling to stay positive. As if. Antonio has a lobbed effort tipped over and
West Ham should be awarded a penalty when Valencia is pulled back by Ilori as
he goes for Antonio’s cross. Randolph has to save Benteke’s free kick and then Ibe’s
So it’s into extra time with Antonio as an emergency right-back and Kouyate off after being knocked out in a worrying clash of heads.
Noble has a decent effort saved by Mignolet and the hapless Benteke misses with
a volley and then loses a one-on-one duel with Randolph. Sturridge shoots just
over the top as the Scousers finish strongly.
It looks certain to go to penalties until the last minute of
extra time when Lucas gives away a silly free kick with a push on Valencia.
Payet curls in a beautiful cross and Ogbonna rises brilliantly to thump home
Carroll-esque header. Upton Park erupts and there’s even a chant of, “Que sera
sera whatever will be will be we’re going to Wembley.” Matt texts, “Oggy Oggy
Oggy, oi oi oi!” Some unlikely heroes tonight in Oggy, O’Brien, Antonio and
If this is the final cup-tie at the Boleyn then it's a fitting finale. So that’s three wins in a season over Liverpool and an
aggregate score of 7-1. No room for complacency at Blackburn, but get a result
there (and a fit right-back) and we’ll start to believe this might be our year.