Sam Allardyce's first competitive home victory as West Ham United manager
was full of incident
Seven goals, seven yellow cards, three debutants, two red cards and two
penalties - Sam Allardyce's first competitive home win as West Ham United
manager had almost everything. The Hammers came from behind having
squandered the lead, gone ahead and conceded a sending-off, spot-kick and
goal in added time before recording their first Boleyn Ground success in
more than six months - defeating Portsmouth 4-3 in a thrilling rollercoaster
of a game in front of 33,465 supporters.
Also on the plus side, man of the match Henri Lansbury marked his debut with
a goal, Carlton Cole netted in his fourth straight npower Championship match
and David Bentley showed glimpses of why he has been capped by England. On
the negative, Frederic Piquionne will face a suspension after a late coming
together with Greg Halford, while manager Allardyce was not happy about his
side's defending as a team as they conceded three times on home turf. "It
was good entertainment, I think," said Big Sam. "From the perspective of the
fans coming to pay their money, they saw an awful lot of entertainment from
both sides. "It was an open, attacking game which ebbed and flowed and swung
one way and then the other and then we finally finished it off after the
sending-off from Portsmouth when Liam Lawrence dived in. That then turned
the game in our favour and we took full advantage of it with two very good
goals. "We were disappointed after getting 2-1 up to concede the second goal
when the midfield didn't do their jobs properly and we got caught out. "It
was an excellent victory because it's been a while coming. This was our
third home game and we played well. The opposition have played well like
they all do here but we got what we wanted in the end and this was the right
Allardyce admitted his players would have to take better care of the ball to
avoid the manner of the goal David Norris headed in to level matters at 2-2
seven minutes after Lansbury had put West Ham in front. Mark Noble, who
would later make amends by scoring the penalty that put the Hammers back in
front, was robbed in midfield, allowing Pompey to launch a rapid
counterattack that ended with Norris heading Erik Huseklepp's cross past an
exposed Robert Green. "We've scored four goals but we've conceded three and
conceded two in the last home game, so that's where we need to brush up. We
don't look like conceding a goal away from home. We've scored four at
Watford and four at Nottingham Forest and now four here and it could have
been more, but defensively we weren't as good as we should have been. "I
thought it was a 4-2 game rather than a 4-3 with the penalty at the end. I
thought both penalties were slightly harsh. "That aside, it was a very
While his team will have to defend better if they are to maintain their
promotion challenge, the manager was quick to praise the contribution of
Cole at the end of a week that saw the England striker attract a bid from
Turkey. The No9, who has regularly committed his future to the Hammers, made
the game safe at 4-2 by heading Matt Taylor's pinpoint cross into the top
corner with great aplomb. "It was a fantastic ball and a great header. There
is a new energy about Carlton, everyone is telling me, but all I'm seeing is
a very good player. "He's enjoying his time with us after a big shock for us
after the deadline had shut when Galatasaray came in with an audacious bid
which upset the player because of the size of money he was offered. "It was
hugely disappointing to face that situation but we managed to overcome it
and we saw Carlton in full cry and enjoying his football. As a front man
with two working off him and Henri Lansbury supporting in the 4-3-3, I
thought he was very good from an attacking point of view. "David Bentley
came on and his quality of passing opened the opposition up more. The
additions before the window shut look exciting, I've got to say."
Allardyce closed by revealing that he expects more from his new signings in
weeks to come as the likes of Bentley, George McCartney, Joey O'Brien and
Papa Bouba Diop continue to improve their fitness levels. The Hammers will
go to Millwall for next Saturday's derby in fourth place, within striking
distance of the promotion spots.
"I've got the squad but they are not all ready and match-fit yet. I think
you could see somebody who has gone through a full pre-season and has played
in a couple of Under-21 games in Henri, because he just dropped straight in
and was one of our top players. "Whereas David Bentley, Joey O'Brien and
George McCartney had basically been discarded by the clubs they were at and
had not got the right amount of training, so it'll take some time for them
to catch up. "We'll have the same with Papa when he gets in and around the
first team, but once we get them all on song and match fit, I think we'll be
a force. "With the goals we're scoring, it's very exciting and I certainly
hope we can continue that at Upton Park."
Loanee round-up: Montano the hero
Cristian Montano helped Notts County to a league win while Callum McNaughton
had a day to remember
Cristian Montano was the hero for Notts County as his impressive loan spell
at Notts County continued with a 2-1 home victory. The homegrown Hammer
struck in the 66th minute to give the Magpies all three points against
Walsall in a spirited League One encounter. Montano has now struck three
goals in six matches for Martin Allen's men, with his initial one-month loan
extended into October.
Jordan Spence played the full 90 minutes for Championship side Bristol City,
where he is on a season-long stay, as they went down 1-0 at home to
high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion.
Elsewhere, Callum McNaughton made his League Two bow for AFC Wimbledon and
promptly helped them secure a 1-1 draw at Aldershot Town, the team he made
his Hammers debut against last month. Jordan Brown was an unused substitute
for The Shots.
Also in League Two, Olly Lee played the full 90 minutes as Dagenham &
Redbridge lost 3-1 away to Rotherham United. Finally, Ahmed Abdulla did not
get off the bench as Paolo Di Canio's Swindon Town won 2-0 at home to
U18s make it four in a row
Eliott Lee, Danny Potts and Kieran Sadlier were on target in a 3-1 Academy
League win at Watford
West Ham United Under-18s made it four wins from four FA Premier Academy
League matches courtesy of a 3-1 victory at Watford on Saturday. Elliot Lee,
Danny Potts and Kieran Sadlier put the Hammers in control before half-time
with well-taken goals as the Hammers dominated proceedings at London Colney.
West Ham continued to hold the upper hand after the break and could have
stretched their lead but for some dogged defending from the Hornets, who
netted a late consolation goal five minutes from full-time.
Academy Director Tony Carr and U18s coach Nick Haycock were happy with the
performance of their players, who extended their winning streak to seven
matches stretching back to a 4-1 home victory over the same opposition on 9
April. The Hammers are top of FA Premier Academy League Group A, having
scored 14 goals in their four league games so far. "We dominated the first
half and did very well," Carr confirmed. "The second half we dominated
without looking as threatening as we moved the ball a bit more slowly and
Watford put a lot of men behind the ball. "They managed to get themselves a
goal late on, but overall it was a good win. We could have won by five or
six, but any win is three points and we're on a good little run at the
moment. We know we can score goals at the moment and are set up as a team to
do that. "We were 3-0 up at half-time and I thought we got a little bit
complacent after the break, but we have won the game comfortably so I can't
have too many criticisms of the boys."
Lee has now scored seven goals in four league appearances this season, while
Republic of Ireland U17 international Sadlier was on target for the second
game in succession.
West Ham United U18: Wootton, Young (Siafa 70), Potts, K.Lee, Chambers,
Hurley (Miles 75), Turgott, Powell (Shaw 80), Sadlier, Vose, E.Lee
West Ham 4 - 3 Portsmouth
Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Saturday, 10 September 2011 18:28 UK
West Ham won their first home game in six months after Portsmouth's Liam
Lawrence was sent off. The visitors led through a deflected Luke Varney
effort but Matthew Taylor equalised with a free-kick. Debutant Henri
Lansbury put West Ham ahead before David Norris levelled. Lawrence then
received a second yellow.
Mark Noble's penalty and Carlton Cole's header made it 4-2 before West Ham's
Frederic Piquionne was sent off late on and Greg Halford scored a penalty.
It was West Ham's first game since the departure of Scott Parker to
Tottenham on transfer deadline day and Sam Allardyce's men responded with a
spirited performance in which Lansbury and goalkeeper Robert Green shone. As
well as giving Lansbury his West Ham debut, Allardyce named fellow new boys
David Bentley and Sam Baldock on the bench. But Portsmouth made the first
impact in the eighth-minute as Varney's wayward effort from Lawrence's
corner deflected in off Cole. Just one minute later, West Ham were on level
terms as Jason Pearce upended Cole on the edge of the box, allowing Taylor
to curl in a free-kick with the help of a slight deflection.
West Ham looked invigorated by the equaliser and began dominating.
Portsmouth had chances at the end of the first half though, as Green saved
from a Pearce header and then brilliantly kept out Erik Huseklepp's low
drive. Green's hard work looked to have paid dividends eight minutes into
the second half when Lansbury pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire a
low shot that just bobbled over the line after taking a deflection off the
underside of Pearce. Portsmouth, though, returned to the attack undeterred
and equalised through a Norris header that looked to have crossed the line
before Benjani made sure with a header of his own. The visitors continued to
press but were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute when Lawrence received a
second yellow card for a lunge at substitute Bentley. Six minutes later
Lansbury earned the home side a penalty by flicking the ball into Pearce's
hand, allowing Noble to strike home from the spot. And West Ham wrapped up
the victory in the 76th minute when Taylor fired in a superb ball that Cole
managed to head home. In stoppage time, substitute Piquionne was red-carded
against his former club for raising his hands to Halford. It was Halford who
then scored Portsmouth's consolation from the spot after Tal Ben Haim had
A Bridge too far for Ilunga?
Filed: Saturday, 10th September 2011
By: Staff Writer
Herita Ilunga could be set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after
it was revealed that West Ham were interested in bringing back Wayne Bridge
The former England international was a £10million signing for Manchester
City just two years ago but failed to nail down a first team spot at the
CoMS. Bridge spent the latter half of the 2010/11 campaign at the Boleyn
Ground and is available for loan once again. A 'Hammers source' told ESPN
tonight that West Ham had made enquiries into the 31-year-old's
availability, but that any move depended on the player's desire to drop a
division in order to feature in the Championship.
News of interest in re-signing Bridge - combined with Sam Allardyce's
decision to keep faith with George McCartney, despite the Irishman still
being short of full match fitness - almost certainly means that Ilunga's
days as a first team player are numbered. The Congolese defender - whose
four-year contract with the Hammers runs until summer 2013 - was reported to
have refused to accept a loan move to Celtic during the recent transfer
window. Sam Allardyce is understood to have been keen to offload Ilunga -
who was left out of today's 16-man squad - having been disappointed by a
string of poor performances by the 29-year-old in the opening games of the
season. The left-back had only just won his place back in the side having
been given a second chance by Allardyce following his omission from Avram
Grant's 25-man squad for the latter half of the 2010/11 Premier League
West Ham Utd 4 Portsmouth 3
Filed: Saturday, 10th September 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United survived a worrying second-half period before going on to
record their first home win of the season. After 66 minutes of a pulsating
clash between the two former Premier League clubs that contained seven
goals, two penalties and two red cards, it was the visitors who looked most
likely to go on and win the game. But just ten minutes later, Steve
Cotterill's side found themselves reduced to ten men and two goals behind
after Sam Allardyce's team maximised the opportunity afforded to them by the
dismissal of Liam Lawrence for a second bookable offence. However West Ham
were also to end a crazy game with ten men after match official Roger East,
who had a poor afternoon, sent Frederic Piquionne back to the changing rooms
just ten minutes after he came on as late replacement for Carlton Cole.
Sam Allardyce opted to include just one of his transfer deadline day
signings in today's starting eleven with Henri Lansbury replacing Jack
Collison, rested after his midweek exploits for Wales. But West Ham's early
enthusiasm - boosted by a near capacity crowd - was dampened after just
eight minutes when Luke Varney's shot, that resulted from a corner just
moments earlier, richoched off Carlton Cole and into the opposite side of
the unfortunate Robert Green's goal. The Hammers were to be behind for
little more than 60 seconds, as with their first attack after the goal they
levelled the scores through Matt Taylor. Yet once again a deflection played
a part, with Taylor's fizzing effort catching a nick off the five-man
Portsmouth wall as it sped towards goal.
Despite enjoying a short spell of sustained pressure thereafter - during
which Mark Noble, free from the shackles of Scott Parker, excelled with a
series of strong challenges and intelligent passes - it was the visitors who
enjoyed the bulk of chances for the remainder of the half. Norwegian
international Eric Huseklepp should have restored Pompey's lead in the final
minute of normal time at the end of the half when he found himself with the
goal gaping as United's defence - not for the first time in the game - found
themselves all at sea.
Fortunately for Allardyce's side, he failed to find the target - but it was
a stark warning to the Hammers nonetheless whose defence had already been
tested more than at any other stage during the season. No less than four
players were booked in a lively first half that should have seen at least
one player - Pompey's Mokoena - walk after catching Mark Noble with a
deliberate elbow, an offence for which he was only booked by Mr East.
The second period began quietly before bursting into life on 53 minutes when
debutant Lansbury put West Ham ahead for the first time in the game. George
McCartney, in for the shelved Herita Ilunga crossed to the far post where
Julian Faubert nodded the ball back for the on loan youngster.
Lansbury instinctively fired at goal and his effort took a wicked deflection
- via the unfortunate Jason Pearce - before nestling in the back of Jamie
Ashdown's net, making it 2-1 on the day.
The England under-21 international's goal signalled the start of
Portsmouth's best spell of the game, for having gone behind they began to
put United under serious pressure. West Ham would hold out for just seven
minutes before the visitors restored parity.
Huseklepp atoned for his earlier error by drawing his side level, although
it's unlikely he will be credited with the goal - yet another that owed much
to the intervention of an opponent.
His effort, from the corner of the six-yard box was prevented from crossing
the goal line by the presence of Winston Reid before the New Zealander
momentarily and inadvertently dragged the ball back over the line. Having
then unsuccessfully tried to hack it away, Portsmouth's Benjani was on hand
to send the ball back into the net to quash any doubt that a goal had been
With a collective fire in the belly, Pompey continued to press forward no
doubt believing that they could go on and win the game. However that
ambition was all but destroyed when Lawrence - one of several players
already on a yellow card - was dismissed for a studs-up challenge on
substitute David Bentley with 67 minutes on the clock.
West Ham, under serious pressure until that point rallied once again - and
within four minutes they had taken the lead for the second time in the game,
albeit somewhat fortuitously.
Lansbury's juggling act on the perimeter of the penalty box saw Pearce
harshly penalised for handling a ball that was aimed directly at him from
about a yard away.
But that was of no concern to Man of the Match Noble who stepped up to place
the ball beyond the despairing dive of Ashdown, who can at least take solace
from the fact that he dived the right way.
The game was all but won after 76 minutes when Carlton Cole put West Ham
into an unassailable two-goal lead with a first-class header from
McCartney's deep cross. The England striker rose high above his marker to
plant the ball in the top corner of the Pompey net; a real classy finish
from the big man who now has four goals to his name already this term.
Despite the game being all but won there was still time for some late drama.
Freddy Piquionne, who had been brought on to face his old club with five
minutes of normal time remaining was sent off by referee East in the fifth
minute of injury time for placing his hands in the face of Greg Halford
after the two disagreed over something.
Less than a minute after the incident Portsmouth scored the game's seventh
goal from the penalty spot after the referee awarded a ludicrous penalty to
former Hammer Tal Ben Haim, who simply fell over in the penalty box in
reaction to a loose leg left trailing by Noble.
Halford, whose theatrical slump to the floor had surely condemned Piquionne
to an early bath moments before stepped up to fire confidently into the
bottom corner to make it 4-3.
As he did so, the final whistle was blown before a restart was possible with
the game well into the sixth minute of injury time. West Ham rise to fourth
place in the Championship as a result of the win, just three points behind
current leaders Brighton & Hove Albion.
West Ham United 4 Portsmouth 3: match facts
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, McCartney, Tomkins, Reid, Noble, Lansbury,
Nolan, Faubert (Bentley 63), Taylor, Cole (Piquionne 85).
Subs not used: Boffin, Faye, Baldock.
Goals: Taylor (9), Lansbury (53), Noble (pen 72), Cole (76).
Booked: O'Brien (14), Nolan (48).
Sent off: Piquionne (90+5).
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Mokoena, Pearce, Halford, Ben Haim, Lawrence, Mullins,
Norris, Varney, Huseklepp (Ward 78), Benjani (Futacs 83).
Subs not used: Henderson, Rocha, Kanu.
Goals: Varney (8), Norris (60), Halford (90+6).
Booked: Mokoena (20), Lawrence (27), Varney (40), Mullins (57).
Sent off: Lawrence (67).
Referee: Roger East (5).
Loan watch: week six
Filed: Saturday, 10th September 2011
By: Staff Writer
Six young Hammers are currently out of loan; each week KUMB.com brings you
up to date with their progress. Here's how they fared today...
Cristian Montano: Notts County 2 Walsall 1
19-year-old Montano was on hand to score the winning goal in today's 2-1
triumph for current club Notts County. The Columbian, who last week entended
his loan spell with the League One club struck midway through the second
half to win all three points for County, who opened the scoring through Lee
Hughes. Andy Butler levelled for the visitors on the hour mark - four
minutes before the young Hammer struck the final goal of the game. Martin
Allen's side rise to ninth in the table as a result.
Callum McNaughton, Jordan Brown: Aldershot 1 AFC Wimbledon 1
Young centre-half McNaughton, who signed for Terry Brown's AFC little more
than 24 hours earlier played a full 90 minutes as his new club were denied a
win at Aldershot thanks to a last-minute equaliser from Danny Hylton.
However he was denied the opportunity to face fellow Academy graduate Jordan
Brown, who made his debut for the Shots against Cheltenham last week but
wasn't included in Dean Holdsworth's 16-man squad today.
Ahmed Abdulla: Swindon 2 Southend Utd 0
19-year-old Abdulla, who joined Paolo Di Canio at Swindon on a month's loan
at the beginning of September came on as a second half substitute to help
his new club beat Southend 2-0 at the County Ground today. It was his second
appearance for Swindon, who have now won both games since signing the
Olly Lee: Rotherham 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
The eldest son of former Hammer Rob Lee was on the losing side today despite
getting another 90 minutes of first team experience under his belt. Although
putting in another good stint in the Daggers midfield, Lee couldn't prevent
Rotherham taking a 3-1 half time lead - one that they maintained for the
reaminder fo the game. Dagenham drop to 11th place in League Two as a
Pablo Barrera: Real Zaragoza
The Mexican winger - on loan at Zaragoza for the season - is set to start
for his new club when they visit Rayo Vallecano tomorrow night. Barrera, who
moved to Spain last month had played just once for his new club so far, when
they lost their opening game of the 2011/12 La Liga campaign 6-0 at home to
Real Madrid a fortnight ago. Zaragoza are currently bottom of the 20-team
Allardyce on... Portsmouth
Filed: Saturday, 10th September 2011
By: Staff Writer
Sam's sexy soccer? A happy Mr Allardyce admits to getting a little 'excited'
by the attacking football his side are playing at the moment during
tonight's post-match press conference, which we bring you in full...
Sam: did you see the red card as the turning point?
Yes I did. I think the game was very even at the time and the most important
thing to do when a decision like that happens is to take full advantage of
it - and that's what we did. From thereon, apart from the referee trying
hard for both teams - I'm not too sure if some of his decisions were in the
best interests of the game today - it had everything and we got the win we
wanted. Certainly Carlton's goal at the end was a pleasure to watch. That's
him on a real roll now, with four on the trot. He's looking a real good
player for me and enjoying his game. [We] got off to a bad start with a
deflected goal [but] recovered brilliantly with an outstanding free kick
from Matt Taylor. Then we got our noses in front with a little change of
shape at half time to give us more in terms of going forward. We threw that
lead away by not defending correctly in midfield then [followed] the sending
off and the penalty - and then taking full advantage of it with Carlton's
goal. It eased all our nerves.
I was told it was the first time we've won at home since March so some of
the players who were here [then] would have felt very nervous before they
went out. But I think in the end, seeing the squad growing, improving and
getting its first win at home; four wins, one draw and only one defeat that
was right at the very start of the season - and we're still not at our best
yet. We've still a long way to go until everybody settles in, everybody's
fit enough and everybody knows each other better. Once that happens, we'll
get better and better as the season goes on. So we're certainly setting
ourselves a great target by having 13 points out of six games. We're going
to get better and better, I think, with the players we've brought in. We're
doing it right now; it looks exciting at the moment.
Talking about the players you've brought in, they [the supporters] will soon
forget about Scott Parker if [Henri] Lansbury keeps playing like that?
Fantastic. Certainly from the first half he looked really good, so we pushed
him forward one and slightly changed to a 4-2-3-1 instead of a 4-3-3. That's
where he ended up getting the goal and that's where we ended up feeding him
in higher up the pitch. Great technical ability and great energy today, it
shows he's had a full pre-season with Arsenal and played for the under-21s.
But he's ready to do it, whereas Kevin Nolan had six weeks off with an
operation, George McCartney's been bombed out at Sunderland, Joey O'Brien
hadn't played for two-and-a-half years and Abdoulaye Faye didn't play for
the last six months at Stoke. All those lads have got to catch up with
their fitness whereas Henri is right on top of his fitness so his quality
stands out that little bit more. David Bentley, again, comes on and shows
outstanding quality - and in the end, quality counts. Four goals we scored -
not only this week but we've scored that at Forest and we've scored it at
Watford. So we're very, very good at scoring goals. Here, at Upton Park,
we're not so great at defending - so we've got to change it and make that
It might be a daft question, but did you realise just how quick that lad
[Lansbury] might be when you brought him in?
Yeah. Many others told me from down here that he was, then a little bit of
ringing round to see what he was like last year. He had a very exciting time
at Norwich last year so he, like Kevin Nolan, has experienced exactly what
it takes to win automatic promotion out of this division. That experience is
very, very important and we'd love him to keep growing and getting better.
When players like that come into the fray and challenge the players who have
already got the place, it makes my life a little difficult on rotation and
leaving players out sometimes that I don't think should be left out. But I
think that's a nice position to be in if you've got to cope with 46 very
difficult games in this division.
4-3s are obviously great for us, watching that - but as a manager do you
appreciate that, or would you prefer a grim 1-0?
No, no, no - I prefer to get 4-2 up with only five minutes to play any
chance, any time of the day! Like I said, we did it at Watford and we did it
at Forest; the disappointing thing sometimes is like Leeds United, 2-1 up...
We finished Portsmouth off today effectively so there was no way back for
them, whereas we didn't finish Leeds off and ended up paying the price in
the last minute. But I think that scoring goals is what it's all about and
we've got the quality to do it, see?
So the more the players get to know each other the fitter they get, the more
organised they get, the more understanding we get. The better team spirit
grows, the better we get, the better results [get] and the more chances we
create. At some stages in today's game we had to dig in, because Portsmouth
were very, very difficult to play against at times.
You've got a big squad to choose from now but you decided to leave John
Carew out. Is he injured? [Question from Norwegian media]
No it's like what I said - the ridiculous decision this year by the Football
League to reduce [substitutes from] seven to five, which had to be purely
based on saving a few bob, is not the right thing to do when you're
competing in 46 games. The Premier League gets 38 games and seven subs, we
get 46 games and are only allowed five. So we have to leave people out and
disappoint people by not even including them as a substitute.
What they've got to do is fight. Fight for your place. If you get the shirt
or you get the chance to go and get the shirt, make sure you keep it. If you
don't, there'll be somebody ready to grab it and take it off you. You know,
if you can't take your position for granted then we'll be nothing but
excellent every week, hopefully.
So he's not injured?
How disappointed are you with Piquionne's sending off?
He shouldn't have raised his hands, that's true. But also you're only to be
sent off if you put your hands in an opposition player's face - and he
didn't do that. So technically, as I have had many excuses via the referee's
association saying 'technically it is a sending off' well this time
technically because he hasn't touched his face it's not a sending off.
What's the story behind Cole going to Galatasary - did the club just turn
down a bid? How close was that deal?
Well I don't want to detract too much from the result we've had today
because Carlton Cole's played a major part in that. But this ridiculous
opportunity for other countries to be allowed an extra few days is beyond
belief, for me.
I have done nothing but work and work and work in terms of players out to
players in, finding the right players at the right price to come in and the
right quality of player with the right mentality. And then some of the
players that wanted to leave, letting them go. I think in my time I've sold
five, maybe six. I certainly sold Da Costa when I come [here] and then
Kovac. Allowed Jordan Spence to go on loan; [sold] Junior Stanislas, Zavon
Hines and Scott Parker. I got money for all those players and then replaced
them with, I think, quality players.
Then the window shuts and you all breathe a sigh of relief and think 'thank
God for that'.
Certainly, when I finished the window and had signed Henri Lansbury, David
Bentley and Guy Demel, I was absolutely delighted. With Papa [Bouba Diop]
getting his work permit the day before [the deadline] I'm thinking 'well,
what a job we've done'. Not just me, everybody in the football club -
particularly the owners who supported me in doing that business, which is a
part of what I am as a manager. After all these years.
Sitting in Spain, sipping a glass of Sangria thinking 'well, I might enjoy a
Paella' then ping - ring, ring, ping; email, call; email, call - and 48
hours of sheer Hell, really, just fighting off the fact that the Galatasary
bid was not something that we should do.
Sam hails Cole display
Hammers boss hails entertaining win over Pompey
Last Updated: September 10, 2011 8:19pm
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce lauded his team and picked out striker
Carlton Cole for special praise after an epic victory over Portsmouth.
Matthew Taylor and Henri Lansbury put the Hammers in front after Luke
Varney's deflected effort went in off Cole in the eighth minute. David
Norris levelled for the visitors before Pompey skipper Liam Lawrence saw red
for a second bookable offence. Mark Noble's penalty and a Cole strike put
the Hammers firmly back in control, meaning the stoppage time red card for
Frederic Piquionne and Greg Halford's penalty did not affect the outcome.
"There was an awful lot of entertainment from both sides today," Allardyce
said. "It was an open attacking game from both sides, it ebbed and flowed
and then we finally finished it off after Portsmouth sending saw Lawrence
sent off for jumping in. "That turned the game in our favour and we netted
two very good goals. "We were disappointed we conceded the second on the
break as the midfield didn't do their job and we got caught out. "But it was
an excellent victory and it has been a while coming. It is our third home
game and we've played well. "The opposition played well against us as they
all do here so it made for a very entertaining game. And we got what we
wanted, which was the right result."
Allardyce admitted West Ham need to tighten up defensively if they are to
sustain a promotion charge, but was impressed with his side's attacking
power after seeing them net 14 goals in their past four Championship
fixtures. Cole made it four goals in successive games with a superb
second-half header, which came after a recent offer from Turkish giants
Galatasaray. "There is a new energy about Carlton, everybody is telling me,"
said Allardyce. "All I am seeing is a very, very good player who seems to be
enjoying his time with us after a big shock after the (transfer) deadline
when Galatasaray came in with an audacious bid. "It upset the player because
of the amount of money he was offered so it was hugely disappointing to face
that situation, but we managed to overcome it and the reward is what we saw
today - Carlton Cole in full form, full cry and enjoying his football."
While Allardyce celebrated his first victory at Upton Park, Portsmouth
manager Steve Cotterill was disappointed to leave east London without
anything to show for his side's efforts. "I think we were the better club
today," he said. "To come to a great club like West Ham, a full house, a
great place to play your football and I thought we did that well. "I thought
we were really good today and very, very unfortunate not to get three
points. I thought the referee was very pernickety today with a few things."
Hammers edge seven-goal thriller
Last updated: 10th September 2011
West Ham recorded a thrilling 4-3 victory against 10-man Portsmouth at Upton
Park on Saturday - their first home win in more than six months. The
Championship match was the Hammers' first since reigning Football Writers
Association player of the year Scott Parker joined Tottenham on transfer
deadline day, but the Hammers responded with a spirited performance in which
debutant Henri Lansbury and goalkeeper Robert Green shone. After the
visitors took the lead through a Luke Varney effort that deflected off
Carlton Cole, West Ham equalised a minute later through former Portsmouth
midfielder Matthew Taylor's free-kick. Despite the Hammers dominating
first-half proceedings, they had Green to thank for pulling off a number of
good saves before Lansbury netted eight minutes into the second period.
Portsmouth equalised in the 60th minute after David Norris' header was
adjudged to the cross the line, but then had skipper Liam Lawrence sent off
for a second bookable offence. Steve Cotterill's side visibly struggled with
10 men as a Mark Noble penalty and a superb Cole header secured West Ham a
fourth win of the season, although it was tempered slightly by Frederic
Piquionne's red card and a Greg Halford penalty in stoppage time.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce handed a debut to on-loan Arsenal starlet
Lansbury and named fellow new boys David Bentley and Sam Baldock on the
bench. The visitors named Benjani Mwaruwari in attack after Dave Kitson fell
ill, while Aaron Mokoena replaced Joel Ward in the line-up. The match kicked
off at quiet a tempo and Portsmouth took an eighth-minute lead as Varney's
wayward effort from Lawrence's corner deflected in off Cole. The home
faithful responded with a hearty rendition of I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
and were celebrating an equaliser just one minute after falling behind.
After Jason Pearce upended Cole on the edge of the box, Taylor curled in a
sumptuous-looking free-kick only for replays to show a slight deflection
helped the ball home.
West Ham looked invigorated by the equaliser and dominated the remainder of
the first period, with skipper Kevin Nolan, Cole and Joey O'Brien all going
Despite the east Londoners' dominance, Allardyce's side almost came a
cropper from another corner in the 39th minute. Green was forced into a
superb reaction save to thwart Pearce's goalbound header, before the Hammers
defence scrambled the ball out of the ensuing melee. Minutes later the
England goalkeeper was forced into another fantastic save, preventing Erik
Huseklepp's low drive with an outstretched leg. Green's hard work looked to
have paid dividends eight minutes into the second half when Lansbury pounced
on a loose ball in the box to fire a low shot that just bobbled over the
line after taking a deflection off the underside of Pearce.
Portsmouth, though, returned to the attack undeterred and equalised through
a Norris header that looked to have crossed the line before Benjani made
sure with a header of his own. The visitors continued to press but were
reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute when Lawrence received a second yellow
card for a lunge at substitute Bentley. Six minutes later Lansbury earned
the home side a penalty by flicking the ball into Pearce's hand, allowing
Noble to step up and strike home from the spot. West Ham wrapped up the
victory in the 76th minute when Taylor fired in a superb ball that Cole
managed to head home.
Lansbury almost grabbed a second as the clock wound down, before substitute
Piquionne was red-carded against his former club for raising his hands to
Greg Halford off the ball deep into stoppage time. Despite the clock winding
down, Portsmouth reduced the deficit to one goal with the last kick of the
game as Halford scored after Tal Ben Haim was brought down in the box.
Match Report: West Ham 4 Portsmouth 3
September 10th, 2011 - 7:15 pm by Iain Dale
West Ham Till I Die
Well that was an odd one, wasn't it? In theory it had it all – seven goals,
a 4-3 home win and a couple of sendings off. But it wasn't one of those 4-3s
which will live in the memory for too long. In truth it was a very scrappy
game, made so because of Portsmouth's physicality. They had one sent off but
it could have been three. In truth they are not a bad side and made us work
for everything. At times, they looked the more likely winners, but the fact
is we came from behind and then having gone 3-2 up, secured a victory with a
stunning Carlton Cole header.
It may have been a scrappy game, and yes, we conceded three goals, but there
were plenty of positives to take out of the game – the performances of debut
boy Henri Lansbury being one of them, and a magnificent effort by Carlton
Cole. It's not just the 4 goals, it is his all round effort. Today the crowd
really got behind him, perhaps for the first time. Let's hope he can
continue this run of form for some time to come. Lansbury was given man of
the match, and although I thought Cole was better today, it was easy to see
why the sponsors disagreed. He was all over the pitch and showed some
delightful skills. He also took his goal well. I suspect he will be a
semi-permanent fixture in the first team. James Tomkins and Winston Reid
also looked very solid, although in a game where we conceded three you might
well disagee. Tomkins' confidence is sky high and he won some thundering
headers. Reid has a tendency to boot the ball into touch but I'd like to see
them given a chance to cement their partnership. Some are suggesting that
Faye should be given a chance. Well, judging from his appearance running
down the touchline warming up, he's a stone and a half overweight.
I thought McCartney and Taylor combined wlel down the left, although George
has certainly lost a bit of pace since he's been away. Taylor's opening goal
– a stunning 20 yard free kick scored only a minute after the Portsmouth
lucky opener – was a real inspiration. At last we have a player who can take
a good corner and who stands a good chance of scoring from outside the area.
Joey O'Brien has been a revelation at right back and I thought Mark Noble
had a great game today. He scored a penalty and was involved in two of the
other goals. He is certainly playing for his place at the moment, and today
he stepped up to the plate.
To be honest, there were only three disappointments today. Firstly, I
thought Kevin Nolan was quiet again. He really hasn't yet delivered what we
all felt he would. He seems to be playing a lot deeper tha he did at
Newcastle and Bolton and to me, that's not where he's strongest. He didn't
do anything wrong, he just didn't do enough. Secondly, why on earth was
Piquionne put on the pitch in place of Cole. Surely, at two goals up, it
would have been a good idea to let young Sam Baldock show us what he is
capable of. Because Piquionne sure as hell didn't do much. Apart from get
himself sent off. I suspect most of us will be rather glad that he won't be
taking part in the next three games.
Let's also put in a word for Rob Green. He saved two certain goals. If they
had gone in, it could have been a very different story. Right, here are my
marks out of ten…
We already have the best goal difference in the league (+8) and have scored
15, more than any other club apart from Southampton, who have also scored
15. We're now in fourth place. Let's hope by the end of the month we are a
couple of places higher. The next three matches are Millwall away, followed
by Peterborough and Ipswich at home. Nine points would be nice, wouldn't it,
but I suspect we'll be very lucky to achieve that. Something usually goes
wrong in these kind of games, doesn't it?!
West Ham 4-3 Portsmouth: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:55 10/09/11 By Colin Malam
Henri Lansbury, on loan from Arsenal, completed a fruitful week and a half
yesterday by helping West Ham to beat their home hoodoo. Having scored three
times for the England Under 21s, Lansbury celebrated his debut by claiming
one of the goals that gave the Hammers their first victory of the
Championship campaign at Upton Park. He also supplied plenty of midfield
creativity as the east Londoners capitalised on the dismissal of Pompey's
outstanding Liam Lawrence in the 67th minute.
The home side also ended up with ten men, as substitute Frederic Piquionne
was sent off in stoppage time for seeming to flick a hand in the face of
Portsmouth defender Greg Halford. "Our big pressure," was the way Allardyce
described West Ham's failure to have won their first three home games of the
new season. And it looked as though they were about to cave into that
pressure again when Portsmouth took the lead after only eight minutes with a
freak goal. The visitors worked the move cleverly, Erik Huseklepp jumping
over the corner Liam Lawrence pulled back low into the Hammers' penalty
area. Luke Varney met the ball with a shot that was going wide until it
struck Carlton Cole and veered crazily into the net in another direction
completely. But it took the home side only a minute to recover from the
shock. Taking a free-kick 25 yards out, Matt Taylor hurt his former club
with a perfectly flighted shot. The game died a bit after that lively start.
Not until Robert Green beat out Jason Pearce's diving header shortly before
the interval was there another real scoring chance. Lawrence, who made that
opening with another corner, also supplied the pass for Huseklepp to hit a
shot that Green saved with his foot.
But Upton Park exploded with joy when loan signing Henri Lansbury celebrated
his debut by putting the Hammers ahead with a deflected shot early in the
This match was so even, though, it wasn't long before Pompey were back on
level terms with the move of the match. Varney set up Huseklepp for a centre
that Lawrence headed firmly at the far post. Reid struggled to clear the
ball off the line and David Norris's head applied the finishing touch.
However, Portsmouth's hopes of winning this match took a body blow when
Lawrence was sent off in the 67th minute for collecting a second yellow
card. The former Sunderland and Stoke forward was the brains behind
Portsmouth's attacks, and his dismissal for a late tackle on David Bentley
was costly. No sooner had he gone, than West Ham went into overdrive. First,
Noble (left) made it 3-2 from the penalty spot after Pearce was adjudged to
have handled the ball. Then Carlton Cole increased the suffering of the
travelling Pompey faithful by heading a Taylor cross cleanly past Ashdown.
There was still plenty of drama to come, though. In stoppage time, Piquionne
was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Halford. Then Halford stepped
forward to reduce Portsmouth's deficit from the penalty spot after Tal Ben
Haim had been brought down by Noble.
WEST HAM 4 PORTSMOUTH 3: ALLARDYCE HAILS HENRI THE GREAT
Sunday September 11,2011
By Sunday Express Reporter
HENRI LANSBURY stepped into Scott Parker's boots with a man-of-the-match
display for the Hammers. "He was fantastic," said manager Sam Allardyce who
signed him on-loan from Arsenal. "He has great technical ability and his
quality shone out. "He had a very exciting time at Norwich last season and
like Kevin Nolan he has the experience of getting out of this division.SDRq
Luke Varney fired Portsmouth in front with the help of a deflection off
Carlton Cole. Matt Taylor levelled within a minute before Lansbury scored on
his debut. David Norris grabbed Pompey's equaliser before Liam Lawrence was
sent off for a challenge on David Bentley. Mark Noble hit West Ham's third
from the penalty spot and then Cole headed in Nolan's cross. And the drama
continued when West Ham's Frederique Piquione was sent off at the death for
pushing Greg Halford, who recovered to score Pompey's third from the spot
after Noble brought down Tal Ben Haim.
A RED LETTER DAY FOR GOLD
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce
11th September 2011 By Paul Brown
THE WAIT is finally over for West Ham, who gave co-owner David Gold a
belated birthday present with their first home win in six months. Gold – who
was 75 on Friday – was in the stands to watch as the Hammers ended the curse
of Upton Park against ten-man Pompey. But this was an even game until Liam
Lawrence saw red for a reckless challenge on David Bentley. Deflected goals
by Matt Taylor and on-loan Henri Lansbury had been cancelled out by Luke
Varney's deflected opener and a David Norris header. But once he had gone,
Mark Noble scored from the penalty spot and Carlton Cole rubbed salt into
the wounds to render Greg Halford's stoppage-time penalty irrelevant.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce said: "It's an excellent victory. It's been a
while coming. "We thought the sending-off of Lawrence turned the game in our
favour and we took advantage. Is it a relief? Just a bit!"
There were new signings galore on show for both sides after a busy summer
leading up to transfer deadline day. The Hammers signed four players as soon
as Scott Parker was out of the door. They handed a full debut to Lansbury,
while Pompey had a total of four summer signings in their starting line-up.
Varney was one of them and he fired the visitors in front with only seven
minutes played. Lawrence took a cute corner which Erik Huseklepp dummied for
Varney to fire home via a deflection.
But Hammers fans barely had time to start moaning when Taylor smashed them
level. The former Portsmouth winger let fly from a free-kick 25 yards out
and his effort took another deflection off the wall before finding the
Winston Reid was lucky not to give away a penalty for a foul on Benjani
moments later and West Ham's luck continued when Kevin Nolan was only booked
for a horrible lunge at Varney. It was yet another deflection which helped
the Hammers go in front in the 53rd minute. Noble's cross came back off
Julien Faubert into the path of Lansbury, whose shot bobbled under Jason
Pearce. But this time Pompey fought back, with Reid unable to clear a header
by Norris off the line. The visitors shot themselves in the foot when
Lawrence got his marching orders for a studs-up tackle on sub Bentley. Five
minutes later, Pearce handled a chip by Lansbury and Noble scored from the
spot. Cole added a fourth with a towering header from Taylor's lob but
Frederic Piquionne was then sent off for a shove on Pearce. And there was
still time for Halford to pull one back from the spot after a foul on Tal
Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill said: "I think we were the better side and
were unfortunate not to get three points. "We had two or three lads who
didn't deserve to be booked. Ridiculous."
Winston Reid reflects on tumultuous 12 months
BEN STANLEY Last updated 05:00 11/09/2011
EXCLUSIVE: Winston Reid made New Zealand sporting history last year, scoring
a famous equaliser in the All Whites' first Fifa World Cup clash in 28
years. The last 16 months he hasn't captured as many headlines but Ben
Stanley found out the Denmark-raised Kiwi is looking to a legacy beyond that
great moment in the South African sunshine. It was a moment New Zealand
sports fans will never forget. A moment that created Kiwi sporting history,
sending an entire nation football crazy. A moment forever framed in the hot
June sun at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, on one of
the biggest sporting stages – the Fifa Football World Cup. That turn and
lofted cross from striker Shane Smeltz. That ball floating past Slovakian
defender Jan Durica, whose team were leading 1-0 with only seconds of the
match left to play. The head of Winston Reid, then a little-known New
Zealand-born footballer who had been playing professionally in the top
Danish club competition, rising up to meet it. The image of the ball
bobbling past goalkeeper Jan Mucha, evening the scores and providing the
unfancied All Whites with their first points in World Cup history, 28 years
after their first appearance.
Kiwi sporting history.
And from that moment Reid's life, as a professional footballer and as a man,
would never be the same – seeing the 23-year-old seal a multi-year contract
at West Ham United, one of the UK's most famous football clubs, and then
come to terms with the tough realities of life in English football. Speaking
to the Sunday News as he prepared for this morning's Championship clash with
Portsmouth, Reid talks about That Goal, that moment in Rustenberg,
nostalgically but admits it's not something he revisits often now. "After
the World Cup, of course, I thought a lot about it," he admitted. "But now
you start to think back on that goal and, to be honest, everything went so
quick so it's hard to remember everything. "I've got some memories there and
it will definitely be something be something I will cherish for the rest of
A moment Reid would only ever dream of as a young Kiwi footballer who played
his junior football in Takapuna. BORN on Auckland's North Shore, Reid, who
has Ngati Te Rarawa and Tainui heritage, moved from New Zealand to Denmark
as a 10-year-old with his mother and Danish stepfather. The talented young
footballer signed a youth contract with Danish club SUB Snderborg, before
moving on to Superliga powerhouse FC Midtjylland. The defender would play 86
matches in five years for the club, catching the eye of All Whites coach
Ricki Herbert as New Zealand built towards its second World Cup campaign
last year. Despite playing Under-21 football for Denmark, Reid chose to
represent the nation of his birth, making his All Whites debut against
Australia in Melbourne in May last year. His World Cup tournament, which saw
him star in each of New Zealand's three draws, turned the heads of a number
of clubs around Europe, with West Ham, then a Premiership club, offering him
a deal. It was a dream move for a footballer from anywhere around the world,
let alone a young Maori boy from the Shore.
A coveted spot on a Primer League roster with the chance to match up against
the likes of Carlos Tevez, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney – the world's
This, however, was where Reid's fairytale suffered a stutter. His debut
against Aston Villa was an absolute shocker, with the defender to blame for
at least one of Villa's goals in the 3-0 defeat. He'd get a few more chances
in the first team, mostly coming off the bench, but looked out of his depth,
seeing him relegated for the majority of the season to a spot in the West
If the Premiership oozes glamour and hype, the reserve league is the
opposite, with games played in front of small crowds at club training
grounds. By his own admission, it was a tough year but Reid is confident
that experience "toughened" him up and gave him time to adapt to the English
style of football. "Last season obviously wasn't what I hoped for but it
happened," Reid said. "It wasn't the best experience in my life but it was
something I have to learn from. Everything went pretty quickly for me. "I
moved to a new country, a new league, met a whole lot of people I'd never
met before, I lost my family and friends so I had to start a new lifestyle.
"For a 22-year-old, that's tough but you just have to cope with it and get
through it. I went through those hard yards but I'm enjoying my football
now. So, thankfully, I feel like I've learnt from it."
West Ham's relegation from the Premiership in May came as a blessing in
disguise for the All White. The relegation was a clear-out of the team's
playing roster and the replacement of former manager Avram Grant with Sam
Allardyce, one of English football's most respected gaffers. Reid has
started in every one of the Hammers six clashes so far this season, chiming
in with a goal in their 4-1 destruction of Nottingham Forest away from home.
"I've just been adjusting myself to a different style of football – how the
English game is played," he said. "I've been putting some hard work in
training and when you get opportunities on the pitch you just have to take
them and perform well. "It's just down to that – doing the basics well."
The Football Championship, while lacking the big money and big names, has a
reputation has a tough, physical and highly completive contest, which Reid
"It's different worlds in the fact that in the Championship you have less
time on the ball," he said. "The good teams tend to go all at it. It's a
little bit different. "In the Premiership, you knock the ball round a bit
more, whereas in the Championship it's more up and down the pitch all the
time." IN sports, moments like Reid's goal often remain the only thing you
remember of a player, no matter what they go on to do. Think Winston Reid
and you think that goal. His struggles in the West Ham reserves and his
journey to reclaim a spot back in the club's first team at Upton Park have
been largely under the radar. Reflecting on the last 18 months, from his
initial call-up to the All Whites to West Ham, Reid is circumspect. He is
proud of what he's achieved and what he's turned around in his footballing
life but is hoping it's just the beginning of a career that has the
potential to rank as one few Kiwis have ever enjoyed in professional
football. "Personally, everything's gone quickly," Reid said. "The decision
I made back then, to play for New Zealand, was a big one for me. It's been a
good, exciting 18 months for me. "But, hopefully, there'll be another good
part of my life coming ahead and I'll enjoy that as much as I've enjoy this
last part." Reassuring words from a man ready to step out from behind the
shadow of that glancing header on that hot Rustenberg afternoon.
- Sunday News
Lawrence sending off helps Hammers feel more at home
West Ham United 4 Portsmouth 3
By Conrad Leach at Upton Park
Sunday, 11 September 2011
The floodlights were on and there were dark clouds as the game ended but, at
last, one month into the season, it was possible to see beyond the gloom at
Upton Park. Heck, when Carlton Cole scored West Ham's fourth, the scoreboard
counted it double and displayed 5-2.
After the sale of Scott Parker to Tottenham at the end of the transfer
window and three games without a home win, it was fair to say the Hammers
have not been enjoying life all that much since their return to the
Championship ranks. Going 1-0 down early after Cole deflected in Luke
Varney's shot's renewed the impression that since relegation Sam Allardyce's
side were in one long sulk. Four goals and three points later, West Ham have
made their apologies.
Yet but for three minutes in the second half, the Hammers' stuttering home
start – they have been scoring freely on the road – might have continued.
But after 67 minutes, Allardyce and his counterpart Steve Cotterill agreed,
the game changed.
With the score at 2-2, Liam Lawrence tripped David Bentley, the substitute
who was making his debut. It was Lawrence's second yellow card and with
Portsmouth still reorganising, they were unlucky to concede a penalty three
minutes later for handball by Jason Pearce. At first the referee's assistant
saw nothing wrong, but after appeals by the West Ham players and most of a
full house, he put up his flag. "The crowd got them that penalty," Cotterill
said. Mark Noble converted with ease. Cole's header from eight yards out,
after 76 minutes, made sure of the points.
Yet at the start Allardyce had suffered, though Matt Taylor's deflected
free-kick quickly levelled Cole's deflection. Then his star transfer window
signing, the midfielder Henri Lansbury, on loan from Arsenal, was in the
right place 12 yards out to drive home Julien Faubert's knock-down and make
it 2-1. The West Ham defence then let David Norris sneak in at the far post
to head past Robert Green.
While Cotterill felt his side had outplayed West Ham, which they did for an
hour, Allardyce was happy his side capitalised on Lawrence's sending off. He
said: "The red card was the turning point."
Not that Cole's header was the end of the fun, as Frédéric Piquionne had
eight inglorious minutes as a substitute, before he was sent off in stoppage
time for raising his hands to Greg Halford. With the last kick of the game
Halford converted a penalty, after Tal Ben Haim had been tripped.
West Ham (4-1-4-1): Green; O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney; Noble; Faubert
(Bentley, 63), Lansbury, Nolan, Taylor; Cole (Piquionne, 85)
Portsmouth (4-1-3-2): Ashdown; Mokoena, Halford, Pearce, Ben Haim; Mullins;
Lawrence, Norris, Varney; Huseklepp (Ward, 78), Benjani (Futacs, 83)
Referee Roger East.
Man of the match Lansbury.
Match rating 7/10.
Hammers want Bridge loan
Harry Harris, ESPNsoccernet
September 10, 2011
West Ham are keen to bring Manchester City left-back Wayne Bridge back to
Upton Park. The Hammers paid Bridge's £80,000-a-week wages when he spent the
second-half of last season on loan in East London, but would not be willing
to fork out as much this time around. Sam Allardyce would welcome Bridge,
31, back to the club, but the Championship outfit would want City to
subsidise the player's wages if he were to return. The former England
defender does not feature in Roberto Mancini's plans but failed to secure a
move away from Eastlands before the transfer window closed. Now City want to
off load him back to a Championship side on loan as their only immediate
option. A Hammers source told ESPNsoccernet: "The player may decide not to
go. We shall have to wait and see. But West Ham actually paid all his wages
last year. If he is not in their 25 man squad they'll take anything they can
get for him now."
West Ham debutant Henri Lansbury excels in win over Portsmouth
West Ham United 4-3 Portsmouth
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 10 September 2011 18.00 BST
West Ham kicked off life without Scott Parker with an enthralling victory
against 10-man Portsmouth to earn their first home win in more than six
months. The Football Writers' Association player of the year joined
Tottenham on transfer deadline day but West Ham responded with a spirited
showing in which the debutant Henri Lansbury and the goalkeeper Robert Green
shone. After the visitors took the lead through a Luke Varney effort that
deflected off Carlton Cole, West Ham equalised a minute later through the
former Portsmouth midfielder Matthew Taylor's free-kick. Despite the home
side's first-half dominance, they had Green to thank for pulling off a
number of good saves before Lansbury scored eight minutes into the second
period. Portsmouth equalised in the 60th minute after David Norris' header
was adjudged to have crossed the line, but then had their captain Liam
Lawrence sent off for a second bookable offence.
Steve Cotterill's side visibly struggled with 10 men as a Mark Noble penalty
and a superb Cole header secured West Ham a fourth win of the season,
although it was tempered slightly by Frédéric Piquionne's red card and a
Greg Halford penalty in stoppage time. The West Ham manager Sam Allardyce
gave a debut to the on-loan Arsenal midfielder Lansbury and named fellow
newcomers David Bentley and Sam Baldock on the bench. The visitors named
Benjani Mwaruwari in attack after Dave Kitson fell ill, while Aaron Mokoena
replaced Joel Ward in the line-up.
The match had begun encouragingly for Portsmouth, who took an eighth-minute
lead as Varney's wayward effort from Lawrence's corner deflected in off
Cole. But the home side were celebrating an equaliser just one minute after
falling behind. After Jason Pearce upended Cole on the edge of the penalty
area, Taylor curled in a sumptuous-looking free-kick only for replays to
show a slight deflection helped the ball home.
West Ham looked invigorated by the equaliser and dominated the remainder of
the first period, with their captain Kevin Nolan, Cole and Joey O'Brien all
going close, although Green was forced into a superb reaction save to stop
Pearce's goalbound header, before the Hammers defence scrambled the ball out
of the ensuing melee.
Minutes later the England goalkeeper was forced into another fantastic save,
preventing Erik Huseklepp's low drive with an outstretched leg. Green's hard
work looked to have paid dividends eight minutes into the second half when
Lansbury pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire a low shot that just
bobbled over the line after taking a deflection off the underside of Pearce.
Portsmouth, though, returned to the attack undeterred and equalised through
a Norris header that looked to have crossed the line before Benjani made
sure with a header of his own. The visitors continued to press but were
reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute when Lawrence received a second yellow
card for a lunge at the substitute Bentley. Six minutes later Lansbury
earned the home side a penalty by flicking the ball into Pearce's hand,
allowing Noble to convert from the spot. West Ham wrapped up the victory in
the 76th minute when Taylor's superb ball was headed home by Cole.
The West Ham substitute Piquionne was sent off against his former club for
raising his hands to Greg Halford off the ball deep into stoppage time, and
Portsmouth reduced the deficit with the last kick of the game when Halford
scored after Tal Ben Haim was brought down in the area.