Sunday, August 20, 2006


Hammers 3 - 1 Charlton

I know Graham has put a brief match report up but I thought you might like a little feedback as I just watched the game (I could tell you how but I'd have to kill ya).

A cracking result to start the season on but it wasn't all sweetness and light. West Ham came out of the blocks in determined fashion and carved chance after chance before going down to a soft penalty. As early as the 2nd minute Bowyer picked out Zamora with a fantastic ball for a chance at goal. And that seemed the shape of things to come as Bowyer proved an astute summer signing terrorising the Charlton defence. I've been silently excited about the signing of Bowyer all summer but have not made my feelings known due to the mixed feelings amongst supporters. I remember a very good player a few years back and I think with Pardew's guidance he can get back to his very best. On this performance it looks like he is well on his way to doing that.

Gabbidon - victim or villain? Hard to say but our hammer of the year had a truely dreadful first half performance. In the 15th minute he leaped ahead of Jimmy Floyd Hasselwank and the ball brushed the top of his arm before going behind for seemingly a goal kick. But the linesman confirmed the touch to the referee after being consulted following Hasselwank's persistent complaints. Looking at the replays of the incident it could have been a deliberate attempt to move the ball past hasselwank so Gabbs can have little cause for complaint. Darren Bent stepped up and duly slotted home the penalty.

Until now and indeed for pretty much the rest of the match Charlton had brought very little to the game. The first half continued with West Ham pressing the Charlton goal and soon they were awarded a free kick outside the area. As Yossi stepped up to take it, the already booked Traore stuck out a leg to block the shot and was quickly given his marching orders. As if Charlton needed a reason to be negative they played out the half with all 10 men behind the ball. However Gabbidon tried to play them back into contention as he picked up the ball on the left where he was quickly closed down and decided to turn and dribble towards the goal. On the back foot he was easily dispossesed and gifted Charlton with a gilt edged oppotunity to double their advantage. Thankfully we recovered and went into the break just a goal down.

Another player who had a very unassured first half was young Tyrone Mears. He played out the half not really doing anything wrong but whenever he received the ball looked like he didn't want it and played a very simple ball. He did however crack a 20 yard shot that went just wide. Pardew must've seen the same as I did as at half time he swiftly replaced him with the very lively John Paintsil.

West Ham began the 2nd half much the same as they began the first, with Paintsil (Pantsil on the back of his shirt) making some decent runs down the right. soon enough a cross from the right eluded everybody except Bobby Zamora who was on hand to slot home the equaliser at the back post. If Bobby's first goal was unspectacular then his second came with more than just a touch of good fortune. Bobby found himself about 8 yards from goal as a pass from the left came to him with plenty of space he scuffed his shot and it bundled towards the near post, the defender miscleared it and it came off post elduing the keeper and in to the goal. 2-1, the hammers were in front.

West Ham played out the half holding on to their advantage and in the 90th minute substituted Marlon Harewood for the young summer signing from Chelsea - Carlton Cole. Just as my 2-1 prediction was looking good, Bowyer put a ball over the top which Carlton Cole took in his stride and as he beared down on goal unleashed a cracking strikers finish at the near post. Game, Set, Match! Thank you very much!


Carroll 7 - Not too much to do but handled most of his duties well.
Konchesky 5 - A poor performance out of the bottom draw. The lad can't cross - he proved that with the goal he scored in the cup final.
Ferdinand 7 - Not too much to do but stayed composed and played the ball out well.
Gabbs 5 - I've said enough, poor game.
Mears 5 - Looked out of his depth.
Yossi 7 - Still providing the flair we need but we'll see better.
Reo-Coker 7 - Pretty quiet. Probably more to do with the ease of the job at hand.
Mullins 7 - As above.
Bowyer 9 MOM - Fantastic performance. Had a hand in every goal, looked lively and keen to kick off his second spell at the club.
Harewood 7 - Off his game.
Zamora 8 - 2 goal hero had a very lively game and gave his account of why he should start.

Paintsil 8 (for Mears) - Very assured, pacy, lively, keen. Looks a snip at under a mil.
Teddy 6 (For Zamora) - You can hear the bones creek.
Cole 7 (For Harewood) - Had no time to do anything, but made time with a fantastic finish to score the goal of the game.

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