Dublin Hammers Trip - Chelsea - Saturday 24th October 2015

West Ham 2 vs Chelsea 1

Another absolute blinder of a trip and thank goodness the monday after our return was a bank holiday!

As usual members gathered at the bar in Dublin airport bright and early on Saturday morning and we started the day with a pint or two. Members bumped into the former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr who confessed that he was also heading over to cover the Hammers for Today fm, he then went on to slag Gary for wearing a west ham shirt… something about “growing up” and “being an adult?” The plain fact was over half the members travelling wore West Ham shirts? Maybe we all need to grow up… fuck that!

The flight over was uneventful and in no time at all we were on the bus. Liam stood up and gave us his customary low down on the weekend’s planned events. “Have you all got your membership cards?” We all had, but no-one had a clue where we were supposed to be sitting. Gerry (IDIINOEW) took a major slagging before Tom was contacted and seat numbers and rows were sorted.

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When we arrived at the Travel Lodge in Romford a brief altercation ensued as the girl on reception said we couldn’t put our bags into a room? The travel Sec. soon put her right and we were on our way to Upton Park.

We piled off the bus and all went off to the club shop or to get something to eat. As I had never had the traditional “Pie & Mash” before, thought I would give it a go. The queue snaked out of the shop and down the Barking Road but I joined it anyway. Several members went past as they made their way to M&Ms. I had about a 20 minute wait but have to say it was well worth it and I will be partaking again next time I am over… good grub to get down before the serious drinking begins.

M&Ms was it’s usual kippy self, but getting a drink was easy. Members made their way to the ground about 2.30pm, entry was easy enough using the membership card and we were all in place as the game kicked-off.

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Well what a game it turned out to be, one of the best I’ve been to in a long time. The game came to life in the 17th minute when the ball came across and Zuraté thumped it low and hard into the back of the net giving Begovic no chance. The game went back and forth with no quarter being given by either side. Chelsea came close to scoring but the ball was cleared before all of it could cross the goal line, Chelsea thought they had scored, the linesman said no. Then Matic fouled Kouyate and received a yellow, minutes later he took out Sakho and was shown a second. The Chelsea players lost it, Costa and Fabregas were also booked. As Matic trudged off Upton Park was in a riotous uproar of which I’d not seen the like in a long long time… it was fucking great!

The ref blew up for the break and we joined the mill for the toilets. Mourinho didn’t appear for the second half and we found out that he had been sent to the stands for unsavoury comments made to the Ref at half time.

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The second half took awhile to warm up with Chelsea, even with 10 men, gradually becoming the stronger side, Willian looked dangerous whenever he had the ball and before long the ball was crossed and Cahill hooked the ball into the net. The Chelsea fans erupted and it was their turn to start giving it some. That seemed to wake us up, we pressed and had a couple of half chances, then Super Slav takes off Zaraté and on comes Andy Carroll… it couldn't have been scripted any better... minutes before full time Cresswell crosses, Carroll rises and heads the ball into the back of the net. The place went fucking mental, everywhere you looked people were jumping up and down like demented jack-in-the-boxes!

For the last few minutes Andy Carrolls name echoed around a misty floodlit Upton Park before the ref blew for full time. Much hand clasping and back slapped ensued among members and we joined the jubilant crowd as it made it’s way out of the stadium and into the wet East London night.

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Back at M&Ms more pints were despatched and at around 8pm we made our way back to Romford by the Number 5 bus. Members “took 5” and met up again in the Golden Lion for more pints and West Ham chat. Once that was closed it was over the road to Yate’s where we danced and drank even more until in ones and twos we drifted back to the hotel to pass out!

The Weatherspoons pub in Romford was the venue for Sundays full english breakfast, after which we checked out, hit the West Ham superstore and went our separate ways. The usual cultural trips were partaken and come 6pm all members had gathered in the The George pub at Liverpool Street ready for the journey home. The mini-bus duly arrived and along with plenty of beers and copious amounts of KFC we headed to Stansted. With the usual sing song and craic we were soon at the airport, through the check in and seated at the bar where a very leisurely 2 hours was spent chatting and drinking.

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This trip, dubbed the “You’re out of here” trip (after Liam’s ownership of the club was put into doubt when a take-over bid was announced) was another classic, I spent most of the weekend laughing it up with a top bunch of lads. The result was just what the doctor ordered, the game, but especiually the atmosphere at Upton Park was something special, one to remember in the coming years. A great weekend and too be honest, I didn’t want it to end.

Thanks to Tom, Liam, Jimmy and all who had a hand in the organisation of yet another great DH trip.

Report by Paul Smith

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