Dublin Hammers Trip - Fulham - Saturday 4th October 2009

West Ham 2 vs Fulham 2.

It was meant to be an easy game – one we couldn’t lose etc etc. Fate sure deals a hard hand

There we were at the airport early on the Saturday morning to fly out to Stanstead to see a game that had been pushed back to Sunday on account of our opposition having played a UEFA Cup game the previous Thursday. Refreshments were consumed as we awaited our flight and Liamo carried out the head count. Finally we were off.

As usual the travel arrangements were excellent – which bus area are we being picked up at Jim??


After we got our bus to the hotel. The boys decided that a spot of breakfast in Barking was in order so off they headed. Jim Conway and myself made the arduous journey to Little Heath to watch our U18s take on Southampton. Why you may ask – well there is an ex St Kevins Boys player that I know playing with them at the moment so we took the opportunity to see him play. A 3-3 draw in typical West Ham fashion – played wonderful football, created a bucket load of chances and gave away soft goals at the other end! We missed the first half due to our mini cab driver not having a breeze where he was. A word of warning – if you are taking any taxi/mini cab etc in London make sure you have the full postal code to hand!!

With the match over Jimmy went to find the rest of the crew as they embarked on a cultural tour of London while I went down Camden Town to relive memories of the late 70s and early 80s. That night we all headed to O’Gradys for refreshments and dancing, much to the amusement of all present. One member even decided to do a spot of glass balancing – the boy did well!

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Sunday morning and we’re all raring to go – somewhat. Following shopping trips, extended breakfasts etc we all meet in the Queens. Pints are consumed and Liamo manages to get a large area freed up in the pub with his special area clearing techniques. We’re all upbeat as we discuss Fulham’s approach to the game - they’ll be tired, they’ll still have their heads in Europe etc etc we all thought.

On to the stadium and we get the super seats – that is super view of London, reasonable view of the match. We start brightly with Cole putting himself about. 16 minutes in, he sticks a header in the net. Yes we say we’ll bury this lot. Sure enough we go on to play some great stuff and when they go a man down we believe this is it!!! Half time we’re 1-0 up and coasting.

A different West Ham take to the pitch in the second half to play 10 man Fulham. Within 12 minutes we’re 2-1 down. Fulham’s tactics of hoofing the ball up towards Kamara is clearly something that we were not expecting and it catches us out completely. We start to fall apart. Fulham can’t believe it – they haven’t beaten us at home in years It’s looking dodgy, we bring on Behrami and Stanislas with about 15 minutes to go and they certainly add a bit of urgency to the proceedings. Into injury time and we are staring defeat in the eyes and the Fulham fans are bouncing up and down. Stanislas shoots – it takes a deflection and ends up in the net 2-2, we all go bananas!

A minute left and Robert Green gets a rush of blood and runs out to clear a ball near the halfway line – his clearance deflects off the Fulham player towards our goal – thankfully he makes a mess of the easiest of chances he’ll ever get.

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We leave the ground and head to the Wakefield where everyone is downbeat about what’s happening. The bus picks us up after a few drinks and suddenly the jokes start. We end up at the airport in the bar naturally waiting for the flight home and we try and think of the next game we should go to where we’ll definitely win!!!

Besides the football it was a great trip, as ever lots of laughs, songs, jokes, drink etc. Roll on the next one. Well done to all concerned in arranging everything – it’s a thankless job, done superbly.

Thanks to Gerry Murtagh for this report and photos!