West Ham United - Season Overview 2005-2006

= Dublin Hammers Meeting (Live on television).
= Dublin Hammers Trip.
LP = League Position.


13th Blackburn Rovers (h). 3-1. (sheringham, reo-coker, etherington). LP:1st

"Their premiership return began with a spine-tingling rendition of I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", "Pedersen's low outswinging corner bobbled through a platoon of bodies before Andy Todd turned to roll a slow-motion daisy cutter into Carroll's net", "West Ham continued to pour forwards. The tireless Benayoun's through ball was hardley perfect, but it clipped Todd's heel and fell perfectly for Sheringham, who gleefully beat Friedel from 12 yards", "In the 59th minute Paul Konchesky headed off the line for a second time", "With his first touch Reo-Coker by-passed a snoozing Mokoena, with his second, he fired a glorious drive past Friedel from 20 yards", "Benayoun collected the errant pass, looked up and unselfishly squared across goal for the unmarked Etherington to tap home". from The Sunday Times.

20th Newcastle United (a). 0-0. LP:4th

"West Ham had turned up with a reputation for fraility in defence, but with Repkas called on at the expense of Dailly they were demonstrating unexpected discipline. By closing their opponents down, in defence as well as misfield, the ball often sprung forward to the twin towers of Harewood and Sheringham, who were unsettling their markers. When the two combined to set up Benayoun, only Given's deflection and a clearance by Babayaro averted an opening goal", "West Ham were incensed by the dubious decision that reduced them to 10 men". from The Sunday Times.

27th Bolton (h). 1-2. (sheringham-pen).

"West Ham had most of the possession, the overwhelming bulk of the goalscoring chances but none of their visitors street-smart guile", "Marlon Harewood, who already had one horrible miss to his name, wasted another golden opportunity", "Nicky Hunt felled Hayden Mullins in the penalty area and Sheringham reduced the deficit from the spot". from The Sunday Times.


12th Aston Villa (h). 4-0. (harewood x3, benayoun). LP:7th

"A magnificent performance by West Ham followed on England's Ashes victory a few hours earlier, and Aston Villa were put to the sword as the Hammers crushed them with a four-nil win at Upton Park", "Marlon Harewood, criticised for missing chances against Bolton, put that behind him with a hat-trick scored inside half an hour, either side of half-time. But this was a thorough and comprehensive team performance, and the result was a true reflection of the dominance the Hammers exerted from the first whistle to the last", "Yossi Benayoun rounded the evening off with a wonderful goal of his creation, a superb strike which highlighted just what a dangerous player he can be and what a talent Alan Pardew has on his hands". from the OTT website. Team; Carroll, Repka, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky, Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Etherington, Harewood, Sheringham.

17th Fulham (a). 2-0. (harewood, own goal). LP:6th.

"Barely a minute had gone in the second half before Marlon Harewood, Hammers' Man of the Moment - as far as goals go - drove the ball past Warner to send the massed ranks of visiting fans behind the goal into raptures", "the Hammers had the bit between their teeth and did not want to let go. Harewood could arguably claim the second goal as well, as his spin and shot rebounded off the post and went in after striking Warner; it's doubtful the keeper will want to be credited with an own goal", "Fulham halved the deficit to set up an anxious final fifteen minutes. That the lead was held on to was down to a real team effort rather than any individual, and that is no doubt how Pardew wants it, every player could leave the field at the end with their heads held high". from the OTT website.


20th Sheff. Wednesday (a). 4-2. (zamora x2, dailly, bellion). Carling Cup 2nd Rd.

"Alan Pardew chose to rest many players who've got the team off to such a flying start in the Premiership", " He got excatly the reaction he was looking for, from many of those he brought in. From goal keeper Shaka Hislop, making his second debut, through the Hammers' young home produced players Bobby Stokes and Hogan Ephraim, and on loan debutant David Bellion, all making their first first team appearances, there were good things for West Ham to take from the game", "They got off to a great start, with Zamora on target with barely a minute gone", "Christian Dailly bulleted a header for the Hammers' second, and when Zamora made it three, they seemed no way back, but Wednesday threw everything forward and were rewarded by two quick goals and on course for a shock comeback, even more so when they then hit the crossbar", "Gaps appeared at the back and substitute David Bellion killed the tie off with an 84th minute goal". from the OTT website.

24th Arsenal (h). 0-0. LP:4th.

"Alan Pardew said that he would not change the way his team plays for the visit of Arsenal to Upton Park in the Premiership, and with the visitors missing many key players, there was no reason for him to", "A Teddy Sheringham free-kick was curled brilliantly round the Arsenal wall, it had the keeper beaten all ends up, only for the ball to pass a foot wide of the post.", "West Ham maintained their go for it attitude, and but for some curious refereeing decisions, might have been playing against ten men for much of the second half, Harewood mysteriously prevented going in on goal when Lehmann came out of his area and handled the ball, and minutes later, Sol Campbell handled the ball inside the area but nothing was given, save a yellow card for Sheringham for questioning the (lack of a) penalty.", "few would argue that it is West Ham who carried the day, and who will take great heart from their performance, as well as the point which lifted them up to third in the table - heady days, indeed..." from the OTT website.


01st Sunderland (a). 1-1. (benayoun). LP:6th.

"Benayoun magic dents Sunderland resolve", "Only a late equaliser against the run of play denied Sunderland the win they deserved", "Sunderland gave West Ham quite a pummelling early in the second half", "All of which made more galling West Ham's equaliser. In a combination of bad luck and uncertainty at the centre of Sunderland's defence Harewoods flick on came off Miller, Caldwell failed to intercept and the ball broke to Benayoun. The midfielder delayed long enough to draw the goalkeeper, before finding the bottom corner with a finish of no little composure". from The Sunday Times.

16th Man. City (a). 1-2. (zamora). LP:9th

"The home side dominated proceedings and the Hammers were fortunate to only be a goal down at the break", "Andrew Cole grabbed his second to double the lead", "The home fans took great delight in taunting both Sheringham and Carroll, neither of whom will look back on their performances as anything resembling their best, the former was subbed to the obvious glee of the City fans with the points already in the bag. His replacement, Bobby Zamora, managed a late consolation goal, finishing off a superb pass by Benayoun. from the OTT website.

22nd Middlesbrough (h). 2-1. (sheringham, og).

"The Hammers came out after the break with a renewed sense of purpose, probing and searching for a way through a well drilled and effective Boro defence", "It took a substitution whose timing and impact proved spot on to break the visitors' resistance, Sheringham's arrival meant a different set of circumstances for them to deal with, though they'd hardly had time to catch their breath between him stepping onto the pitch and getting on the end of Konchesky's cross. If that moment caught them by surprise, it was nothing compared to the shock that the second goal - or the decision to give it - caused, since Schwarzer, along with almost everybody else in the stadium, thought he'd managed to prevent a deflected Konchesky cross from going over the goal line. A linesman thought otherwise, and the Hammers were two up", "Boro, like the Hammers last week at Manchester City, took advantage of a home side coasting to victory and scored a late consolation goal". from the OTT website.

26th Bolton (a). Carling Cup 3rd Rd. 0-1.

"Alan Pardew made six changes to the side which beat Middlesbrough at the weekend, with Colve Clarke making his debut", "at least Paul Konchesky - playing a wide midfield role - did put the ball in the net for the Hammers, though he'd been flagged offside before he hit it", "Defeat and elimination from the Carling Cup, as unwelcome as it was, is hardly cause for concern, and - if he is looking for positives - at least Pardew can take some comfort from the performances of Collins, Ward and Clarke". from the OTT website.

29th Liverpool (a). 0-2. LP:9th.

"West Ham, employed a plethora of tactical permutations but failed to create even a half-chance", "West Ham never threatened to end their 42 years of hurt", "Alonso continued to dominate the centre of midfield despite Reo-Coker's ever-growing influence in the contest's most titanic struggle. Alonso won this one, but the West Ham young captain's time will come", "For West Ham, potentially ominous disappointment that their early season zest seems to have evaporated". from The Sunday Times.


05th West Brom (h). 1-0. (sheringham). LP:8th.

"It was a bright and lively game in which numerous chances were made and missed, goalkeepers were defiant and the solitary goal was calmly and expertly scored by the ageless Teddy Sheringham, a wily old fox", "West Ham were at their most lively and threatening in the first half graced by the qualities of Yossi Benayoun. The slim Isreali right-flanker looks a proper addition to the West Ham academy of arts and sciences", "The winner came in the 57th minute. Tomas Repka's free kick from the right was headed back accross goal by substitute Christian Dailly and Sheringham shot home". from The Sunday Times.

19th Tottenham (a). 1-1. (ferdinand). LP:8th.

"Mido's lob over a too far off his line Hislop to put the home side in front certainly owed something to the less than full concentration being paid by the Hammers' defence, with an unusually casual Anton Ferdinand the player caught out as the Spurs' striker struck", "It looked like a lost cause as the match entered whatever time that the referee had decided to add on to the two minutes of time added on to the ninety minutes, and that Spurs' jammy first half goal would see them take all three points at White Hart Lane", "with Shaka Hislop as far off his line as he could possibly have been, sent forward on manager Alan Pardew's instructions to make a nuisance of himself in the Spurs' penalty area. He did it well enough for a space to open up at the far post for Ferdinand to head home a well deserved equaliser, sending the visiting fans into the stratospheres of joy" from the OTT website.

26th Man. United (h). 1-2. (harewood). LP:9th.

"United's defence were caught flat footed in the very first attack of a match which was preceeded by an excellently observed minute's applause in memory of George Best, and perhaps it was that which caused them to start the match with less than 100% concentration. Harewood escaped the attentions of Silvestre and had yards of open space to meet Etherington's low ball to beat Van de Saar at his near post", "Sadly for the Hammers, it was downhill all the way from then on, and only a clutch of fine saves by Carroll prevented the lead being overturned before the break", "with Rooney virtually running the show on his own as West Ham chased shadows", "inevitably it was Rooney who equalised, John O'Shea headed the goal which brought the victory, though the one goal margin does scant justice to the dominance the winners had". from the OTT website.


05th Birmingham (a). 2-1. (zamora, harewood). LP:9th.

"Emile Heskey and David Dunn combined for the former to beat Roy Carroll", "Only a generous bit of refereeing prevented Birmingham gaining a man, as well as a goal, advantage; Tomas Repka was fortunate to receive a yellow rather than a red card for a deliberate handball", "Hammers were denied a Harewood equaliser thanks to a superb save, but did get level with a goal of the highest quality by Zamora, who flicked the ball over a defender's head and ran round him to then shimmy past another, before slamming his shot through the keeper's legs", "Harewood made no mistake this time, collecting Benayoun's pass and smacking an unstoppable shot that had "goal" written all over it from the moment he struck it" from the OTT website.

10th Blackburn Rovers (a). 2-3. (zamora, harewood). LP:9th.

"A controversial penalty got Rovers back on level terms with the Hammers, for whom Bobby Zamora scored in time added on at the end of the first half", "Repka was judged to have handled inside the area and Rovers got an easy way back into the match. They had not got over the incident when Dickov scored a second, though Harewood soon restored parity with his second in two games", "the home side were able to edge their noses in front once again, as discipline seemed to break down amongst the aggrieved visitors" from the OTT website.

14th Everton (a). 2-1. (og, zamora). LP:7th.

"For the second time in three games, all of them away, West Ham came back from a goal down to claim victory", "Pardew opted to bring James Collins and Carl Fletcher in for the injured Gabbidon and rested Noble, the former turned in a tremendous performance in the heart of a resolute defence alongside the just as impressive and increasingly assured looking Anton Ferdinand", "Beattie got the Toffees off to a good start, Rather than spurring them on, however, it was the Hammers whose play seemed to be lifted by the goal, though luck certainly played a big part in getting them level. Tomas Repka might like to lay claim to the goal, considering he's never scored, but his cross was deflected in by David Weir", "West Ham were bright and played with a confident air, so when Zamora tapped in his third goal in three games, the points - providing the defence held together - were as good as in the bag", "Six points from West Ham's tricky run of three away matches is a magnificent achievement, that it has been without the experience of Teddy Sheringham is reassuring, and confidence amongst the squad - especially three goal Zamora - must be sky high, rightly and justifiably so..." from the OTT website

17th Newcastle United (h). 2-4. (og, harewood). LP:9th.

"West Ham might easily have won this game. They were the better side and, for long periods, by some distance. There were two reasons why they lost: Owen and Shearer. Owen scored three, and Shearer the other". " The game turned on the hour, when West Ham were trailing 2-1 but dominating and seemingly closing in on an equaliser. Mullins crashed the ball off the foot of the post, and then when a ricochet dropped near Collins he played a perfectly controlled volley that comfortably beat Given only to see it cleared off the line by Shearer. Play then moved to the other end. Owen played a perfect ball to Shearer who shot into the corner of the net, and that was it for West Ham 3-1 down!", "Even in defeat West Ham were a joy to watch", "Harewood pulled one back from the penalty spot", "Newcastle's fourth came when West Ham's two centre-backs were both at the other end of the pitch, trying to draw the game 3-3." from The Sunday Times.

26th Portsmouth (a). 1-1. (collins).

"A pantomime performance by an injury sodden West Ham side, turned out - as most good Xmas tales do - all right in the end", "They emerged for the second half with a renewed sense of purpose", "Perhaps Portsmouth were lulled into a false sense of security by the visitors' poor first half display, because they had few answers to the Hammers' turnaround, and were left hanging on desperately by the end, having had their lead pegged back by James Collins, seen Harewood hit the post, been thoroughly outplayed, and been reduced to ten men after Laurent Robert was sent off" from the OTT website.

28th Wigan (h). 0-2.

"A freezing night at Upton Park saw the Hammers caught cold twice just before the break", "Injuries have dealt Alan Pardew's side a big blow, and with almost half of what had become the bedrock of the Hammers' steady progress this season out", "the threat to the visitors' goal non-existant. They however, tested Roy Carroll several times before Jason Roberts took advantage of sloppy defending to lob him. That should have led to the Hammers' defence keeping their wits about them sufficiently to reach half-time without further mishap, but they could not, and Camara maintained his recent form to put Wigan two-up" from the OTT website.

31st Charlton (a). 0-2.

"A brisk start was followed by seventy-five minutes of more of the same bloody rubbish which characterised the home defeat by Wigan", "The Hammers were murdered down both wings", "what on Earth makes Pardew believe Dailly is any better suited to the job all this time later ? God only knows what Chelsea will do if he is still there in the next game!" from the OTT website.


02nd Chelsea (h). 1-3. (harewood). LP:10th.

"West Ham were in no mood to be steam rollered by the Chelsea juggernaut, and set about their opponents with sufficient gusto to ensure Essien left the pitch with ten minutes gone", "West Ham will argue long and hard that Chelsea's first half goal should not have been allowed, as Duff was yards offside", "Chelsea won a throw-in and Benayoun's misguided clearing header fell kindly for Lampard to lash it past Carroll. It was a lead they held onto until just after the break, when their defence failed to prevent Etherington getting the ball through to Harewood. His effort rebounded off the crossbar, but he was on the spot to put it over the line", "It got the already partisan Upton Park crowd going, but Mourinho responded with two substitutions, one of which paid off almost immedaitely, and Chelsea's lead was restored. Pardew did likewise, but with the Hammers chasing the game, gaps appeared at the back, and the visitors scored again to seal victory" from the OTT website.

07th Norwich City (a). FA Cup 3rd Rd. 2-1. (mullins, zamora).

Alan Pardew brought Bobby Zamora back into the team, and the decision was to pay off, as the striker notched up his seventh goal of the campaign, and set up Hayden Mullins for his well taken opener in the first half. The lacklustre Canaries, struggled to get going, and were behind as early as the sixth minute, when midfielder Mullins curling shot beat Robert Green. The keeper was at fault for Zamora's goal, making a complete mess of Etherington's cross-cum-shot to hand the Hammers their second on a plate" from the OTT website.

14th Aston Villa (a). 2-1. (zamora, harewood-pen).

"West Ham came from behind to secure a terrific victory at Villa Park", "Etherington missed an opportunity to put the Hammers in front early on", "Hendrie diverted a cross past a stranded Roy Carroll in the Hammers' goal", "Alan Pardew obviously picked the words for his half-time team talk wisely, as the Hammers struck back quickly through Bobby Zamora, who nodded Paul Konchesky's free-kick in for the equaliser. The goal which proved to be the winner came about when the referee judged Hayden Mullins' shot had been handled in the area, giving Marlon Harewood the chance to add to the hat-trick he scored against Villa at Upton Park, one he took with aplomb", "This was a much needed win for the Hammers, and was it any coincidence that it came with Danny Gabbidon back in the team?" from the OTT website.

23rd Fulham (h). 2-1. (ferdinand, benayoun). LP:9th.

"Two teams determined to play football and go all out for a win put on a thrilling Premiership match at Upton Park, producing a game which highlighted the best traditions of both West Ham and Fulham", "Ferdinand collected what had been a poor corner by Etherington with his back to Fulham's goal, but swivelled and hit a volley as sweetly as he is ever likely to do in his entire career. So good was it that Upton Park was temporarily silenced, as if in disbelief at what they had just seen, and almost all stared still in a state of near disbelief as the goal was confirmed as not a collective hallucination by replays on the Jumboscreen", "Yossi Benayoun's goal, some ten minutes later, was only marginally less spectacular, if only because it is what one can reasonably expect from a player of his quality, but in it's precision and accuracy and effectiveness, no less important. If anything it was more important, giving as it did, a bit of breating space", "Fulham had not been without their own chances, and in purely footballing terms, were probably the better side", "Hammers then gritted their collective teeth and displayed a tenacity which many of their predecessors have lacked, holding out to end a miserable run of four consecutive defeats at Upton Park and complete a second consecutive "double" in the Premiership". from the OTT website.

28th Blackburn (h). FA Cup 4th Rd. 4-2. (sheringham (p), etherington, og, zamora).

"The lights went out on Blackburn Rovers' F.A. Cup dreams as the Hammers' stadium plunged into the semi-darkness of the cold afternoon when the Bobby Moore Stand floodlights failed during the second half of a rivetting goal laden match exhibiting the finest traditions of game's oldest knockout competition", "It had all begun so well for the visitors too, scoring the quickest goal in this season's F.A. Cup after just twenty-eight seconds", "the Hammers equalised from the spot through Teddy Sheringham, back in the side at Harewood's expense, and surged forward with such purpose that they went in at half-time a goal up thanks to Matty Etherington, put through by Zamora", "In a pulsating second half, an own goal - ending a terrific build up which merited one, put West Ham three-one up, Rovers hit back, but Bobby Zamora - latching onto a Marlon Harewood shot the Rovers' keeper could not hold - sealed victory" from the OTT website.


01st Arsenal (a). 3-2. (reo-coker, zamora, etherington). LP:9th.

"Not even the most optimistic of us could have foreseen Nigel Reo-Coker and Bobby Zamora putting us into a two-nil lead half an hour in though, and the amazement and bewilderment was not restricted to the dumbfounded Gooners, heads were scratched and eyes rubbed in disbelief amongst the visiting fans too; such was Campbell's distress at being shrugged aside as the two Hammers' goalscorers bundled past him to score, that he asked to be excused and allowed to go home, at half-time", "Robert Pires eventually pulled one back as Arsenal pushed forward with increasing menace as the first half ended. They continued in the same manner after the break, looking as though the equaliser would come, and perhaps it was that which proved their undoing at the back. Etherington sneaked in a third for the Hammers, but although Pires did grab a second for Arsenal, that goal erffectvely took the wind out of their sails" from the OTT website.

04th Sunderland (h). 2-0. (aston, konchesky).

"Although the opposition had a player sent off barely half an hour in, the goals took some time to arrive, but perhaps the fact that Alan Pardew has imparted a sense of patience into this Hammers' squad and that it paid off, shows the positive strides that both and they have made. I so doing, they earned themselves a sixth consecutive victory with two late goals", "There were only ten minutes remaining when Harewood sent a shot across goal that the keeper could only parry, and the ball fell to Dean Ashton, who could not miss, and duly marked his Upton Park debut with a goal. Paul Konchesky thumped in the second" from the OTT website.

13th Birmingham (h). 3-0. (harewood 2 (1xp), aston). LP:6th.

"On a night when tribute was paid to Ron Greenwood, the man who laid the foundations for the West Ham Academy, the former manager will have appreciated and approved of a performance which was full of the kind of attacking verve", "Dean Ashton bagged his second goal, scoring the Hammers' third after Marlon Harewood's brace put them two up, and coming quickly on the heels of the latter of the reinstated striker's pair, put and end to any hopes that Birmingham had of getting anything out of a game which, for an hour, they had contributed their fair share to" from the OTT website.

18th Bolton (h). FA Cup 5th Rd. 0-0.

"The match delivered little save an intriguing tactical tussle and a result neither team wanted", "the presence of a numerous, vociferous travelling support", "Gardener's firm challenge forced Aston to head wide", "Bolton held the upper hand after the break", "Etherington and Konchesky began to combine in a menacing fashion and Bolton became increasingly rankled with the visitor's off-side trap", "It was never pretty, but it was increasingly absorbing", "Aston should have broken the dead-lock after 67 minutes when he was left unguarded at the far post to meet Etheringtons cross", "During the closing 10 minutes both teams hurled themselves against each other with commendable enthusiasm", "As the teams trudged off, the travelling East End fans were singing the loudest". from The Sunday Times.

MARCH 2006

04th Everton (h). 2-2. (ashton, harewood).

"West Ham will be disappointed not to have notched up a sixth straight Premiership victory, having twice led at home to Everton, but ending up with a two-all draw, and perhaps relieved to have done so", "It was very much a game of two halves, with the Hammers surviving an early score to go in front when Harewood scored from Benatyoun's pass. They looked like they were getting in the groove, but were rocked when Osman equalised, only to find it once again, when Ashton muscled his way in on goal to restore the lead. There should have been more, and if the Hammers had put away at least one of the handful of chances they created before the break, it would surely have put the result beyond doubt", "Everton's luck took a turn for the better as the second half failed to live up to the first, Hibbert was VERY lucky not to get a second yellow card for what must have been his sixth or seventh foul on Etherington, and Beattie lobbed Hislop to get them level", "West Ham were thankful that Gabbidon kept his concentration till the end, clearing off the goal line to ensure that at least they got a point. from the OTT website.

11th Bolton (a). 1-4. (sheringham). LP:9th.

"The damage was done in a first half which Bolton dominated, mostly thanks to some truly awful defending and a team line-up that did not seem to make sense", "Elliott Ward took over the central defensive slot alongside Gabbidon, and his Premiership debut was one to forget, lasting forty-five minutes and ending with West Ham conceding the third of the half's three goals. Sheringham pulled one back, but Pederson hammered home a fourth". from the OTT website.

15th Bolton (h). FA Cup 5th Rd. Replay. 2-1 a.e.t. (og, harewood

"The Hammers had to withstand a lot of Bolton pressure, and be strong at the back, as the visitors took the game to them and tested their resolve. There was a touch of good fortune about the goal which put them in front, but only the last one before the ball hit the net, since it originated with an excellent cross field pass to put Harewood clear down the right, and a good cross was met with a defender's boot and the ball went in off the keeper", "An equaliser always looked likely, Bolton passed the ball better and were better at breaking up the Hammers' moves, finally making their possession tell shortly before the break; a well struck shot swerved wickedly to beat Hislop. The visitors continued to dominate, but a defence superbly led by Gabbidon kept them at bay, whilst Benayoun dithered too long with the Hammers' best chance to win the tie in normal time", "Perhaps it was down to his not having played in the four-one defeat that meant Harewood still had sufficient energy to get ahead of his marker in extra-time and poke his shot past Jasskaleinen, the goal seemed to give the whole team the lift they needed to hold out for victory". from the OTT website.


18th Portsmouth (h). 2-4. (sheringham, benayoun). LP:10th

"A much changed West Ham side were on the wrong end of a second successive Premiership defeat", "those who did start conceded so much in the first half that there was never any doubt about who'd take the points by the end of it", "As at Bolton last week, three goals conceded in a shambolic first half meant the points were thrown away by the break, and though, as then, there was something of a second half rally, with the frame of the goal being struck twice as well as two goals lending the final result a bit of respectability". from the OTT website.

20th Manchester City (a). FA Cup Quarter Final. 2-1. (aston x2).

"For the vast majority of the first half, it was telling that neither side created any real chances, and that there was very little width for either to do so, but close to half-time, Dean Ashton showed a sharp turn of mind and foot to fire a precision shot off the post and past James", "City's hopes were further reduced when Sun Jai was sent off for a touchline tussle with Etherington, but they pushed forward in search of an equaliser and saw Collins head one goal bound effort off the line", "Spaces began to open up on City's wide pitch and Ashton swept in to meet a ball played in to sidefoot his and the Hammers' second", "It was just as well, because with nothing really to lose, Stuart Pearce, as well as the ever passionate City fans, urged a last few minutes of effort from their team, and got it, with their increasingly frantic efforts to score, and the Hammers' equally as frantic efforts not to concede, producing a goal which, while it proved to be a mere consolation, set up a nail biting finale that only the likes of the F.A. Cup can". from the OTT website.

25th Wigan (a). 2-1. (harewood, reo-coker). LP:9th.

"Pardew's Hammers got back to winning ways in the Premiership, but they had to wait until very, very late before nailing the points.", "For the 7th time this season, they turned a deficit into a positive", "There was not much between the two teams in the first half, and it seemed to be ending goal less, but McCulloch drilled a well struck shot past Hislop just before the break", "the Hammers stepped up a gear or two and Harewood's equaliser was just reward, even if it arrived perhaps a little earlier than their endeavours warranted", "West Ham's quality finally told; Sheringham's pass into the six yard box found Nigel Reo-Coker, and the skipper poked home". from the OTT website.

29th Man. United (a). 0-1.

"If faint hearts, as the saying goes, never won fair maiden, the same can be said of winning three points at Old Trafford, something rarely as clear as it was for West Ham on tihs occasion", "True, Manchester United twice struck the frame, and were far and away the better side, but when a single goal is all you have to show for your dominance, one slip, or a shrewd tactical switch by the oppositon manager, can prove fatal. The former did not come to the Hammers' aid with time running down, and sadly, it was too late for the latter by the time Pardew threw Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora on to supplement Marlon Harewood; goal scoring would also have been easier and a more reasonable prospect had Dean Ashton not been one of the players to make way", "Dull and uninspired are suitable adjectives for both Pardew and the lacklustre Hammers as they succumbed to Van Nistelroy's goal on his return to first team action, arriving as so many others have this season, with the kettle on in preparation for the half-time cuppas..." from the OTT website.

APRIL 2006

02nd Charlton (h). 0-0.

"Harewood's early deflected effort, which span just a foot or so wide of the post, was as close as the Hammers came in what was a first half as patchy and inconsistent as the East London weather", "Pardew's substitutions - notably Sheringham - undoubtedly tipped the scales in the Hammers' favour, but for all the pretty approach play and intricate passing, end product was non-existant. Sheringham was only denied celebrating his 40th in style by a fantastic reflex save late on" from the OTT website.

08th Chelsea (a). 1-4. (collins).

"So easy for Chelsea that, even as a Hammers' fan, it was hard to take, hard to see how West Ham went from being a goal, and man, up, to losing in near embarrassing fashion by four goals to one", "The feeling was somewhat different half an hour in, when Maniche was dismissed shortly after James Collins' goal had stunned Chelsea by giving the Hammers the lead. They responded by switching to what appeared to be turbo charged mode, with Drogba and Crespo both scoring within a couple of minutes to turn the game on it's head", "For some reason, the Hammers wilted under the pressure, failing to stick to the principle that you make the other team work hard to even get the ball, never mind score, when they are a man down, but so bad did they get that it would probably not have mattered one iota if Chelsea had only had eight players on the pitch, the result would have been the same; to illustrate the point, their second half goals were both scored by defenders." from the OTT website.

15th Man. City (h). 1-0. (newton).

"A few interesting changes made by Pardew to his team, with Hislop, Harewood and Etherington rested, and Ferdinand given more to recover and prepare for the semi-final, giving Jimmy Walker his Premiership debut, and chances for Shaun Newton and Bobby Zamora to impress", "The Hammers got off to a scrappy start, conceding early free-kicks with the kind of reckless abandon which better sides would probably have punished; fortunately, the visitors' arrived on the back of five straight losses, and the lack of confidence showed", "Shaun Newton, set up by Zamora on the edge of the City penalty area, put a sweetly struck shot past James with quarter of an hour gone", "Former Hammer, Trevor Sinclair, showing the sort of form which won him a late place in the last England World Cup squad, was unlucky to have seen Micah Hyde "assist" his first half goal bound lob into the Hammers' net from an offside position, whipped in a shot which Walker did well to tip round the post. He also made his presence felt at the other end, clearing a succession of Benayoun corners, before causing problems for the Hammers' defence with some decent crosses" from the OTT website.

17th Middlesbrough (a). 0-2.

"Both managers opted to start with three strikers, and although it was the Hammers who made the early running, with Harewood going close, it was Boro's who made it count, as Viduka and Hasselbaink combined for the latter to finally beat Shaka Hislop, who'd previously denied both of them with excellent saves, five minutes before the break", "If luck was with the Hammers against Manchester City, it had certainly deserted them at the Riverside, clearly illustrated when the lead was doubled after a dubious penalty decision went against Scaloni for a tackle on Johnson, Maccarone squeezing the spot kick between Hislop's outstretched arm and the post, and when Johnson appeared to handle in his own area and get away with it. Luck, however, had nothing to do with Teddy Sheringham's uncharacteristic miss from six yards out, or Dean Ashton ballooning the ball over the bar from three yards" from the OTT website.

23rd Middlesbrough (Villa Park). FA Cup Semi Final. 1-0. (harewood).

"After a first half in which they were unable to impose themselves on Midllesbrough, West Ham began to look a bit tired as their opponents picked up, but Marlon Harewood struck with quarter of an hour remaining and put them on the road to the F.A. Cup Final", "It was always going to be an emotional day for the Hammers whatever happened, as the man who led them to that Final, John Lyall, was honoured before the game following his death last week; the silence around Villa Park was quickly punctuated by a loud and respectful chorus of, "Johnny Lyall's Claret and Blue Army.", from their fans. Perhaps the pressure of the situation got to some of the players, because they could not get to grips with an undoubtedtly tired Middlesbrough side, and at times they laboured and were very much second best", "The longer that went on the more it helped Boro, and as the second half progressed they began to look the more likely to break the deadlock, but, at just the time the Hammers needed to lift themselves, Marlon Harewood smashed home", "Quite how that lead was maintained is a bit of a mystery, maybe John Lyall's spirit put the wobbles on Boro as they pressed forward and missed a few easy chances". from the OTT website.

22nd Liverpool (h). 1-2. (reo-coker).

"The outcome of this Premiership match at Upton Park was decided more on the depth and quality of the visitors' squad than anything else, with both teams containing several of their second stringers", "Cisse's performance should be enough to have won him a place in the starting eleven for the Cup Final, he caused problems for a Hammers' defence missing the authority and strength of Danny Gabbidon all night. He gave Ferdinand a torrid time, beating him too easily too often for comfort, and the same can be said about Walker, who was beaten at his near post for the first, and nutmegged for the second", "The goals were punctuated by the Hammers' best football of the match, and it from their best move that what was at the time, the equaliser, came. A flowing move down the pitch ended with Zamora unselfishly - perhaps a little too unselfishly for a striker - squaring for Reo-Coker, who could not miss", "There were less than ten minutes left when Mullins and substitute Garcia tangled for the ball, the latter swung an elbow which the former reacted to with a shove that was nowhere near as powerful as to leave Garcia hitting the deck clutching his face like he did, but the referee felt he had no option but to send the pair off. That means missing out on playing in the Cup Final" from the OTT website.

29th West Brom (a). 1-0. (reo-coker).

"Welcome as the three points are, they must have mattered very little to West Ham manager, Alan Pardew, if the cost of them is - as is possible - F.A. Cup Final appearances for Matty Etherington and Dean Ashton. Ashton limped off midway through the first half with what seemed to be a pulled hamstring, whilst Etherington failed to start at all, after picking up an injury during the pre-match warm-up, necessitating a sooner than anticipated first team debut for Kyle Reid", "However, there are still players capable of winning games within the Hammers' ranks, and though West Brom are no Liverpool, skipper Nigel Reo-Coker has proved adept at scoring against both" from the OTT website.

MAY 2006

07th Tottenham (h). 2-1. (fletcher, benayoun). LP:9th.

"A winning end to a fantastic Premiership season for the Hammers, cementing a top ten finish with a two-one victory at home to Spurs, and to cap it all, a result which denied them fourth spot, and with it, the Champions' League place that had been within their grasp for so long...", "The Hammers made all the early running, but Spurs' disarray was only capitalised on by a well struck shot from distance by Carl Fletcher, and the visitors equalised - very much against the run of play - when Jermain Defoe silenced the boos which had greeted his every touch with a sharp finish", "Spurs' need to chase the game in order to win the points, meant they had to make the running, something that was sure to leave gaps at the back, if only they could be exposed and exploited. Zamora was too quick in his turning in the area for his marker, winning a penalty that offered the Hammers' other former Spurs' striker, Teddy Sheringham, a great opportunity to put a spanner in the works for their Champions' League ambitions. The lack of determination about the spot kick perhaps said enough?", "The strain of the morning's food poisoning on so many players can not have helped Spurs' cause, but seeing Yossi Benayoun firing a second past Robinson, hearing that Thierry Henry had scored a hat-trick to haul Arsenal back from being two-one down to winning four-two, and being unable to rouse themselves to a grand stand finish must have left them feeling REALLY sick..." from the OTT website.


13th Liverpool (Cardiff). FA Cup Final. 3-3 aet. lost 3-1 on penalties. (OG, aston, konchesky).

No matter the outcome of this F.A. Cup Final, at least not for the purists who have been waiting so long for one to restore some of the Old Magic of this competition, as West Ham and Liverpool threw up enough excitement and thrilling, attack minded football to sate the most jaded palette. Penalties were a cruel way to end such a fantastic spectacle, with most of the players running themselves into the ground during their pursuit of the trophy and glory which go with it. If Alan Pardew was thankful that striker, Dean Ashton, was passed fit to start the F.A. Cup Final against Liverpool, that joy was magnified a thousand fold some twenty minutes in, when he captialised on a poor pass out from the back to force Jamie Carragher to put the ball into his own net, to put the Hammers in front. That level of joy was not to last long, because Ashton doubled the lead five minutes later, bundling the ball over the line after the other Hammer about whom there were doubts, Matty Etherington, pinged in a cross which Reina spilled and his cohorts failed to deal with. However, Liverpool did not get where they are by giving up hope, and the experience of coming back from being three-nil down in last season's Champions' League Final must have kept their belief going. The jitters hit the Hammers almost immediately, Liverpool had one disallowed before Cisse added to the decisive brace he scored in the Premiership at Upton Park with another.

By half-time- with West Ham leading two-one - everyone knew they were witnessing an epic encounter, a feeling which only grew as the second half progressed, with Liverpool pressing as hard as they knew how, and West Ham not only repelling them, but forcing them onto the back foot. Etherington was in such an irrepressible mood that it made you wonder how he has been left out of the England World Cup squad, something that can not be said of the even more inspirational Liverpool captain, Steve Gerrard, who beat Hislop all ends up with a rocket of a shot, and just as his goal in the Champions' League Final galvanised his team mates and propelled them from what seemed to be failure, to instilling belief. There were just four minutes left when Paul Konchesky's shot elicited the same sort of response that produced the Hammers' goals, and all of a sudden, the Cup seemed within reach. Oh, cruel fate, as Gerrard stepped up to the plate once more, driving in an amazing piledriver just as the fourth official signalled four mintes of injury time.... With so much energy and emotion expended, it was little surprise that players from both sides began to feel the fatigue, going down like nine pins as extra-time wore on, and wore them out, and that it went down to the penalties. You know the rest...

The Hammers' excellent season is at an end, no-one can feel sorry for having lost this match, they tried their best and gave it their all. It will be a day to remember, a day when West Ham played with the verve and dash which has made the club famous, the things this club - thanks to Ron Greenwood and John Lyall - has been built on. Those two men will have been proud of West Ham today, they made us fans feel proud, and that is exactly how the players and Alan Pardew should feel. from the OTT website.



16 x Marlon Harewood. (2 x pen, FA.Cup x2).
10 x Bobby Zamora. (C.Cup x2).
7 x Teddy Sheringham. (2 x pen).
6 x Dean Aston. (FA.Cup x3).
5 x Yossi Benayoun.
5 x Nigel Reo-Coker.
3 x Mathew Etherington. (FA.Cup x1).
2 x James Collins.
2 x Anton Ferdinand.
2 x Paul Konchesky. (FA.Cup x1).
1 x David Bullion. (C.Cup x1).
1 x Carl Fletcher.
1 x Christian Dailly. (C.Cup x1).
1 x Hayden Mullins. (FA.Cup x1).
1 x Shawn Newton.
6 x Own Goal.


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