And that my friends, is what you call a smash and grab raid…
They say that the mark of a good team is when they can sneak a win, even when they haven’t played that well. I for one had resigned myself to a draw and was thinking that it would represent a decent result, before Aaron Lennon weaved his magic and scored the winning goal.
In the first half we were the better team, but were always in trouble whenever the Hammers punted a big ball through the middle to Carlton Cole. The West Ham defence were well organised and not nearly so charitable to Messers Defoe and Keane, as Hull had proved in midweek.
The second started terribly, as Carlton Cole scored an absolute blinder. Who knows how difficult we might have found getting the equaliser, if Cole himself had not gifted us a goal some five minutes later.
I have to say Carlton that the ball which you played from the halfway line to fin Defoe free in the penalty area, was absolute top drawer and evoked memories of Glenn Hoddle’s ability to find his target with a long distance pass.
Once Defoe had got over the surprise of the ball being at his feet, there was only one outcome. An emphatic finish, to record his fourth goal of the season.
From then on the game really stretched out. Luiz Jiminez looked dangerous and West Ham had several half chances, which caused waves of nausea to pass through me. Then came salvation, as Lennon twisted past his man and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
It wasn’t a vintage performance, but you’ve got to be very pleased at coming back from 1-0 down in a local derby, to claim all the points, whatever the circumstances. On that evidence, I don’t think that there will be many away teams who will be winning at Upton Park this season.
This site is still officially committed to not getting carried away, but can’t quite stop the grin from spreading across it’s face, as it thinks of nine points from three games. Especially when two of those games have been played away from home.