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Wednesday, 30th January 2002

Southampton 2
West Ham United 0

by Graeme Howlett

Wednesday 30th January, saw West Ham make the journey down the M3 to the St Mary’s stadium, home of Southampton Football Club. This was the first time that the Hammers had played at this new modern stadium, and all were looking forward to an entertaining game.

West Ham, looking for only their third victory on the road this season, travelled down to the South Coast hoping to erase the memory of their previous away league defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Unfortunately, victory was not to be ours in a game where we made a very poor Southampton side look good.

The first half saw both sides, misplacing passes and tackles in what was a pretty scrappy affair. West Ham lined up with their normal 4-4-2 formation with Slovakian International defender Vladimir Labant make his full debut for the club at Left Back, leaving Nigel Winterburn with a place on the bench. Steve Lomas was also brought back into the side to add steal to the midfield.

Chances were very limited in the first half, seeing the little opportunities. The two most notable chances fell to Joe Cole, who managed slipped thorough the Southampton back line only to fire his shot against goalkeeper Paul Jones and Frederic Kanoute who put a header over the crossbar when put between goalkeeper and defender.

Don Hutchison also had a chance to put the hammers in front, but his 25 yard effort was beaten away by the Saints keeper.

David James was rarely troubled throughout the first half, and the game looked destined to be a nil-nil draw, that was up until the 43rd minute when Southampton were awarded a free kick on the right hand side of the West Ham penalty area. Former West Ham target Fabrice Fernandes, whipped the ball across the West Ham 6 yard box , where David James only manage to push the ball on to the incoming Kevin Davies who bundled the ball into the net off his body. Poor defending, looked again to be at blame for conceding another soft goal away from home, where the initial cross was not cleared.

Half Time – Southampton 1-0 West Ham

The second half began, and if a rollocking from Glenn Roeder was not enough, West Ham players should have at least turned it on for the fans, who contributed with echoes of ‘Glenn Roeder’s Claret and Blue Army’ for the best part of twenty minutes.

West Ham had replaced the injured Michael Carrick at half time with John Moncur, but this made little difference to what was already turning into a very disappointing trip. Joe Cole saw an effort go wide and Hutchison had another long distance shot easily saved once again. Hutchison was then replace by Jermaine Defoe, once again to his disappointment, but not to the fans who are rapidly losing patience with the Ex-Sunderland man.

Defoe though, could do nothing about Southampton’s second goal, which no keeper in the world would be able to keep out. Dead Ball specialist Fernandes, struck again, this time putting the ball into the top corner of the net. Much to the delight of the home fans and his team mates.

As for any further chances, they were hard to come by for both side, even though West Ham had three in attack. Kanoute and Di Canio showed little to justify their places in the side, while Defoe, tried hard to get through, but to no avail.

Full Time – Southampton 2-0 West Ham United

So another defeat on the road, leaves West Ham, looming over the relegation zone, losing to a side, that on paper, we are far superior to. Unless, these performances improve, it looks like a long time before we pick up 3 points away from home

Player ratings:

David James (6); Sebastian Schemmel (5); Vladimir Labant (5); Tomas Repka (5); Christian Dailly (5); Don Hutchison (4); Joe Cole (6); Michael Carrick (5); Steve Lomas (5); Paolo Di Canio (4); Frederic Kanoute (5); John Moncur (5); JermainDefoe (6)


KUMB Stats

West Ham United: James, Schemmel, Labant, Repka, Dailly, Lomas, Carrick, Cole, Hutchison, Di Canio, Kanoute

Subs: Moncur, Defoe, Hislop, Winterburn, Garcia

Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Bridge, Lundekvam, Williams, Telfer, Fernandes, Svensson, Oakley, Davies, Pahars

Subs: Tessem (Oakley 80), Le Tissier (Davies 82), Bleidelis (Fernandes 89), Moss, Monk

Goals: Davies (43), Fernandes (53)

Booked: Hutchison (59, foul), Repka (63, dissent), Moncur (89, foul)

Attendance: 31,879

Referee: P.Dowd

Man of the match: Joe Cole

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