West Ham United 3 Birmingham City 0
Monday, 13th February 2006
by Gordon Thrower
Football fans – we have long memories. We bear grudges. Our relegation happened to coincide with a particularly unpleasant time for me personally so the undisguised glee and crass comments from Steve Bruce at our predicament didn’t go down too well in these parts. Watching Birmingham City struggle is therefore a source of amusement to me. Nothing too heavy – I’m not sure I can be bothered to care that much to be honest, but I’ll certainly dedicate a pint if they fail to avoid the drop.
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Player RatingsShaka Hislop
One fine save. A few for the cameras to relieve the boredom and a lot of retrieving the ball from the good people in row Z. Quiet evening really.
Settling in nicely. Prompted some debate between some of us at KUMB towers last week. My theory that he has a decent line in crosses from the right seems to be winning the argument.
Continues to improve after a few less than impressive performances. Some good combinations with a similarly resurgent Matty.
Awarded the Barclays Player of the Month award which, unlike the corresponding managerial gong, doesn?EUR(TM)t seem to affect the recipient?EUR(TM)s performance.
Remember when Chris Sutton scored goals in a Premiership?EUR"winning side? Gabbidon wouldn?EUR(TM)t have had any problem with him then so the seemingly past-it wearer of Birmingham?EUR(TM)s coveted no.40 shirt was certainly no problem for the Gabster.
A good half despite being treated as a punchbag every time he went up for a header. Might have scored before going off injured during the interval.
Another captain?EUR(TM)s performance in the middle. People are talking about his England prospects ?EUR" prematurely so in my opinion - but time is on his side and his consistency will do him no harm at all.
One of those players for whom a buzz of expectation arises every time he gets the ball. Scares decent opponents with his running. Petrifies poor ones. Like Birmingham.
Another who continues to improve ?EUR" in Matty?EUR(TM)s case he had an indifferent start to the season but little by little he?EUR(TM)s pulled it back.
Goals 11 & 12 of the season, though I wish he?EUR(TM)d take a bit more of a run-up for spot-kicks. Lots of running and Taylor knew he was around every time he had a back pass to cope with.
Two in as many starts and both goals coming from the same spot on the left hand side of the Bobby Moore end penalty box. One smashing pass between defenders to Yossi as well.
(Replaced Mullins, 45) A decent half ?EUR" kept it simple and had one shot that kept Taylor on his toes.
(Replaced Etherington, 78) Suffered in exactly the same way as Zamora from the game ending on the third goal.
(Replaced Ashton, 78) Tried hard to make an impact but suffered from the fact that the game was effectively dead by time he arrived.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Lionel Scaloni, Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Dean Ashton.
Goals: Marlon Harewood 10 Marlon Harewood 62 Dean Ashton 65 .
Booked: None booked. .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Birmingham City: Taylor; Melchiot, Cunningham, Bruce, Gray; Latka, Jarosik, Clemence, Pennant; Sutton, Forssell.
Subs not used: Vaesen, Birley.
Booked: Latka, Bruce.
Sent off: None.
Man of the Match: Danny Gabbidon.