West Ham 2 Millwall 1

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“Best win of my career” - “Big Sam” Allardyce, West Ham manager

Ten-man West Ham moved five four points clear at the top of the Championship table with a narrow derby win over London rivals Millwall at Upton Park.

Winston Reid scored the winner for West Ham

When the teams last met here, in the Carling Cup in 2009, 31 arrests were made after disgraceful crowd scenes. This time the lower tier of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand was closed in case objects were hurled from above, local pubs stayed shut, alcohol was banned inside the ground and a huge security operation was mounted.

The last thing needed on this Saturday afternoon was anything that might inflame the crowd but with nine minutes gone, West Ham’s Kevin Nolan went in with a two-footed tackle on Jack Smith and referee Mick Jones produced a red card for the Hammers’ skipper.

Now the league leaders looked set for a stern test. But West Ham’s reaction to the loss of their captain was admirable, closing down the spaces and dominating possession. And after some pressure from Millwall the home side, inspired by Mark Noble who should be team captain, came into the game, and just before half-time the Hammers took the lead through Carlton Cole’s header – after a Mark Noble free-kick of course.

In the second half Liam Trotter equalised for Millwall with a stunning effort. But West Ham was able to reply immidiately. James Tomkins, playing in a midfield role this afternoon, had a header cleared off the line and in the very next move West Ham were back in front only 3 minutes after Millwall’s equaliser – albeit controversially.

As Millwall keeper David Forde punched out a cross, he was impeded by the onrushing Faubert and as he lay on the ground, Winston Reid put the Hammers back in front with a 20-yard strike into an unguarded net.

People walk through the snow on Westminster Bridge in London. Happy Hammer @sara_mattcardle on Twitter: “Spent the last 4 hours out in the snow. I REGRET NOTHING!!”

Sam Allardyce‘s men held on and were sure to remain top of the league after their early kick-off, which had prevented the game to be affected by the heavy snowfall which hit London later that Saturday, no matter which result Southampton would achieve against Birmingham. That game ended 0-0, and also another result went West Ham’s way this afternoon when Cardiff lost at home to Blackpool.

 “This was one of the best wins of my entire managerial career,” said happy Hammers manager Allardyce. “‘To perform the way we did, with such character and belief in a local derby was outstanding.”

To defeat derby rivals Millwall with ten men could prove a “defining moment” in West Ham’s promotion bid, “Big Sam” said after a game that made every Hammers supporter all but happy and proud.

MATCH FACTS:

West Ham: Green, Faye, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, O’Brien, Noble, Collison (Taylor 46), Faubert (O’Neil 80), Cole (Vaz Te 89), Nolan. Subs not used: Baldock, Maynard.
Booked: Faye.
Sent off: Nolan.
Scorers: Cole 45, Reid 69.

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Dunne, Ward, Barron (Kane 56), Feeney (Mason 81), Trotter, Abdou, Lowry, Henderson, Keogh. Subs not used: Allsop, N’Guessan, Wright.
Booked: Henderson, Lowry, Ward, Forde.
Scorer: Trotter 66.

Referee: Mike Jones.
Attendance: 27,774; Upton Park.

2 Comments:

  1. TBI said...

    It wasn’t pretty but a great result considering we had 10 men for 80mins!!

    Posted February 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink
  2. Sam said...

    superb performance, loved every minute!

    Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

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