29.11.2014… West Ham (a)…

West Ham United 1 Newcastle United 0

Upton Park… Saturday November 29th… 3pm

Attendance: 34,977

Ticket: £43 – Programme: £3.50

My first trip to Upton Park since late 1997, when an overweight John Barnes had settled things in our favour…

More problems with public transport… 10.43 from Nuneaton, due into London at 12.50, arrived in London at 14.05. Twenty minute queues for a tube ticket followed, then a ten minute wait for a connection at Moorgate and a stop-start journey to Upton Park. End result, didn’t get to my seat until twenty past three…

Ground wise, Upton Park appears to have lost some of its magic following various redevelopments in the 17 years since my last visit but that could just be my selective memory playing tricks. Having said that, anything has to be better than the location to which they’re moving to next; soulless, corporate and dull, another example of a club selling its history for short term gain…

west ham v newcastle...

First Half: The View That £43 Gets For You at Upton Park…

The game itself was awful. Nothing happened in the twenty five minutes of the first half that I did manage to see, and nothing much happened in the second half either. West Ham took the lead when a sliced Cheikhou Kouyate shot fell into the path of an unmarked Aaron Cresswell who buried it from close range whilst Rob Elliot sat on his arse. West Ham never really looked like extending their lead after that and we never gave the impression that we were likely to equalise, either with ten men or eleven. The Sissoko sending off pretty much summed up our entire afternoon, absolutely pointless…

The game petered out, the final whistle blew, and on leaving the ground I discovered that at least one thing hasn’t changed; that being the one hour wait for a tube at Upton Park Station, in the same winding queue behind the fence, with the same pushing in…

west ham v newcastle...

Second Half: Newcastle Prepare to Take a Free Kick…

Positives though, find the positives; definitely not my worst travelling experience at Upton Park, in reverse order…

Second place… A cup tie lock-out against Sunderland in 1992... I was studying down in London at the time and took the opportunity to go and shout for anyone who was playing against the mackems. Didn’t get in, and Sunderland won…

First place… The game that didn’t happen in 1997... Travelled down from Newcastle on the coach for a midweek game; heavy rain all day. Gained entry to the ground, waterlogged pitch (fancy that), postponed prior to kick-off. By the time the coaches left London it was almost the same time that it would have been if the game had been played. Being a glutton for punishment I went back for the rearranged fixture (a cracking 0-0), hence the torn ticket (they didn’t issue new ones, just ripped the existing ones)…

Having said all of the above, it’s days like today and the ones recollected above that make you appreciate the results at Spurs and West Brom. Enthusiasm dampened but not diminished, travelling north next weekend for Chelsea at SJP…

West Ham United; Adrián, Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble (YC), Kouyaté (Nolan 85), Amalfitano (YC), Downing, Jarvis (Zárate 70 (YC)), Carroll

Not Used; Vaz Te, O’Brien, Demel, Jääskeläinen, Cole

Goals; Cresswell (56)

Newcastle United; Elliot, Janmaat (Taylor, S 74), Williamson (YC), Dummett, Haidara, Tioté (Cissé 63), Colback (YC), Gouffran (Cabella 63), Sissoko (RC), Ameobi, Pérez

Not Used; Anita, Riviere, Alnwick, Armstrong

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

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