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40 years of hurt


Filed: Monday, 9th January 2012
By: Staff Writer


It's 40 years this week since West Ham were sent tumbling out of the FA Cup by Blackpool.

Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves and Brian Dear were all suspended by a furious Ron Greenwood as a result of a pre-match drink-up at Jack London's Blackpool club the night before West Ham were thrashed 4-0 by the Seasiders, bottom of the First Division and on their way to relegation.

Sadly not much has changed in the intervening 40 years since when West Ham have lost no less than TWENTY-FIVE times to lower league opposition in the two domestic Cups - most recently to Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

So join us now as we take a look back at each and every occasion on which the Hammers have been humiliated by lower league opposition in the last forty years, which we kick off with that defeat at Blackpool (who whilst not technically lower league opposition, qualify for inclusion on the loose premise that they started all this)...


1971: Blackpool 4 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Moore, Greaves and Best go out on the piss the night before the game. Young Tony Green takes advantage and scores two in the opening half. West Ham capitulate after the break as Craven and Mowbray add further goals. 'Pool manager Stokoe will win the Cup within three years as manager of Sunderland. Highlights.

1972: Stockport 2 West Ham Utd 1 (FA Cup)

Long before Iain Dowie's infamous 1996 own goal, West Ham were dumped out of the League Cup by fourth division Hatters on an equally memorable (for them, at least) night. Clyde Best's goal restored parity after the home side had taken an early lead through Russell but a penalty on the stroke of half time - conceded by John McDowell - gives Town a famous victory.

1973: Hull City 1 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Minnows Hull are simply too-much for Ron Greenwood's Hammers in a thick Humberside fog. The game's only goal comes on the half-hour mark when a dodgy Bobby Moore back pass lets the home side in (Houghton scoring the winner).

1974: Hereford 2 West Ham Utd 1 (FA Cup)

Hammers fans feared the worst when United fail to beat the league newcomers at the Boleyn (in Bobby Moore's last game for the club). The replay starts well when Clyde Best opens the scoring but West Ham are pegged back two minutes later by Naylor's penalty. With 16 minutes left to play Jones smashed home the winner; Ronnie Radford, scorer of possibly the most famous FA Cup goal of all plays for the home side.

1974: Fulham 2 West Ham Utd 1 (League Cup)

West Ham have the last laugh at the end of the season when they gain revenge against the second division side at Wembley in the other Cup competition. But it's Fulham's night in the League Cup when goals from Mullery and Slough are took much for the Hammers, who had led through Trevor Brooking's first half striker.

1978: West Ham Utd 1 Swindon Town 2 (League Cup)

Third Division Swindon become the first of two lower-league sides to triumph over John Lyall's side this season. Swindon take a shock 2-0 lead before David Cross misses from the penalty spot. Robson's late effort is scant consolation for such an embarrassing reversal.

1979: Newport 2 West Ham Utd 1 (FA Cup)

The Welsh minnows move the fixture to the evening which adds to the atmosphere. Pop Robson's scorcher cancels out Goddard's opener but Mervyn Day's fluff allows Woods to nod home the winner with just nine minutes of time remaining.

1982: Watford 2 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Not the biggest shock on the list given that Watford are flying high at the top of Division Two at the time. But second half goals from Armstrong and Callaghan are enough to condemn Lyall's Hammers - featuring new signing Frankie Van Der Elst - to defeat in this fourth round tie at Vicarage Road.

1987: West Ham Utd 2 Barnsley 5 (Littlewoods Cup)

Another two-legged affair in which West Ham appear to have the advantage having drawn 0-0 at Oakwell in the first leg. But the wheels come off at the Boleyn despite West Ham leading 2-0 at half time. Barsnley take the game to extra time after pulling it back to 2-2 then three goals in eight extra time minutes leave John Lyall's side facing another embarrassing Cup exit.

1990: Torquay 1 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

It's the week before Lou Macari faces gambling accusations and all Hell breaks loose at West Ham. Teenager Paul Hirons comes off the bench to score the only goal of the game for fourth division Torquay in the mud and rain.

1992: West Ham Utd 2 Sunderland 3 (FA Cup)

The hard work appears to have been done as West Ham secure a 1-1 draw at second division Sunderland (Mike Small). But Bonds' team blow the chance of making the quarter finals after going 2-0 down early on in the replay. Having given their all to pull it back to 2-2 (Allen x2) United have little left in the tank and Rush grabs a late winner for the Rokerites.

1992: Crewe Alex 2 West Ham Utd 0 (Coca Cola Cup)

This two-legged affair ends in misery for the Hammers who fail to make the most of home advantage in the first leg. A 0-0 draw at the Boleyn - in which Alex were the better side - is followed by a 2-0 defeat at Gresty Road as Naylor and Lunt score late on.

1993: Barnsley 4 West Ham Utd 1 (FA Cup)

Two down at the break, Billy Bonds' shell-shocked side pull one back from the penalty spot through Ian Bishop. But instead of sparking a revival, West Ham concede two more last on - Craig Rammell completing a hat-trick - and are sent tumbling out of the Cup.

1994: Luton 3 West Ham Utd 2 (FA Cup)

A semi-final against Chelsea awaits the winners but West Ham are undone by second division Town. Martin Allen's opener is wiped out by Scott Oakes who puts Luton 2-1 up two minutes into the second half. Ian Bishop restores parity on the hour mark but Oakes takes advantage of a Steve Potts slip to win the game. Highlights here.

1996: Grimsby Town 3 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Harry Redknapp's side were distinctly second best when they were heavily beaten at Blundell Park thanks to goals from Childs, Woods and Forrester. Grimsby's top goalscorer is missing through injury but they still record their first win over top-flight opposition for the first time in 60 years.

1996: Stockport 2 West Ham Utd 1 (Coca Cola Cup)

Julian Dicks puts West Ham ahead before Iain Dowie scores the own goal of the century with a flying header a minute later. A sense of foreboding grips the travelling faithful before Brett Angel scores what proves to be the winner. Despite having an hour left to play West Ham go close only once when Bishop hits the woodwork.

1997: West Ham Utd 0 Wrexham 1 (FA Cup)

Harry Redknapp's West Ham look clueless in front of goal. The Welsh Division Two side sense blood and Russell's 90th minute winner leaves the hosts no time to respond.

1998: Northampton Town 2 West Ham Utd 0 (Worthington Cup)

A 2-0 defeat in the first leg of this two-legged affair isn't the end of the world for West Ham who have the second leg at the Boleyn to make amends. Despite creating 27 shots at goal the Hammers fail to score until the 90th minute and go out 2-1 on aggregate.

1999: Swansea 1 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Julian Dicks' late equaliser at the Boleyn earns West Ham a replay. The Irons, in the throes of selling John Hartson to Wimbledon look inept up front and Fulham reject Thomas scores the game's only goal on the half hour mark.

2001: Reading 0 West Ham Utd 0 (Reading win 6-5 on penalties) (League Cup)

Most minds are on other things on September 11th 2001. West Ham were 4-3 up in the shootout but Defoe hits the post to give the hosts a lifeline. Scott Minto misses the next spot kick and the home side proceed to the next round when Viveash converts the 12th penalty of the shoootout.

2002: West Ham Utd 0 Oldham 1 (League Cup)

Carlo Corazzin scores the only goal of the game for the second division visitors three minutes ahead of the half time break. Glenn Roeder's West Ham create a host of chances but fail to convert a single one and leave the field to a rousing chorus of boos.

2006: Chesterfield 2 West Ham Utd 1 (Carling Cup)

Alan Pardew was just a month away from the sack when he took his side to League One Chesterfield. In the midst of a dreadful run of form, West Ham went ahead through Marlon Harewood inside five minutes but Colin Larkin equalised shortly after the break. Caleb Folan's 86th minute winner leaves United no time to respond.

2008: Watford 1 West Ham Utd 0 (Carling Cup)

Gianfranco Zola can do little to prevent his under-par side falling to defeat at Championship Watford in only his second game in charge. Hayden Mullins' 70th minute own goal in enough to send West Ham spiralling out of the competition.

2011: West Ham Utd 1 Aldershot Town 2 (Carling Cup)

Despite Junior Stanislas' early goal putting West Ham ahead debutant Callum McNaughton's red card for a professional foul leaves the Hammers a man short. Late goals from Luke Guttridge and Danny Hylton wins the game for the League Two outfit.

2012: Sheffield Wednesday 1 West Ham Utd 0 (FA Cup)

Chris O'Grady's goal three minutes from time is enough to condemn Sam Allardyce's squad to a third round exit at Hillsborough. West Ham had hit the post and missed a penalty (Baldock) before O'Grady scored.


Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.







Your Comments


by Tell it how it is Charlie!
12:14PM 11th Jan 2012
''I remember that Sunderland match in '92, the train "West Ham Special from Euston" coming back from Sunderland got slower and slower eventually breaking down at Newark. Everyone had to walk on the tracks and climb the platform and catch the Inter City. Outside after the game had ended, there was a Sunderland fan trying to goad the West Ham fans, he didnīt realise there was a copper behind his back, it got a good cheer from the West Ham fans! Bloody freezing too, my face was numb, old Roker Park was a bit exposed to say the least!

Barnsley too in '93, it was like a force 9 gale, my car needed oil on the hard shoulder of the M1, I'll never forget putting oil into a car in a near hurricane! The car couldnīt go over 50mph. It burnt just as much oil as did it petrol getting up there and back, those were the days!''

by Hammer Head
05:09PM 10th Jan 2012
''No-one said it's easy to support West Ham but when you look at that long list, I think we all need medals or our heads examined.''

by Phil
02:03PM 10th Jan 2012
''You have missed out the 1-0 loss at Tranmere in the FA Cup. 1998? 1999?''

by BillyDWhizz
04:02PM 9th Jan 2012
''Can't read too much into the defeat against Wednesday, a young team (our oldest player was 25) and players just coming back from injury. Was never expecting us to take a full strength side there. What would the consensus have been had we taken a full strength side there and lost someone like Tomkins to injury for six weeks?

Swings and roundabouts, I know it goes against the grain but the Cups (both of them) were an unwanted distraction and an unnecessary injury risk. Only one target we have to aim at this season and Sam picked his side accordingly.''

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