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A quarter of... League Cup nights

Filed: Wednesday, 18th December 2013
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have been involved in some right old ding-dongs in the League Cup over the years...

Since the competition began in 1960, West Ham have reached the Final twice - against West Brom back in 1966 and Liverpool in 1981 - and the semi finals on no less than eight occasions (or nine, if you include 1999's quarter final win over Aston Villa for which a replay was ordered).

Meanwhile tonight's visit to Tottenham will be the Hammers' 15th quarter final appearance - a fairly impressive achievement given that the competition is only in its 54th year and one that equates to a last eight appearance on average every three-and-a-half seasons.

West Ham's first taste of the League Cup quarters came with the competition just four years old, back in the 1963/64 season when the now-defunct Workington were the opposition. No match for their more illustrious opponents, the Division Four side were thrashed 6-0 at the Boleyn with Budgie Byrne grabbing a hat-trick.

Two years later and the Hammers tasted more last eight success - although it took a replay to see off Third Division pacesetters Grimsby. Having trailed twice at Blundell Park before forcing a replay, Geoff Hurst's late goal - one that maintained his record of having scored in every round - was enough to secure a semi final tie against Cardiff City who the Hammers beat before losing a two-legged affair to West Bromwich Albion in their first League Cup Final appearance.

1966 was, it's fair to say, a fairly decent year for West Ham and as well as lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley in the summer the Hammers reached the League Cup semi finals courtesy of a last eight win at Blackpool in December (having thrashed the mighty Leeds 7-0 in the previous round). Geoff Hurst, who went on to score 41 goals that season (1966/67) scored both in a 2-0 to set up a semi final against West Brom (again, to lose, again).

It was another five years before West Ham would feature in the draw for the last eight and the opponents on that occasion were Sheffield United. Having beaten the Irons 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground less than a fortnight earlier the Blades would have been reasonably confident, however they were sent back to Yorkshire with their tails between their legs after a 5-0 thumping which included a 'perfect' hat-trick from Pop Robson (goals via the left foot, right foot and head) and a Clyde Best brace. West Ham's (losing) semi final against Stoke ran to four matches.

Seven years later European Champions Nottingham Forest came to the Boleyn Ground for a keenly-anticipated tie with John Lyall's Second Division West Ham. The 36,000 inside the ground weren't disappointed as the Hammers took the game to a shellshocked Forest but crucially, failed to score - as was the case in the replay when Forest won 3-0, but only after extra time as Phil Parkes kept Brian Clough's side at bay for 99 minutes.

Buoyed by that success the Hammers were at it again the following season and this time, tonight's opponents Tottenham were United's victims at the quarter final stage; an omen, perhaps? Not one for the purists, David Cross - who was to score four times at White Hart Lane the following season in another famous away win - grabbed at 81st minute winner against a Spurs side including the likes of Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hoddle. It was also the last year West Ham reached the final, when it took a replay for the all-conquering Liverpool to condemn the Irons to a runners-up spot.

The Merseysiders were also the opponents next time West Ham reached the quarter finals of the freshly-sponsored Milk Cup in 1982. A formidable task, West Ham were up against a Liverpool team unbeaten at home in any Cup competition for eight years and succumbed to a spirited 2-1 defeat. It was a similar result when the Hammers went down 5-0 in a replay at Tottenham in 1986 - with the competition being known now as the Littlewoods Cup - having missed the opportunity to win the tie at home, drawing 1-1.

That was the first of three appearances West Ham were to make in the competition's last eight in just four years. United beat Aston Villa 2-1 at home in 1988 to progress to a semi final against Luton (the less said about that the better) before beating Derby County in a second replay the following year, setting up a last four tie with Oldham on their plastic pitch and a game now known as 'the Valentine's Day massacre'. The less said about that the better too.

Harry Redknapp was in charge when the Hammers next reached the last eight of a competition then called the Coca Cola Cup. Arsenal, who were about the emerge as the driving force in English football were the opponents at the Boleyn Ground and raced into a two goal lead - but only after former Gunner John Hartson missed a penalty. Samassi Abou gave the Hammers hope with a goal 15 minutes from time but Arsenal held on to progress to the next stage.

West Ham's most famous win in the League Cup came in 1999 - but is not recorded as such in any history book. Having drawn 2-2 after extra time, Gareth Southgate's penalty shootout miss sent the Hammers through to the semi finals - or so they thought. Days after the tie it was revealed that late sub Manny Omoyinmi had played in an earlier round for Gillingham whilst on loan and despite having no bearing on the game, a replay was enforced by the Football League. Naturally, West Ham were beaten 3-1 - again after extra time.

Another eight years passed before West Ham reached the Carling Cup (I do hope you're keeping up) quarter finals where they met Everton at the Boleyn Ground. Carlton Cole gave Hammers fans hope with an early opener but goals from Leon Osman and Yakubu sent United tumbling out of the tournament. Since then, West Ham's only appearance in the last eight came two years ago when Man Utd were famously beaten 4-0 in the snow at the Boleyn.

West Ham United: Full League Cup Record


[League Cup]
1960/61: R1 Charlton (h) 3-1; R2 Darlington (a) 2-3
1961/62: R1 Plymouth (h) 3-2; R2 Aston Villa (h) 1-3
1962/63: R1 Plymouth (h) 6-0; R2 Rotherham (a) 1-3
1963/64: R2 Orient (h) 2-1; R3 Aston Villa (a) 2-0; R4 Swindon (a) 3-3 r (h) 4-1; QF Workington (h) 6-0; SF Leicester (a) 3-4 (h) 0-2
1964/65: R2 Sunderland (a) 1-4
1965/66: R2 Bristol R (a) 3-3 r (h) 3-2; R3 Mansfield (h) 4-0; R4 Rotherham (a) 2-1; QF Grimsby (a) 2-2 r (h) 1-0; SF Cardiff (h) 5-2 (a) 5-1; F West Brom (h) 2-1 (a) 1-4
1966/67: R2 Tottenham (h) 1-0; R3 Arsenal (a) 3-1; R4 Leeds (h) 7-0; QF Blackpool (a) 3-1; SF West Brom (a) 0-4 (h) 2-2
1967/68: R2 Walsall (a) 5-1; R3 Bolton (h) 4-1; R4 Huddesfield (a) 0-2
1968/69: R2 Bolton (h) 7-2; R3 Coventry (h) 0-0 r (a) 2-3
1969/70: R2 Halifax (h) 4-2; R3 Nottm Forest (a) 0-1


1970/71: R2 Hull (h) 1-0; R3 Coventry (a) 1-3
1971/72: R2 Cardiff (h) 1-1 r (a) 2-1; R3 Leeds (h) 0-0 r (a)1-0; R4 Liverpool (h) 2-1; QF Sheff Utd (h) 5-0; SF Stoke (a) 2-1 (h) 0-1 r (n) 0-0 r2 (n) 2-3
1972/73: R2 Bristol City (h) 2-1; R3 Stockport (a) 1-2
1973/74: R2 Liverpool (h) 2-2 r (a) 0-1
1974/75: R2 Tranmere (a) 0-0 r (h) 6-0; R3 Fulham (a) 1-2
1975/76: R2 Bristol C (h) 0-0 r (a) 3-1; R3 Darlington (h) 3-0; R4 Tottenham (a) 0-0 r (h) 0-2
1976/77: R2 Barnsley (h) 3-0; R3 Charlton (a) 1-0; R4 QPR (h) 0-2
1977/78: R2 Nottm Forest (a) 0-5
1978/79: R2 Swindon (h) 1-2
1979/80: R2 Barnsley (h) 3-1 (a) 2-0; R3 Southend (h) 1-1 r (a) 0-0 r2 (h) 5-1; R4 Sunderland (a) 1-1 r (h) 2-1; QF Nottm Forest (h) 0-0 r (a) 0-3


1980/81: R2 Burnley (a) 2-0 (h) 4-0; R3 Charlton (a) 2-1; R4 Barnsley (h) 2-1; QF Tottenham (h) 1-0; SF Coventry (a) 2-3 (h) 2-0; F Liverpool (n) 1-1 r (n) 1-2
1981/82: R2 Derby (a) 3-2 (h) 2-0; R3 West Brom (h) 2-2 r (a) 1-1 r2 (h) 0-1
[renamed Milk Cup]
1982/83: R2 Stoke (a) 1-1 (h) 2-1; R3 Lincoln (a) 1-1 r (h) 2-1; R4 Notts County (a) 3-3 r (h) 3-0; QF Liverpool (a) 1-2
1983/84: R2 Bury (a) 2-1 (h) 10-0; R3 Brighton (h) 1-0; R4 Everton (h) 2-2 r (a) 0-2
1984/85: R2 Bristol C (a) 2-2 (h) 6-1; R3 Man City (a) 0-0 r (h) 1-2
1985/86: R2 Swansea (h) 3-0 (a) 3-2; R3 Man Utd (a) 0-1
[renamed Littlewoods Cup]
1986/87: R2 Preston (a) 1-1 (h) 4-1; R3 Watford (a) 3-2; R4 Oxford (h) 1-0; QF Tottenham (h) 1-1 r (a) 0-5
1987/88: R2 Barnsley (a) 0-0 (h) 2-5
1988/89: R2 Sunderland (a) 3-0 (h) 2-1; R3 Derby (h) 5-0; R4 Liverpool (h) 4-1; QF Aston Villa (h) 2-1; SF Luton (h) 0-3 (a) 0-2
1989/90: R2 Birmingham (a) 2-1 (h) 1-1; R3 Aston Villa (a) 0-0 r (h) 1-0; R4 Wimbledon (h) 1-0; QF Derby (h) 1-1 r (a) 0-0 r2 (h) 2-1; SF Oldham (a) 0-6 (h) 3-0


[renamed Rumbelows Cup]
1990/91: R2 Stoke (h) 3-0 (a) 2-1; R3 Oxford (a) 1-2
1991/92: R2 Bradford (a) 1-1 (h) 4-0; R3 Sheff Utd (a) 2-0; R4 Norwich (a) 1-2
[renamed Coca Cola Cup]
1992/93: R2 Crewe (h) 0-0 (a) 0-2
1993/94: R2 Chesterfield (h) 5-1 (a) 2-0; R3 Nottm Forest (a) 1-2
1994/95: R2 Walsall (a) 1-2 (h) 2-0; R3 Chelsea (h) 1-0; R4 Bolton (h) 1-3
1995/96: R2 Bristol R (a) 1-0 (h) 3-0; R3 Southampton (a) 1-2
1996/97: R2 Barnet (a) 1-1 (h) 1-0; R3 Nottm Forest (h) 4-1; R4 Stockport (h) 1-1 r (a) 1-2
1997/98: R2 Huddersfield (a) 0-1 (h) 3-0; R3 Aston Villa (h) 3-0; R4 Walsall (h) 4-1; QF Arsenal (h) 1-2
[renamed Worthington Cup]
1998/99: R2 Northampton (a) 0-2 (h) 1-0
1999/00: R3 Bournemouth (h) 2-0; R4 Birmingham (a) 3-2; QF Aston Villa (h) 2-2 pens r (h) 1-3


2000/01: R2 Walsall (a) 1-0 (h) 1-1; R3 Blackburn (h) 2-0; R4 Sheff Weds (h) 1-2
2001/02: R2 Reading (a) 0-0 pens
2002/03: R2 Chesterfield (a) 1-1 pens; R3 Oldham (h) 0-1
[renamed Carling Cup]
2003/04: R1 Rushden & Diamonds (h) 3-1; R2 Cardiff (a) 3-2; R3 Tottenham (a) 0-1
2004/05: R1 Southend (h) 2-0; R2 Notts County (h) 3-2; R3 Chelsea (a) 0-1
2005/06: R2 Sheff Weds (a) 4-2; R3 Bolton (a) 0-1
2006/07: R3 Chesterfield (a) 1-2
2007/08: R2 Bristol R (a) 2-1; Plymouth (h) 1-0; R4 Coventry (a) 2-1; QF Everton (h) 1-2
2008/09: R2 Macclesfield (h) 4-1; R3 Watford (a) 0-1
2009/10: R2 Millwall (h) 3-1; R3 Bolton (a) 1-3


2010/11: R2 Oxford Utd (h) 1-0; R3 Sunderland (a) 2-1; R4 Stoke (h) 3-1; QF Man Utd (h) 4-0; SF Birmingham (h) 2-1 (a) 1-3
2011/12: R1 Aldershot (h) 1-2
2012/13: R2 Crewe (h) 2-0; R3 Wigan (h) 1-4
2013/14: R2 Cheltenham (h) 2-1; R3 Cardiff (h) 3-2; R4 Burnley (a) 2-0; QF Tottenham (a) ...

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.

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