Saturday, 29th November 2014
Bit of an “edited highlights” package this report for various reasons. After a convivial few hours in the company of my Geordie mates I arrived at the ground with a due sense of foreboding over the fitness or otherwise of the five who missed the match against Clattenburg, plus Noble who had been kicked out of said match.
In the end three of the six were about though Reid was suspended, leaving us a line-up of Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Collins, Tomkins, Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Carroll.
The first half was pretty quiet – nobody started brightly. Perez's smart turn in the box ended with a shot that went a yard wide and the same player hit the side netting. However, by and large we were treated to the sight of two teams cancelling each other out.
Even Dean, usually the most arrogant of officials, couldn't be bothered to mess things up, a yellow card for Williamson's cynical hack at Jarvis being his only contribution to the half. He also – quite rightly – turned down a penalty shout when Carroll hit the ball at the same defender's arm from a few feet away.
Er, no, I'm struggling to remember much else so...
There was a bit more going on in the second half. Downing got into good position but hit over before we took the lead in somewhat bizarre fashion on 56 minutes. Downing played a ball inside to Kouyate whose attempt at a shot was horribly miscued.
However whilst everyone else in the stadium, players and fans alike, had mentally written off that passage of play, Cresswell continued his supportive run from the deep, turning Kouyate's embarrassment into the perfect through ball with his fine first time finish. Haven't a clue what the one-eyed goal celebration was all about though.
Not much changed in the spell that followed – it was almost as if the goal had never happened as the teams continued to cancel each other out. In an effort to liven things up Zarate replaced the largely anonymous Jarvis with 20 left to play. We were then treated to a moment of opposition stupidity that pretty much sealed the points.
Sissokho chased a long one into the area. The impressive Tomkins got across well and went down under Sissokho's shove in the back. After the inevitable whistle went Sissokho larraped the ball about 50 yards away, getting a soft but correct yellow.
Less than a minute later Sissokho saw red. The petulant shove on Carroll was worth the second yellow. Closer inspection shows that the player was lucky not to be facing a straight red, the shove diverting attention from a nasty stamp on Carroll's ankle that presumably went unseen by Dean. Either way the player only had himself to blame.
If Newcastle hadn't looked much like scoring up to then the likelihood of them doing so pretty much disappeared down the tunnel with Sissokho. Zarate brought a bit of creativity to proceedings and produced a fine save out of Elliott. Late on Downing got through one on one with the 'keeper but his finish lacked conviction.
The visitors brought up Elliott for a corner but the effort was cleared out to Zarate, who with a bit more of nous about him might have gotten himself into a position to go for goal with Elliott backpedalling. Instead he ran into a rather disappointing blind alley at which point Dean called a halt to proceedings and we could all go home.
In summary: not the greatest of games and the build-up to the goal (but not the finish) sort of says it all really. Onwards and upwards then!
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Adrian San Miguel del Castillo
I vaguely remember one very comfortable save but he was mainly as much of a spectator as I was.
Not as much of a force going forward as he can be but a good solid defensive outing.
Excellent run out defensively and whilst Kouyate's “pass” might have been a tad fortunate, he can claim full credit for having the brains to continue the run when everyone else (including me) had given it up as a bad deal.
Allowed Perez a bit too much room early on, but only did it once. Good battling performance.
A fine game. Hopefully he's got this face-clutching thing out of his system now. MOTM for me.
We don't recognise records that are based on the assumption that there was no football before the Premier League here. Which is why I haven't mentioned the one that everyone has been banging on about. Good game though.
Superb inch perfect pass to set up Cresswell (!) but he's had better days.
A bit in and out of the game. Mainly out though.
Kept plugging away and was a source of worry for the opposition throughout.
Good in parts but another who has had better days. Ought to have scored when clean through.
Caused more than a few problems, though I suspect that the sponsors' choice of MOTM had more to do with their choice of post-match photo opportunity.
(replaced Jarvis) A bit of a cameo really but provided game's the rare glimpses of creativity.
(replaced Kouyate) Kouyate knackered? Want the clock run down a bit? Call on Nolan. Did the job.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Joey O Brien
Did not play.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Did not play.
Did not play.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Man of the Match: James Tomkins.
West Ham United
Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, James Collins, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Matt Jarvis, Morgan Amalfitano, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll.
Goals: Aaron Cresswell 56 .
Booked: Mark Noble 66 Morgan Amalfitano 78 Mauro Zarate 87 .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Rob Elliot, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara, Cheick Tiote, Jack Colback, Moussa Sissoko, Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran, Sammy Ameobi.
Substitutes: Papiss Cisse (Cheick Tiote 62), Remy Cabella (Yoan Gouffran 63), Steven Taylor (Daryl Janmaat 70).
Subs not used: Vurnon Anita, Emmanuel Riviere, Jak Alnwick, Adam Armstrong.
Booked: Mike Williamson (18), Jack Colback (54), Moussa Sissoko (75).
Sent Off: Moussa Sissoko (76).