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Saturday, 15th September 2001

Middlesbrough 2
West Ham United 0

by Vinny Ryan

Going into this match I was saying that it was really important that we pick up a win as teams like 'Boro are the teams we have to be beating. I didn't envisage that we were going to lose like we did - no, play like we did.

I went up by coach, so I had to make my way to Upton Park beforehand - and that's over a hour away. The coach left at 8.15am so that we would arrive in good time for the match (we eventually got there at 3.05pm).

So, I was a little p*ssed off before we even arrived at the ground - but it was about to get a whole lot worse.

To my shock and horror neither Freddy Kanoute or Paolo Di Canio were playing. I was in even more disbelief when I saw Don Hutchinson, our new 5m midfielder, playing up front with our right-winger Trevor Sinclair. On the bench were Defoe and Todorov.

That is what lost us the game before we even started - it was like a Harry team selection.

In the first 20 minutes 'Boro had countless free kicks and corners, and even though they didn't mount one serious goal threat you could see them scoring at any minute.

It was after about 30/1 minutes when Shaka Hislop came out like a headless chicken to claim a ball he was never going to get to and Brian Deane (how did we let him score?) easily nodded the ball into a unguarded net.

It was my first visit to the Riverside - and I wasn't that impressed. I had been to Reading the previous Tuesday and both grounds looked the same! There no identity in these new stadia - If you showed me a picture I doubt I could put a name to them.

'Boro scored a second shortly after. It was another mistake, this time from Rigobert Song (who was playing at right back for this game). He gifted it to Allan Johnston who in turn lobbed it over Shaka. That was game over - we had not looked like scoring (and to be honest, we haven't all season).

Jermain Defoe came on at half time but he didn't do much. Svetoslav Todorov also came on and but for a few runs very little came out of him. I can't really remember a good chance for us in the entire match.

The fans were brilliant. We sung "Glenn(ny) Roeder's claret and blue army" until our hands (and throats) were numb. The 'Boro fans were a disgrace to their club. They did put in a feeble effort at singing - "there's only one "Paul Ince", only to be told by the travelling Hammers fans "there's only one Judas".

You may be asking 'why is he talking about the fans and not the match?' The reason is simple - We were cr*p - useless in fact. I cannot see where the next goal, or win is coming from.

And I almost forgot - Thomas Repka made his debut. Oh, and one more thing - he got sent off.

Player Ratings

Shaka Hislop - Shaka having a good season? Not on this performance. 5

Nutty Nige - He did okay, but when anyone attacked down that side he was caught out. 5

Bert Song - Back to his old ways. 4

Tomas Repka - Er.. well..... he was okay. He got sent off. It was a bit harsh though. 5

Christian Dailly - Why is he still in the team? Or even at the club? or better still - why is he playing football? 5

Archie (Schemmel) - I only just found out he was on the pitch - 5

Joe Cole - What has happend to Joey? 5

Michael Carrick - He followed on from the Reading match - cr*p. 4

John Moncur - Think it's time to sit on the bench Moncs. 5

Trevor Sinclair - Wasn't a good game for Trevor but any attack we have goes through him. 6

The Don - Tried hard (I think) but nothing came off. 5

Subs Used

Jermain Defoe (on for Song) Ineffective. 5

Svetoslav Todrov (on for Moncur) - Same as Defoe. 5

Rags Soma (on for Nige) - Only on for a few mins. n/s

So next game is Newcastle - another game we HAVE to win.

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: Hislop, Schemmel, Winterburn, Repka, Dailly, Song, Cole, Carrick, Moncur, Sinclair, Hutchison

Subs: Defoe (Song 45), Todorov (Moncur 69), Soma (Winterburn 82), Forrest, Byrne

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Fleming, Ehiogu, Cooper, Southgate, Ince, Mustoe, Greening, Johnson, Windass, Deane

Subs (from): Crossley, Gavin (Cooper), Wilson (Johnson 86), Nemeth, Marinelli

Goals: Deane (33), Johnson (43)

Booked: Repka (26, kicking ball away), Greening (31, kicking ball away), Winterburn (41, foul), Carrick (44, dissent), Windass (72, diving)

Sent off: Repka (80, foul, second booking)

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