Filed: Sunday, 22nd April 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham iFC clinched the inaugural London Supporters' Cup on Saturday after winning a heart-stopping penalty shootout.
WHiFC, a team consisting of West Ham United season ticket holders and other fans stormed into a 2-0 lead at Paringdon Sports Club in Harlow before being pegged back to 2-2 by opponents Watford.
With the game level after 90 minutes a penalty shootout ensued - one from which the Hammers eventually triumphed, winning 7-6 in sudden death.
IFC, the strong favourites having beaten their counterparts on both occasions in the league this season took the lead in the first half through Mark Blackburn, who converted from close range after Will Bush's deep free kick had been centred by Luke Gray.
That lead was doubled from the penalty spot shortly after when a Watford player inexplicably punched a West Ham corner, leaving Bush to convert from 12 yards.
2-0 ahead at the break and it should have been plain sailing thereon for WHiFC.
But in typical West Ham fashion they contrived to throw away their advantage - firstly when Watford scored from a free kick and then when conceding an equaliser after an offside trap was broken.
Although West Ham were to find the net towards the end Terry Hayes' effort was (correctly) ruled out for offside - before the Hornets almost grabbed an unlikely win in the closing stages, but were prevented from doing so by a point blank save by Irons' 'keeper Coates.
So it was that the game moved to penalties and with both sides scoring four of their five, it moved to sudden death.
Sullivan, Morrow and Stafford converted their spot kicks for WHiFC before Watford missed their eighth kick of the shootout, finally handing the London Cup to Vinny White's side.
WHiFC: Coates; Eustace, Blackburn, Crane, White; Wilder, Miles, Gray, Sullivan; Bush Dilworth.
Subs: Morgan, Mehegan, Wells, Stafford, Morrow, Jarvis, North, Hayes.
Goals: Blackburn, Bush (pen).
Hammers land silverware [22nd Apr 2012]
One step from glory [19th Apr 2012]
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