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West Ham United

Vicarage Road

23.09.08 @15:00

Attendance: 12 914


I`ve not been the only one to criticise the football in the last couple of years and I`ve not been the only one to criticise the entertainment factor served up by Aidy and co. but the Hornet`s victory over West Ham ticked both those boxes.

Though Watford didn`t dominate for the entire ninety minutes, they controlled enough of the game to deserve it and on several occasions left West Ham looking very, very ordinary at the back. Indeed after just a minute or two Ross Jenkins dive-headed wide from Tommy Smith`s pinpoint cross.

Lionel Ainsworth then switched flanks with Smith and took the ball on before side-footing a little effort that had Lastuvka scrambling back to tip the ex-Hereford man`s effort over the bar.

West Ham came back into the contest though, a clipped cross from the left testing Scott Loach who passed the test with ease, palming the ball over before making a good save from close-range on his near post.

The Hornets kids were more than holding the Hammers who did put out several of their bigger names including Lucas Neill and Matthew Upson, two internationals given a torrid time at the back. Youngster Freddie Sears started up top and barely had a sniff of the ball as DeMerit and Bromby marshalled the back four superbly.

Half-time 0-0

After the break it was Watford who continued to dominate, Lionel Ainsworth`s mazy run down the left saw his beautiful clipped cross land square on Tommy Smith`s forehead. The Hornets winger guided his effort toward the bottom corner only for Jan Lastuvka to throw himself to the floor and flick the header away.

The league clash on Saturday was evidently on Aidy`s mind as Tommy Smith and Will Hoskins were both subbed in the second half. Hoskins in particular deserved his praise from the Rookery after leading the line superbly all evening. Aidy Mariappa ended up at right back with Ainsworth pushed up front to accommodate debutant Dale Bennett and Jon Harley.

Harley slotted in neatly down the left and kept the Hammers under control, and although they finally began to exert more pressure in the second period, it was Watford who took the lead.

A free kick one on the right hand side was cleverly whipped into the danger zone by Lee Williamson only for Hayden Mullins to put through his own net during the scramble.

Twenty minutes to go, one-nil the 'Orns.

It was nerve-wracking stuff near the end as West Ham enjoyed their only spell of true domination, a succession of corners half cleared by the Hornets and several headed efforts from the Iron ended up dangerously close to the Hornets net, but not in it, though that`s not a certainty these days!

Full time 1-0

An excellent result and performance for the Golden Boys, the only foot note that Jay DeMerit picked up a knock and had to hobble off with no substitutes remaining for the Golden Boys.

West Ham
Lastuvka; Faubert, Neill (c), Upson, Lopez; Noble, Mullins, Boa Morte, Etherington; Sears and di Michele.

Star Player

Will Hoskins

Player Ratings

Scott Loach - 8

Made a few excellent saves and was generally impeccable.

Aidy Mariappa - 7

Dealt with the threat of Etherington well.

Jay DeMerit (c) - 6

Didn't have masses to do against Premiership side.

Leigh Bromby - 6

Attempted stepovers only blemish on the night.

Jordan Parkes - 7

Had a shot well saved and looked composed.

Lee Williamson - 6

Worked hard in midfield with young Jenkins

Al Bangura - 7

Tidied up nicely and looked improved.

Ross Jenkins - 7

Close to a great dive-headed goal, looks like a prospect.

Tommy Smith - 7

Good delivery and ran himself into the ground, as usual.

Will Hoskins - 9

Deserved a goal for his endeavour, creativity and link-up play.

Lionel Ainsworth - 6

Ineffective for large parts.

Date:Wednesday September 24 2008
Time: 9:21AM


Let's hope they can keep it up on Saturday & Come on You Golden Boys!!!
24/09/2008 09:39:00
My good friend last night asked if Lloyd Doyley had changed his name to Dale Bennet! Lional Ainsworth is not a fooballer, but Ross Jenkins looks real quality and a great prospect, does anyone know when the draw takes place?
24/09/2008 13:39:00
andy are u flaming blind ainsworth had to be byfar one of the best out there last night all of them played brillantely
24/09/2008 15:17:00
No, you saw a plyer running and indeed very quickly, but did he manage to cross a ball? did he actually take on a player and beat him?
24/09/2008 15:50:00
Well said Andy, he made one decent cross for Smith who saw his header saved well. Other than that, Ainsworth's final ball was usual. He is a bright prospect and if he got to play down his natural right hand side, he would be a bigger played for us.
24/09/2008 16:04:00
I'm not entirely sure what AB saw in Ainsworth when he picked him up at Hereford...there was a reason Derby released him and last night his final ball 'achilles heel' was exposed...blo&&y quick mind you!
24/09/2008 17:49:00
Quick. But no direction. Still want him to be given a chance. ON THE RIGHT!!!
24/09/2008 18:01:00
ok thinking back his last ball was terrible apart from a couple of good shots but he did have a good work rate of good shots. but i reckon 1 of the most improved player for us yesterday was by far Bangura he played brilliantly apart from his typical shots
24/09/2008 19:27:00
YES I have to agree with that. I was prepared to see him go, but if he keeps playing like that I want the boy to stay, he was all over the place doing a brilliant spoiling job last night.
24/09/2008 21:11:00
Does any1 know if jay is injured or not?
24/09/2008 21:50:00
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