Hammers Fall: FA Cup Rnd 3

Hammers Fall: FA Cup Rnd 3

Wednesday beat West Ham in a cup tie that embodied everything that cup football should be about. What it lacked in goals, it provided in attacking football, missed chances, penalty misses (and saves) and mammoth in injury time.

This is worthy of note because both sides have plenty of reason to disregard this competition, with promotion campaigns in their respective divisions.

There was some confusion about the formation that Megson was going with. It was a line up, which if you include the Tavernier, included 6 defenders, 3 midfielders and one striker.

There was much discussion about how we would actually play.

It could have been 3-5-2 with wing backs and JJ upfront, but that would mean having Tavernier as an auxiliary midfielder. Would that work? Or it could have been 5-4-1. But that would mean having Bennett on the wing.

Had Megson had picked this team earlier in the season, when the jury was still out on his management, there would have a lot more concern.


But Megson has proved many wrong and the result was a modern flexible formation with players that are capable of changing their role dependent on position and the match situation.

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Jermaine Johnson, who clearly had a start courtesy of an illegible Ben Marshall and a hope that a good and more high profile showing would increase Megson’s chances of offloading him. He was given a reprieve in the summer with his contract extension, but defending him this season has become impossible. He won’t be here much longer.

The first half was a very even fair and notable for very poor misses on both sides. First when Jermaine Johnson burst through the box, was through on goal, had beaten the keeper only had to slot the ball in the corner of the net. Jermaine Johnson being Jermaine Johnson, the ball went wide. Inexplicably.

He wouldn’t be Jermaine Johnson without a poor miss, but this was a special one. It was one of those goals that you see go in, you see the net bulge, in your head at least, you and everybody else starts to celebrate because you see the keeper is nowhere, but inexplicably the ball hasn’t gone in. At the time, it feels like a disaster and worse than a disallowed goal because it’s not possible to blame an official or bad luck, but the incompetence of your own players. This is felt even more when said player makes a habit of such misses.

And then it was their turn, on the stroke of half time they had a header that was possible worse than JJ’s. They crossed across the face of the goal, Weaver was beaten, Jones was beaten and this was 1-0. This was the moment that we really regretted that JJ miss. But the ball flew over the net and their player failed to connect. Phew. Instead it seemed to even out the miss. An even half, good chances for both sides and a sitter missed each.

The second half continued much as the first had ended. Both teams were clearly going for the win and a reply, however appealing for those of that have not been to Upton Park may seem, was in the interest of neither club.

West Ham were probably edging it and the pressure was mounting on the Wednesday backline. This pressure led to Reda Johnson catching Reid and gave them a penalty.

The moment Baldock ran up I decided not watch. I had opposition penalty and I’ve always had a weird superstition that watching them is bad luck. I closed my eyes as he ran up and opened them to see the ball bouncing of Weaver.


From this moment I think the psychological impact of the miss affected West Ham more than it gave Wednesday hope. There were chances for O’Grady, the sub Morrison and Otsemobor. But still it was level.

That trip to Upton Park was starting to look likely. In fact the more I thought about it, the more plausible it seemed. I was more than warming to the idea.

Then Bennett went down injury in our box. He was down for quite a while and it was clearly a serious injury. He eventually left to a standing ovation on a stretcher and the game re-started.

Suddenly we break, the ball breaks to O’Grady on the right side of the box and he shoots in early.

Winner!


It’s about time Wednesday got a late winner after recently late goals that have gone the wrong way. No need to plan a Wednesday night inLondon.

Or at least it felt like a winner. It turned out the Bennett injury was longer than suspected with 11 (eleven) minutes of injury team. We had actually scored 13 minutes before the end. Are we forever to be plagued by ever lasting injury time?

Thankfully, that was only a fear and we held out in the end.

It was a very good cup time. It was never dull and although it is possible to argue a draw would have been fairer, I suspect both managers were relieved to not have a reply.

A special mention should also go to the West Ham fans for a providing not only a good atmosphere, but some serious bonding around our mutual appreciation of disliking our neighbours from across the city.

And a very special mention for the spontaneous conversion of our “This city is ours, fuck off united” chant.


The Hammers fans sang out loud…

THIS CITY IS YOURS, THIS CITY IS YOURS,
FUCK OFF UNITED, THIS CITY IS YOURS!

The best opposition chant for some time!

The cup draw is a very disappointing one from a Wednesday generic of cipro if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link130″).style.display=”none”;} point of view. But the fact the match is away means that should we lose (and maintain our unbeaten run at home), the cup won’t affect that run.

I unashamedly love the cups and this was a fun afternoon that has added to what is becoming a very memorable season, but the season is going so well that the league must now take priority. The cups should not be allowed to get in the way of the cup.

JP

Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @jpowls


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