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West Ham Game 2 2008

Following in the footsteps of the numerous legends that had donned the famous claret and blue strip; Tuesday the 13th of May saw 27 Hammers’ fans proudly step out onto the Boleyn Ground turf to take part in Football Aid 2008.

Tuesday 13th May 2008
West Ham United Home vs. West Ham United Away
Boleyn Ground
KO: 15.00 pm
Match Officials: Andy Stevens, Barry Kelly, Peter Munt and Dennis Elkins

Both sides began in understandably watchful fashion given such their impressive surroundings.  Providing the impetus in these early exchanges were the Home side’s captain John Donlon and for the away side their striker in the number 12 jersey. As the match went on both sides were to build their attacks around these two impressive players.

It was the Home side who applied the initial pressure and created numerous chances. Firstly, John Dunmore shot across goal with a dangerous left footed shot, after which Centre Forward Steve Jarrett skied over the bar from a good cross from jinky right winger Andrew Millie.  Subsequently, the Away team showed their capabilities in hitting the right hand post soon after from a chance that arose from a quickly taken throw in.

More superb dribbling skills from Millie just moments later saw a great chance for the Home team to take the lead. Striker Steve Jarrett did well to round goalkeeper Chris Smart but saw his shot agonisingly cleared off the line by the away defence. Furthermore, the resulting corner saw another chance for centre forward Jarrett who this time could not keep his rising shot on target.

The first goal was not long in coming and it was no surprise to see the Home strike the first decisive blow. Neat play from the Home number 15 Jonathan Dunmore saw the attacking centre-half play a precise one-two before being brought down unceremoniously in the area for a clear penalty kick. Steve Jarrett made no mistake from the spot and made it 1-0 to the Home side.

This kicked the Away team into action somewhat and it was the lively Away number 12 who in breaking clear through on goal would have been disappointed to only win a free kick, albeit in a dangerous position, on the edge of the area.  The free kick was deflected wide for a corner.

However, such a sojourn did not mask the fact that increasingly neat passing play from the Home side was becoming too much for the Away side to cope with.  And it was such a move that caused the impressive Dunmore to hit a shot which rebounded first off the post and then off Goalkeeper Smart before squeezing past the outside of the post. The whole Boleyn Ground let off a sigh off relief as what would have been a harsh blow to the Away side was avoided by the narrowest of margins.

Maybe it was this tangible sense of relief that refocused the Away side and pushed them onto the front foot in the latter moments of the first period.  While undoubtedly against the pattern of the half, this late push allowed the Away side to gain an equalising goal. It came about through a long speculative shot which rebounded off goalkeeper Webb’s post; and who else but Away number 12 was on hand to convert the opportunity to take the sides into half time level.

Half Time Score – West Ham Utd. Home 1 – West Ham Utd. Away 1

No doubt keen to quickly avenge their late setback; the Home Side began on the offensive.  Their characteristic quick pass and move in midfield, on which their earlier domination had been based, fashioned a chance for 11 Lloyd Jansen who just pulled his shot wide from a difficult angle. Yet to repeat another theme of the first period it was a good run and cross from Away number 12. The Away side’s striker number 18 was just inches from getting on the end of the precise cross.

The difference in class was however reemphasised moments later when again classy build up work in midfield put Home substitute Mark Thorne in on goal. After a brief period of cat and mouse with goalkeeper Smart, Thorne scored with a beautiful dink over the keeper and into the back of the net. (2-1)

As had by this time become a regular pattern directly after the home side scoring the away side did create a chance with a superb long pass by Away 20 finding 12 in a promising position.  But the away team’s talisman could only fire his shot over the bar.
The home side still were having the bulk of the chances with the most clear opportunity falling to substitute defender John Kearsley who could not find the target with his header from number 9 Jarrett’s corner.

Goal scorer Mark Thorne was then to set the game alight for the second time since his arrival on the pitch at half-time.  A jinking and skilful run was followed by a powerful effort which found the net and deservedly extended the home side’s advantage. (3-1)

Typically, the away team and more specifically number 12 tried to respond immediately but after a great breakaway run he only managed to squeeze in a week left footed shot.  And it was not long before the Home Side struck their final blow with substitute Kearsley breaking clean through and executing a delightful chip over the goalkeeper. This was a fitting end to an entertaining affair that saw both teams give 110 percent of their efforts.

Final Score West Ham Home 4 – Home Team Away 1

Man of the Match Home -  John Dunmore 
Man of the Match Away -  Steven Dell
Moment of the Match –   John Kearsley

West Ham Home – Webb, Drinkwater, Grange, Dunmore, White, Millie, Donlon, Jarrett,  Jarrett, Jensen. Subs. Kearsley, Batten, Thorne. Mascot: Joseph Donlon.

West Ham Away – Smart, Oliver, Dell, Keough, Seeley, Cole, Hall, Matthews, Aldorino, Knowles. Subs. Wiltshire, Chipperfield, Barry, Anderson. Mascot: Rhys Cole