FA Carling Premiership, Saturday 23 September 1995
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West Ham (2) 2 Everton (1) 1
Dicks 7 pen, 43 pen; Samways 40.
West Ham: Miklosko, Breacker, Dicks, Potts (Reiper 46), Martin Slater, Bishop, Cottee (Williamson 83), Dowie, Moncur, Lazaridis. Subs Not Used: Sealey. Booked: Miklosko, Moncur.
Everton: Southall, Barrett, Horne, Samways, Watson, Hinchcliffe Amokachi, Parkinson, Rideout (Stuart 15), Grant (Limpar 53) Short. Subs Not Used: Kearton. Booked: Barrett.
Ref: P Durkin (Dorset).
West Ham (2) 2 Everton (1) 1
Dicks 7 pen, 43 pen; Samways 40.
IN SOME quarters, West Ham full-back Julian Dicks is now considered football's public enemy No 1. His recent involvement in controversial incidents during matches against Chelsea and Arsenal have resulted in him superceding Vinnie Jones as the game's Mr Nasty.
Well, Dicks is back in the news again this morning. But this time for all the right reasons.
He not only scored the two goals which gave West Ham their first Premiership win of the season; he was also in the thick of the action as Everton pressed manfully but in vain for the equaliser their play merited.
Manager Harry Redknapp said: "I thought he was excellent. He's got himself into a lot of problems recently and he has got to get himself out of them. But when he plays like this he is an excellent left-back."
Both Dicks' goals came from the penalty spot. The first was awarded in the seventh minute when Craig Short fouled Iain Dowie as both challenged for a cross from Tim Breacker. The second came two minutes from the interval when Earl Barrett brought down West Ham's Australian winger, Stan Lazaridis.
Both spot kicks were hit to the goalkeeper's left but with such power that even an excellent goalkeeper like Neville Southall did not have the remotest chance of stopping them.
In between these two strikes Vinny Samways scored for Everton after a determined gallop from defence by Everton's promising youngster, Tony Grant.
Samways feinted to go to his right, cut inside instead and then fired a low shot past Ludek Miklosko.
Miklosko redeemed himself in the second half with a brilliant tip-away save from substitute Anders Limpar and then made two brave saves at the feet of Daniel Amokachi and another Everton substitute, Graham Stuart.
With £11 million worth of attacking talent - Duncan Ferguson and Andrei Kanchelskis - on the sidelines through injury, Everton always looked lightweight up front, but manager Joe Royle was upset by the way their goals were conceded.
He said: "We conceded two silly goals before we'd even got started, and you can't do that in this League. But I have to admit it was difficult to see who was going to score a goal for us. We didn't make their goalkeeper work hard enough."
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Guy McEvoy: Having more money than sense (and my bank balance being in the minus area - God knows how much sense that credits me with) I made the journey down to Upton Park, on a altogether pleasant Saturday. Buckingham Palace, Parliament, and the Tower of London in the morning, a stunning display of total football in the afternoon, right? Wrong.
The morning bit went OK -- it was the afternoon that let me down. I got into the ground with about half an hour to spare (having been frisked TWICE!), and listened to the team announcements, the only real surprise being that Anders was on the bench.
It was a fast starting game, and within about 3 minutes the louder West Ham fans were appealing for a penalty, we laughed, the ref waved play on, however after 7 minutes the ref did respond to the howl after short appeared to hold down Breaker(?). We Evertonians were at the other end of the ground so didn't get too much of a view of the incident and can't really judge the merit of the decision. However, Short certainly seems to need 15 minutes each game to settle down, and in the last two league matches those 15 mins have been very costly. Dicks sensed the chance to answer a week of media criticism and so stepped forward to take the kick. Nev got a hand to it but the power saw it in.
Amo had a good effort after 15 mins but we wasted the resulting corner. Straight after this Rideout was subbed (injury presumably) and we saw the return of Graham Stuart. This lifted the crowd who looked forward to the return of the front partnership that destroyed Tottenham in that famous semi-final. Sure enough a couple more chances materialised. We were giving the demon Dicks a suitable amount of abuse from the stands, and the optimist may have felt we were getting the edge. The best chance fell to Parkinson who stuck it inches wide (though really he should have found the back of the net).
Around the half hour mark there was a curious incident when Milisko clearly picked the ball up outside of his box when under not that much pressure -- yellow card.
Despite the increase in tempo our flaws were visible. The defence still looked shakey and was playing a dangerous physical game. Also our midfield looked a bit short of imagination in the area of distribution. Everything still seemed to be launched down the middle -- a curious tactic given that Rideout had gone off. "Square" and "Wide" were yelled with ferocity from my corner of the ground throughout the game to little avail.
West Ham though, let their confidence get the better of them and when one of their corners fell to Grant he found himself with the whole field in front of him. Head down, he gained about thirty yards before playing Samways into a wonderful position on the edge of the box. We all held our breath thinking that he'd taken to long to control and that the opportunity had gone, but Vinny was always in control, a quick look up, a swing of the leg and the ball curled low and majestically past Miklosko. It was an extremely arrogant goal and a joy to watch. Vinny certainly let the fans know how much he enjoyed it!
Within 3 minutes though we were down again. Another penalty needlessly conceded. This time Barrett was the culprit with a reckless challenge from behind. Even though our view was poor, the Blue fans put up little argument with the refs call this time. And it was stamper Dicks, who ironically should probably be in nick, who was instead out sealing our coffin with his second.
The second half saw Grant substituted for Limpar, which seemed a little unfair because Tony had up to then had a good game, nevertheless Limpar quickly created a succession of chances, linking up well with Amokachi. We sensed that the game was there for the taking.
Suddenly though the team just stopped using Limpar, all the balls seemed to go back down the middle, on a Route One to nowhere. We were repeatedly off-side and the early promise of the half became frustration. The game took on a pattern of Everton building a half-hearted attack and then West Ham hitting us on the fast break. We were getting all the pressure (at one point we had five corners in succession) but failing to turn that pressure into clear cut chances, a team of play-makers without a much needed predator.
As the end neared we became more desperate, more willing to try something new which resulted in our best play of the game. In the very final minute, Amo found himself with only Milosko to beat but somehow it never went in. Too little, too late. The ref did his best to let us rob it by playing an eternity of injury time but all that did was offer us blues fans false hope.
On the balance of play we probably deserved a draw, if we had a hungry striker we probably would have won. "Ifs" though, never won a league, and neither will Everton unless they buck themselves up. The biggest difference between this game and last weeks at Forest was that Forest at times showed classy play and looked good for their win, West Ham never did and shouldn't take to much comfort from the result. They certainly looked like a team who'll be battling at the bottom come next May. Lets just hope we get our fingers out and aren't down there with them -- I couldn't stand it again!
Southall 7 - Got to one of the penalties but they were both too well
struck for him to do anything about. Wasn't particularly troubled by them
for the rest of the game.
Barrett 7 - Gave away a penalty which brings him down, however was responsible for some superb defending in the second half.
Watson 6 - Made some uncharacteristic sloppy errors.
Short 6 - I am confident he will be surrendering his place back to Rhino for the next game.
Hinchclife 7 - Seemed reluctant to play to Limpar - is this my over active imagination? Had a good free kick effort.
Parkinson 7 - Tackled well, and had a couple of forays forward.
Horne 7 - I would wager that Barrys been practising turning his man in training. He had some delightful touches.
Samways 7 - A memorable goal and good distribution, still not sure he works that well with the rest of our midfield. Probably me being unfair given that it was his first league game this season.
Grant 7 - Always looked likely to create an opportunity, it was his run that laid on the goal, yet another impressive performance.
Rideout N/A - injured (17 mins)
Amokachi 7 - Always looked the player most likely to score, however is till suffering from the ball "just not falling right for him", starting to get stick again form the more vocal fans (unfair IMHO).
Subs: Kearton -- Not Used
Stuart 7 - We were certainly no worse off for having Rideout off, though the magic of the semi wasn't recaptured.
Limpar 7 - Looked the business as soon as he came on, but within about quarter of an hour his supply seemed to have dried up completely - you can't be a threat if you don't get the ball!
My Man of Match - Samways (as much for that goal as anything!)
And that is my unashamedly partisan view of the game.
West Ham Everton 1 Miklosko 1 Southall 2 Breaker 2 Barrett 3 Dicks (Pen 7)(Pen 42) 6 Ablett 4 Potts (Sub half-time) 16 Samways (41) 5 Martin 5 Watson 19 Slater 3 Hinchcliffe 7 Bishop 12 Amokachi 9 Cottee (Sub 85) 18 Parkinson 14 Dowie 8 Rideout (Sub 18) 10 Moncur 20 Grant (Sub 53) 17 Lazaridis 21 Short
Subs Subs 30 Sealey (GK) 13 Kearton (GK) 8 Rieper (On half-time) 7 Stuart (On 18) 20 Williamson (On 85) 11 Limpar (On 53) Referee: Paul Durkin (Dorset)
Ian Offers (West Ham Supporter): After six league games, West Ham went into this game in search of their first league win of the new season. Despite this bad start, which saw us languishing only one place off the bottom of the league, there was a good crowd at Upton Park, to see how we would fair against the Toffeemen. Everton were without Ferguson and Kanchelskis, and had Limpar on the bench.
The game started with both teams trying to take control of the game. After 5 minutes Short slipped with the ball, and Lazaridis received the lose ball. He passed to Moncur whose good run was crudely stopped, when he was fouled.
The crowd seemed very subdued, only getting voiciferous when first Moncur was fouled, then Cottee, but on both occassions the referee just waved play-on. Maybe it's the all seater stadium, or maybe the West Ham fans are becoming complacent to poor performances, but there is definitely less atmosphere at Upton Park nowadays. In fact, the West Ham fans get behind the team more at away games, than they do at home games.
In the 7th minute, West Ham got the break they were looking for. Slater sent a cross into the penalty area, from the West Ham right and, as Dowie tried to jump for the ball, he was held down by Short. The referee was in a good position and immediately awarded a penalty. Dicks stepped up and blasted the ball low into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. Even though Southall went the right way, he was unable to stop the ball. (1-0)
Two minutes later, Slater and Cottee combined well on the West Ham right. Slater picked up the ball by the West Ham corner flag, and passed up the wing to Cottee. Cottee took the ball almost to the Everton corner flag, before being dispossed for a West Ham throw-in.
In the 12th minute, Amokachi went on a good run and was unlucky to see his shot deflect off of Potts for an Everton corner. Amokachi looked to be the most dangerous Everton player, and gave the West Ham defence no end of problems. In the 18th minute, Everton replaced Rideout with Graham Stuart.
In the 24th minute, the Everton defence played the ball across the area for Southall to clear. However, they had not seen Tony Cottee who came sliding in, but luckily for Everton, Southall managed to get to the ball first to clear it out of the area.
Three minutes later and it was Lazaridis who was causing the Everton defence problems. The ball was played to Lazaridis, who ran into the area. Despite Lazaridis being held back, the referee waved play-on, and Lazaridis crossed the ball. An Everton defender hit the ball high into the air, and it was Watson who got to the ball first to head it clear.
Everton were unlucky not to score in the 31st minute, when a long range shot by Parkinson, curled just wide of the West Ham goal. In the 35th minute, some dodgy goalkeeping by Miklosko gave Everton a free kick on the left edge of the West Ham penalty area, after Miklosko had handled the ball outside the area. Everton floated the kick across the area, but no-one was able to connect with the ball, and it went out for a West Ham goalkick.
The game came to life in the closing 5 minutes of the first half. In the 40th minute a good West Ham move found Slater on the right wing. He rossed the ball to Dowie and Breaker, who were in the middle, but both of them failed to get the ball. The Everton defence cleared the ball, but only as far as Dicks who took the ball to the goalline, fighting off a good challenge by Samways, before Southall held Dicks's cross.
From Southall's kick, West Ham attacked again, and this time won a corner. Lazaridis took the corner, but it only went as far as Grant. He set-off on a break, catching most of the West Ham team off guard. Grant crossed the ball to Samways, who had broken with him. Samways took the ball to the edge of the penalty area, before sending a curling low shot past Miklosko and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to draw Everton level. (1-1)
A minute later, West Ham attacked again, and were awarded their second penalty of the game. Slater crossed the ball to Bishop who sent Lazaridis clear. Lazaridis took the ball into the penalty area, before being fouled by Barrett. Again it was Dicks who stepped up to take the penalty. This time, he sent the ball to the same place as the first one. Although Southall got his hand to the ball this time, it was struck with too much force to be stopped, so West Ham went in 2-1 up at Half Time.
West Ham made a substitution at Half Time, bringing on Marc Rieper for Steve Potts. West Ham started the second half where they had left off, knowing that a one-goal advantage wasn't enough to allow them to ease off. In the 47th minute Slater crossed the ball to Breaker, whose shot was just wide of the Everton goal.
In the 53rd minute another good Slater run and the ball was crossed to Cottee. He gave the ball to Moncur, whose shot was well held by Southall. Everton then brought on Anders Limpar for Tony Grant.
Amokachi was by far the most dangerous of the Everton players. After Limpar was brought on, Amokachi and Samways found themselves in the West Ham penalty area, but neither could get a shot in, before the ball ran out of play.
In the 55th minute, a good run by Limpar, down the wing, saw his cross headed out by Rieper. The ball fell to Breaker, who sent the ball to Slater, who went on another of his good runs. Slater gave the Everton defence problems all game.
Everton should have scored their second equaliser in the 57th minute. Alvin Martin was caught napping, with the ball, and Amokachi dispossessed him on the edge of the box. Amokachi took the ball into the area, before shooting wide.
A minute later, and this time Amokachi turned provider. He ran down the middle of the pitch, before crossing the ball to Limpar on the wing. Limpar cut in before shooting, which Miklosko could only parry wide for a corner.
In the 66th minute, Amokachi ran with the ball, and despite being blocked by Rieper, on the edge of the box, carried on to shoot, which Miklosko held. When Amokachi was blocked by Rieper, most players would have gone down for the penalty, but Amokachi was more determined to carry-on.
Two minutes later and it was West Ham who came close to scoring. Slater took the ball off Parkinson, and went on another run. He crossed the ball to Cottee, who passed the ball to Lazaridis. Lazaridis sent the ball across the other side of the penalty area to Moncur, who shot just wide.
In the 85th Minute, West Ham brought on Danny Williamson, in place of Tony Cottee.
In the 87th minute, a shot by Short was parried away by Miklosko, when he really should have held onto the ball. Luckily for West Ham, there were no Everton players able to get to the ball, before it was cleared upfield.
Everton's last chance fell to Amokachi, in the 88th minute. He was through on goal, when Miklosko dived at his feet, to take the ball away. The ball fell to Stuart, whose shot was cleared by Miklosko again.
So, West Ham record their first league win of the season, to move them up the table.
This Match Report was provided by Ian Offers (firstname.lastname@example.org)