West Ham finally put their home hoodoo behind them as they hit Brighton for six to boost their automatic promotion hopes.
A superb Ricardo Vaz Te hat trick sent the Hammers on their way to their biggest win of the season in front of a delirious home crowd. Carlton Cole, captain Kevin Nolan and a Gary Dicker own goal completed the rout to make it the Hammers first home win since beating rivals Millwall on the 4th of February.
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Sam Allardyce made three changes to the side that drew 3-3 last Monday with Matty Taylor, Guy Demel and Henri Lansbury coming in for the injured George McCartney, Abdoulaye Faye and Nicky Maynard who was dropped to the bench. Entering the ground it felt like the last chance saloon for the Hammers as they chase 2nd place Southampton.
Oddly though I felt surprising confident before the game considering our current home form, but with James running late and Billy failing a late fitness test ahead of the game the omens weren’t looking good. But my mood was buoyed when I coolly rolled the ball back to Winston Reid during the pre-match warm up.
To the game itself and with the atmosphere building due in large part to the large following from Brighton, the Hammers flew out the blocks and the tone was set for the day as a deflected Henri
Lansbury shot cannoned against the bar inside the first two minutes. Just a minute later West Ham were in the lead as Vaz Te smashed a swerving rocket past Brighton’s number one Brezovan who was left with no chance.
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Just five minutes later it was two as Vaz Te found himself on the score sheet again powering a header past Brezovan after a good whipped in ball by Gary O’ Neil and the mood in the Upton Park
was bouncing. I’m proudly claiming the creation of the chant which was reverberating around the Bobby Moore Lower about Ricardo Vaz Te.
The 4-4-2 formation was paying off for big Sam and with the home faithful pinching themselves as they looked up at the scoreboard. It was three before they knew it as Nolan tapped home latching onto to a James Tomkins knock back. West Ham’s dominance meant they found themselves 3-0 up inside 11 first half minutes.
Brighton finally tested the West Ham goal when Gordon Greer header was clawed off the line by Robert Green and despite claims from Brighton that it had crossed the line play was waved on.
The half time whistle went and long gone were the boos that has haunted the Boleyn as the home players jogged off to cheers and applause.
After deciding not to spend another £3.80 for a bottle of Carlsberg James and I went up for a half time analyse in our seats, with the buzz word being more goals. The players came out in the second
half to a rousing rendition of Bubbles.
West Ham continued to press as a poor Brighton side struggled to handle the constant pressure from the hard working Hammers and it was four nil just after the hour and it came in some style. After a blatant foul on Lansbury the ball fell to Vaz Te who acrobatically scissor kicked it into the top corner as he bagged his first hat trick in Hammers colours to make 10 goals in 10 games for the East
end club and out came my song again and I belted it out with pride.
They come like buses in the east end now as just two minutes later it was 5-0 and the only debatable goal of the day. As Cole’s trickery meant he found himself in the box and his deflected shot looped over the keeper and into the net. But who did it come off, having just seen the replay on the football league show it was Lansbury who appeared to be an offside position but who cares were winning 5-0!
More importantly we were edging towards Southampton’s huge goal difference and it was down to 4 goals behind as Cole’s effort looped in. I turned to James and said “now that goal difference” the belief for autos was creeping back.
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The rout was complete when Gary Dicker classily back heeled into his own net from a Mark Noble corner and the classic “easy easy easy” chant was being belted out again. I glanced up to the
scoreboard to see it say West Ham United 6 Visitors 0 and no I wasn’t dreaming it really happened.
West Ham fans chanted “we want seven” as the Hammers continued to press for goals, and they were nearly celebrating when Nolan met another Tomkins knockback but this time captain Kevin failed to hit the target, but the Hammers faithful didn’t care they had witnessed the home sides best performance in a long time at home.
So the Hammers edged closer to automatic promotion as they continued to chase the top two. But the Irons will have to rely on others if they are to go into the top two. They lay three points behind with just three to play, but the belief around E13 is back.
Come On You Irons!
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