'ammers 1 - 0 City. Website reaction
I headed off to London with my kids and quite happily accepted that there would be adequate facilities at Upton Park to satisfy us after our journey. The coach only option meant we had little choice as to where and when we stopped and we trusted that we would be looked after at the ground. How wrong we were. We went through the turnstiles into an area that was crammed with City fans. There was no chance to get any food or drink and then when we tried to get into the seated area we were met by a steward who was insisting on checking each ticket and trying to send fans back into the throng of people all trying to get through the small entrance to the seats.
My mind raced to a Hillsbrough situation. I could feel more and more pressure on my back as more fans tried to escape the cramped area under the stand. Only when the steward could see the crush that was ensuing did he step aside to open the release valve. All this was happening over an hour before kick off. I stayed in the stand after that. I hate to thnk what it was like when all the supporters had turned up.
It was like they had not seen a sizeable support before.
City were beaten fair and square in the game. Early on City had the upper hand but could not find the net. The stats at the end tell the story. West Ham had 22 efforts on goals to our 7.
City's problem was the inability to play quick one touch football. Every time we needed three touches and when you have Zamora, Harewood, Connolly, Eterington, Carrick etc giving you little or no space we just kept getting ourselves into trouble.
We could have snatched something from the game but a West Ham win was the deserved outcome. Martyn Margetson was outstanding and I thought Alan Lee for most of the game was a class act.
City lost Rhys Weston early on with an injury and Spencer Prior came in. Vidmar moved into the right back spot.
City have three games now at home. The play offs are 6 points away so not an impossibilty but I think yesterday maybe showed that we are not quite promotion material yet.
It took an hour and a half after the game before our coach left. There were tales of rioting fans in the side streets around Upton Park and some charges by fans down the High St. I saw neither as I kept myself and the kids to ourselves and finally managed to get a decent meal. Kebabs, burgers and chips from one of the many take away's along the main street where the coaches were.
When we did get away we made great time and were on target for a 9.30 eta back in Cardiff until we had a blow out near Slough. Two other coaches rescued us off the motorway and dropped us of at a pub in Slough. There we had the best entertainment of the day while waiting 2 hours for our bus to be repaired.
I'm sure Nigel will tell more but the Seaman lookalike and his band were good fun and the pub was most accomodating.
We finally got back after 1am. Very tired but looking forward to the Coventry game in just over 48 hours time.