Can I Start With A Moan?
Attendance: 41 202
DeanoVilla to the rescue, I missed the game and so DV has stepped into the breach!
Can I start with a moan? Probably best to get it out of the way, because it's 99% positive from here on. The atmosphere, considering the attendance was awful! If I wanted to sit in silence for 90 minutes I'd go to the theatre, not to Villa Park. The only song people go passionate about was the Upson one! Whatever happened to singing for your own? I just don't enjoy the games as much when the place isn't rocking, so lets sort it out!
On to the match, I thought we started slowly again as at Newcastle but fortunately for us West Ham had nothing to throw at us. A few half chances for either side then in the opening 25 minutes, and then the incident that changed the game for me, Upson going off injured! Until then West Ham seemed to be dealing with our attacks quite comfortably, but after that point they seemed low, and disorganised and it was just a matter of time until the goal came.
When it came it was great stuff. Young played the ball through to Carew once again demonstrating the kind of link up play that would have people believe they have played together for years, not 2 games. Carew used his strength to hold off the defender and put the ball into the corner of the net. 1-0 and 2 of the new signings already off the mark!
The first half dwindled to an end with Villa not really looking to capitalise on a shell shocked Hammers, and the Hammers happy to get to halftime just 1 down.
Villa were much brighter after the break, with Young, Petrov and Barry all going close, but not as close as Gavin McCann who saw his long range effort miss the goal by a whisker with the keeper beaten. Petrov again went close and really should have scored when one on one with Carroll, but with the whole goal to aim at he chose to hit it straight at the West Ham keeper.
With Villa then failing to extend their lead I suppose it was inevitable that West Ham would throw everything at us in the last 5 minutes, and so they did. In the past maybe we would have gone home disappointed but hopefully this is a sign of things to come, a new found resilience in the team. Oh and the brilliance of Tommy S helped too!
Sorensen - 8
Bardsley - 6
Bouma - 7
Melberg - 7
Cahill - 6
Agbonlahor - 7
Barry - 8
Petrov - 6
McCann - 7
Young - 8
Carew - 9