Season 2006-07 Result
West Ham United 0-2 Newcastle United
 D.Duff 50,
 O.Martins 75.
Date: 17/09/2006  Venue: Upton Park  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 34,938
Match Report Submitted on 22/09/2006 by ?
We (Ian, Lee and Jonathon) met up at Durham Train Station in plenty of time for our train 9.07am. We bought our underground tickets there and then to save queuing in the hustle and bustle of King’s Cross. We sat around in the waiting area for a little while, discussing Johnny’s recent knack of backing winners, and of me being ill all day Saturday after Friday night in Durham! We made our way along the platform and were approached by a guy with a Geordie accent. He asked us how we thought the team was playing and what was the new signing Martin’s like. The three of us all agreed, the Fulham result and performance was disappointing and that Martin’s had done very little so far in his three appearances. He then told us what he had planned for the day, going to a toy fair. He collects old toys for a hobby – interesting chap.
We boarded the train and took our seats around a table (always handy when having a few drinks). It was a quiet journey south really, with none of us too optimistic after the Fulham result. The main topics of conversation were how good Andy Cole was for Newcastle (excellent in the short time he played for us) and of the merits of Michael Chopra (who has started the season on fire for Cardiff, albeit in the Championship). We all reckon Chopra never looked like having the ability to play at the highest level in any of his few appearances for Newcastle, but credit to him for the equaliser at the Stadium of Light.
We arrived at King’s Cross fifteen minutes early, Dirk and Glen were waiting to meet us. We decided to get Dirk to take us to the flying Scotsman after hearing about it on past London trips, none of us had been there before, but it has to be said, it is a lovely little pub with quality entertainment. We had a quick bottle each then headed up to Upton Park with Dirk leading the way. We made our way to the Boleyn pub outside of the Stadium, and had a couple of pints and some crack with a couple of West Ham lads about their cup final against Liverpool. All agreed they were unfortunate not to win.
We got our seats right at the back of the stand and we surprisingly had a better view than we expected. West Ham had their Argentinean signings Mascherano and Tevez making their first starts in the Premier League. Newcastle started very brightly with Ameobi and Martins linking up well. The two of them created the best chance of the first half after fifteen minutes, Shola bundled the ball past Gabbidon into Martins path on his left foot, but unfortunately he dragged his shot wide. It was a poor finish to be honest. Our next chance fell to Ameobi, Ramage flicked on Emres’ corner and hooked his shot goalwards only for Carrol to make a decent save low down. West Ham threatened twice in the first half, a superb free kick by Tevez crashed off the bar and an ambitious lob by Bowyer after a terrible clearance by Given. The teams went in at half time all square, with Newcastle having controlled the game and looking very solid.
The second half started with West Ham replacing the over hyped Tevez with Marlon Harewood, and within five minutes Newcastle took a deserved lead. Martins collected the ball around the half way line and ran powerfully towards the West Ham penalty area, he showed great awareness to slide a nice pass to the overlapping Duff who drilled his shot low and hard past Roy Carrol. (About time in my opinion although he’s neat and tidy I’ve been looking for him to hurt teams more and have a more creative end product). About fifteen minutes later West Ham took Mascherano off for Benayoun after he’d been totally outplayed by Emre. Straight away the travelling fans taunted West Ham with chants of “where’s your Argies gone”. Newcastle quickly followed with a substitution of their own, Sibierski replacing the battling Ameobi.

The all important second goal came after 75 minutes, {with everyone from the boardroom, management and supporters delighted} from the new 10 million pound striker Obafemi Martins. A mix up between the shaky Gabbidon and the as usual hopeless Bowyer (I’m over the moon to have rid of him) allowed Martins to steel the ball and accelerate goalwards. He slotted it low to the right of Carrol, a cool finish. This ended the match as a contest, and no nail biting finish for once. There was still time for two controversial moments however. Firstly with Glen Roeder waving excitedly and punching the air in response for the Toon Army for a wave, this clearly angered and frustrated the home fans, with the police and stewards having to position themselves between the crowd and the visiting dugout. Secondly with minutes to go Given bravely challenged Harewood for a loose ball in the penalty area, resulting in Given being stretchered off. Worryingly he appeared to be in some distress. The tremendously loyal Steve Harper came on to replace him. On the full time whistle the player clearly enjoyed their applause from the away end which was clearly deserved.

We made our way from the stadium and declined to go for a few pints with Dirk and Glen, instead opting for a bottle of Lucozade Sport and heading for the underground back to Kings Cross. We went back to the Flying Scotsman, which quickly became rowdy with one of the Fencehouses Mags climbing up on the stage and replacing the dancers with a performance of his own! A couple of bottle in another bar, a stop at the off-licence and into the station for the 8 O’clock train home. Songs consisted of football chants, nursery rhymes and various pop songs. Hilarious!

Brilliant day, I would not be at all surprised it if was our three’s favourite trip of the season. Everyone who had been all doom and gloom, especially after the Fulham defeat (me included a little), the lads proved us wrong with an excellent performance. Well done a thoroughly deserved win, keep it up.

Player Ratings

Given – kicking apart, safe and ever 7
Carr – solid throughout, better player the given credit for 7
Moore – calm, steady away 7
Ramage – man of the match, headed tackled and blocked everything 9
Babyaro – tough in the tackle, commitment unquestionable today 8
Milner – not one of my favourites, proved his worth today. Never stopped 7
Parker – Quiet day for the Captain 7
Emre – outplayed Argentinean international Mascherano, excellent 8
Duff – neat and tidy and usual, needs a goal 8
Martins – improving with every game, becoming more direct 8
Amoebi – battled away 6