Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order
11:04 Tue Feb 28
Re: The Joys and Agonies of Football .....
Bored so I thought I would look it up !
Our last game against Hereford after a 0-0 draw in the first game. Think this was the game I had skived off School to and see due to power cuts at the time IIRC ?
Hurst Hat trick , Saggy Chops on the Wing !
West Ham 3-1 Hereford United
FA Cup round 4 replay 1971-72
Upton Park 42,271
( 1st Division v. Southern League Premier Division )
1 Bobby Ferguson
2 John McDowell
3 Frank Lampard
4 Billy Bonds
5 Tommy Taylor
6 Bobby Moore
7 Harry Redknapp
8 Clyde Best
9 Geoff Hurst 3
10 Trevor Brooking
11 Bryan Robson
10:58 Tue Feb 28
Re: The Joys and Agonies of Football .....
Just found this report for our cup away game...
Hereford United v West Ham United February 9th 1972
THE man with the hunting horn blew so hard his cheeks distended like a pair of wind swept Directoire knickers. Seventy four people inspecting the roof of the Edgar Street public lavatories jumped up and down as if they ought to be inside the bUilding rather than on top of it. A man of the cloth was heard to request assistance from Head Office and denied it strongly afterwards. Everyone else went beserk in their own way, Hereford United lay seige to the West Ham goal.
Even the great Bobby Moore lost his cool.
The first half had been satisfactory. We were only a little better than them, and even if they had missed chances it was more because we made them rather than luck or their own inability. The Meadow End were in magnificent form. Geoff Hurst and Clyde Best rapidly followed the footsteps of Supermac and were adjudged fairies. Hurst didn't seem to like it. A comedian threatened to throw Best a banana and then decided against it. Tony Gough had beaten him to everything that moved and the odds were he'd beat him to the banana too. Someone else debated whether 'Pop' Robson was really a mineral water. He didn't look like a mineral water but on the other hand mineral waters gave him wind and so did Pop Robson, "Easy, easy, easy" swelled and rolled through the ground. A West Ham clearance nearly knocked one of the faithful off the top of the baths. "What a load of rubbish" called the Meadow End, lost in ecstacy and a forest of black and white scarves. It was a night to remember.
Fifteeen thousand packed into Edgar Street is an awe inspiring sight. The pitch must have looked like gladiators' arena to West Ham when they came out. No one actually said they were the sacrifice but they certainly weren't the lions, and if they had any doubt about their role themselves it can't have lasted much beyond the moment United followed them out and they heard us roar. No logic at all could allow us to hold two First Division sides in five days. Giant killers can strike once, but beating Northampton had been in that category. The draw at Newcastle was on borrowed time and beating them on top of it had to be the end of the run. All the statistics had us dead and out long before West Ham. Looking at the crowd if the Hammers believed the statistics they had to be crazy.
It should have been a treat to see England heroes like Moore and Hurst, but we had our own heroes. West Ham could have had a hundred chances and not scored, not with icy Fred and fifteen thousand of us packed in the goal mouth. Mick McLaughlin and Alan Jones were at it again, reducing half a million pounds worth of talent to rubble on Edgar Street. Maybe we'd get an offer from West Germany in time for the European Nations Cup. Billy stroked it around like a master and Dudley was quite simply cruel to the Hammers defence. There was almost something sadistic about Dud. It was a priviledge to watch.
Best got free once on the left and you could sense the wretched feeling in the air that a bubble was about to burst. We needn't have worried. Maybe he felt insecure without Gough at his heels.
If Goughy had played Best any closer he'd have spent ninety minutes up his shirt. Robson popped into action once or twice as well. You had to admire his class. He nearly disappeared up his own artistry dancing round the centre circle. Apparantly the dance was an excuse-me. Ken Mallender kept pinching the ball before the music stopped.
We all got the message at once. It was a shock. We didn't just have a chance in this match, we had an opportunity. The Hammers were a frightened side, frightened of their pride, frightened for their reputation, truely on a hiding to nothing and knowing it, stretched on the rack of their own standards. We tightened the rack. They said there were two thousand of their supporters but they might as well have not been there. We tightened the rack again. Edgar Street started to boil. It was half time and we were ahead on points.
Someone who couldn't get a ticket said the radio commentator went mad in the second half. If he went mad most of us must have been certified before it started. He said he heard the commentary and he couldn't believe it. We saw it happen and we couldn't believe it either. For twenty solid minutes Hereford United set up camp in the West Ham box. The lads roasted them on the field and we roasted them off it. You could smell the panic. The noise was indescribable. "Hereford, Hereford, Hereford" rolled backwards and forwards across the ground like a tidal wave. First Moore, then Taylor, then McDowell hacked it clear. Lampard's private hell continued by kind permission of D. Tyler Esq. Back in the engine room Addison and Radford declined to play with Bonds at all and old Mineral Water fizzed away in a little world of his own still minus the ball. The Hereford muititude went completely and utterly insane. West Ham United, F.A. Cup winners. European Cup winners and one of the most glamourous sides in the country for years, hung on for their lives.
Never was there a display like it by a non-league side. We'd beaten Northampton, we'd drawn with Newcastle and we'd beaten them too, but this time there was no need for prayer, no need to fight back from behind. West Ham United were in this match by the skin of their teeth and in the end we had the ultimate in satisfaction, the greatest pride of the whole fabulous run. We actually had to give West Ham credit for hanging on, we actually had the pleasure of feeling disappointed that we hadn't won, Dissappointed! A Southern League Club disappointed because they hadn't beaten a First Division side. Incredible!
The final whistle blew and we gave our boys the loudest ovation ever heard at Edgar Street. You could have called it a standing ovation but that would be wrong. You can't give a standing ovation when you're already flying twenty feet above ground. "We're on our way to West Ham, we shall not be moved" nearly got a hold. but that wasn't the message. "Hereford, Hereford, Hereford" started to bounce all round the ground again, and that was the message. Bobby Moore's face told a story as he raced off the field before the advancing hordes of dilerious kids. The story was he got the message too.
This report first appeared in the Hereford Country Life magazine.