Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Doncaster

The Predictor League for Doncaster Rovers is open. Enter your team HERE. Deadline is 1pm on Saturday afternoon.

Blast from the past

West Ham United have never met Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup before. Indeed, the two teams haven’t previously met in any form of knockout competition, so today’s focus falls on a previous league encounter between the two clubs.

The Stargazers were number one with ‘I See The Moon’, Alastair Sim was in UK cinemas in An Inspector Calls and, in a month which also saw the births of Willie Thorne and Jimmy Nail, Ted Fenton’s West Ham United took on Peter Doherty’s Doncaster Rovers in a Second Division match on 20th March 1954. The Hammers won the match 2-1 in front of 14,655, courtesy of goals from 20-year-old winger Harry Hooper (pictured below) and Glaswegian inside-left John Dick. Irish centre-forward Fred Kearns made his 48th and final appearance for the Irons ahead of his move to Norwich – he had scored 16 goals for the club.

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Doncaster would go on to finish 12th in the Second Division while the Hammers would end the 1953/54 season in 13th place. Leicester topped the Second Division, Wolves won the title and West Brom lifted the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Peter Chiswick, George Wright, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Danny McGowan, Harry Hooper, Dave Sexton, Fred Kearns, John Dick, Jimmy Andrews.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Doncaster Rovers have shared a decent number of players over the years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Stephen Bywater, Perry Suckling, Ike Tate, Tony Parks.

Defenders: Lucas Neill, Arthur Banner, Bill Green, Fred Shreeve, Rufus Brevett, Paul Marquis, Elliott Ward, Edward Wagstaff, Matthew Kilgallon, Albert Walker.

Midfielders: John Moncur, Stan Burton, Tommy Tippett, Ed Smithurst, Jack Kirkaldie, Josh Payne, Billy Linward, George Ratcliffe, Danny Williamson, Kevin Horlock.

Strikers: Jimmy Dyer, Fred Dell, Mike Newell, Brian Deane, Frederic Piquionne.

Grant McCann played for West Ham and managed Doncaster.

This week’s focus though is on a player who played for West Ham before moving to Doncaster. Herita Ilunga was born in Kinshasa, Zaire (now DR Congo) on 25th February 1982. He came through the ranks at Amiens in France before moving to Rennes. Ilunga, a left-back, left French football without making a senior appearance and moved to Espanyol, playing for their B team in the Spanish third division. Ilunga returned to France with Saint-Etienne in 2003 and spent four seasons at the club. He joined Toulouse in 2007 for a fee of £1.8m, briefly playing Champions League football with the club, before moving to England the following year.

The 26-year-old Ilunga joined Alan Curbishley’s West Ham United on a season-long loan in September 2008 – Curbishley resigned the day after Ilunga signed as George McCartney’s replacement. Ilunga made his debut under caretaker manager Kevin Keen on 13th September 2008 in a 3-2 defeat at West Brom. He played in every Premier League and FA Cup game under Gianfranco Zola in 2008/09, missing only the League Cup defeat at Watford. Ilunga scored his first goal for the Hammers in a 3-0 FA Cup third round win over Barnsley at Upton Park on 3rd January 2009. His second goal for the club also came in the FA Cup, an equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough in the fifth round on 14th February 2009 – future Hammer Stewart Downing scored for the visitors in this match and also netted in the replay as Boro won 2-0 at the Riverside.

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Ilunga made his loan move permanent for a fee of around £3m towards the end of the 2008/09 campaign as the Hammers recorded a ninth-placed finish. He scored his third and final goal for the club in a 3-1 League Cup third round defeat at Bolton on 22nd September 2009. The Irons struggled in 2009/10, finishing 17th – Ilunga was ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an injury in February. By the time he returned at the start of the following season, Avram Grant had taken over the managerial reigns – he started ten league games in 2010/11 but none of them from January onwards after the loan signing of Wayne Bridge.

West Ham were relegated and Ilunga looked to have been given an opportunity to resurrect his Hammers career by new boss Sam Allardyce, who started him in the first five games of the 2011/12 season. A series of poor performances, however, led Allardyce to sign the player Ilunga had originally been brought in to replace as McCartney returned to the club for a second spell. Ilunga’s last game for the club was the 2-1 home defeat to Aldershot in the League Cup first round on 24th August 2011. Ilunga had scored three goals in 73 appearances for West Ham United – two of these three goals, both scored in the FA Cup, can be viewed in my video below.

With the signing of McCartney, initially on loan, and the alternative option of Matty Taylor, the Hammers were well covered at left-back resulting in the 29-year-old Ilunga joining fellow Championship side Doncaster in a three-month loan move. He made his debut for Dean Saunders’ Donny in a 3-0 defeat to Leeds at the Keepmoat Stadium and made 15 appearances during his loan spell. He returned to West Ham in January 2012 but his contract was terminated by mutual consent within less than a fortnight. Ilunga returned to Doncaster in March 2012, signing a short-term contract – he made four further appearances for Rovers, taking his total for the club to 19, without scoring. His final appearance for Doncaster came in a 4-0 loss at Leicester on 7th April 2012. The club were relegated in bottom place while the Hammers were promoted via the Play-Offs.

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Ilunga was not retained by Doncaster at the end of the 2011/12 season and remained without a club until he signed for Ligue 1 side Rennes in January 2013. He spent six months with Carquefou in the third tier of French football the following year before moving to Creteil of Ligue 2 (second tier) in 2014. He retired in 2016, following Creteil’s relegation, after two seasons with the club. Ilunga, now 38, was appointed to the commission for training and development at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in September 2017.

Referee

Tomorrow’s referee will be Merseyside-based Robert Jones, who will take on his third ever senior Hammers appointment – his only other matches involving West Ham’s first team were the 4-0 defeat at Oxford in the League Cup third round in September 2019 and, most recently, our 1-0 win over Fulham in November.

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Jones has refereed one other FA Cup match this season, that being Manchester City’s 3-0 home win over Birmingham in the third round.

The VAR Official is Yorkshire-based Martin Atkinson.

Possible line-ups

Arthur Masuaku is on the sidelines for West Ham United.

Doncaster, currently fourth in League One, have beaten FC United of Manchester, Carlisle and Blackburn to reach this fourth round tie. 21-year-old goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe joined on loan from Brentford earlier this month. 25-year-old Welsh Under-21 international Joe Wright is back and available; 37-year-old centre-half Andy Butler is in his second spell at Doncaster and is also manager of the women’s side, Doncaster Rovers Belles. Tom Anderson, 27, is the captain and came through the ranks at Burnley. Cameron John, 21, is a product of Wolves’ Academy.

25-year-old Brad Halliday and 27-year-old Reece James formed the midfield pair in the last round at Blackburn, but both are naturally full-backs – the latter appeared as a substitute for Wigan when they knocked David Moyes’ West Ham out of the FA Cup at the fourth round stage in 2018 and is available after suspension. Jason Lokilo, 22, was born in Belgium and is of Congolese descent; he signed from Crystal Palace last year. 20-year-old Taylor Richards is on loan from Brighton and scored the winner in the previous round at Ewood Park. Elliot Simoes, 21, is an Angolan international currently on loan from Barnsley.

With Arsenal loanee Tyreece John-Jules ruled out for at least two months with a serious hamstring problem, manager Darren Moore could start 24-year-old Fejiri Okenabirhie up front – the England C international was also on the Gunners’ books as a youngster. Moore may not have enough players to name a full bench of nine substitutes.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Johnson, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio.

Possible Doncaster Rovers XI: Balcombe; Wright, Butler, Anderson, John; Halliday, James; Lokilo, Richards, Simoes; Okenabirhie.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v West Brom

The Predictor League for WBA is open. Enter your team HERE. Deadline is today at 4pm.

Blast from the past

17th February 1973 – The Sweet were number one with ‘Blockbuster’; Iggy and the Stooges had just released ‘Raw Power’; Maggie Smith and Alec McCowen were in UK cinemas in Travels With My Aunt; Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em had just made its television debut and West Ham United recorded a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion in front of 26,079 at Upton Park.

West Ham captain Bobby Moore led the Hammers out having won his 100th England cap during midweek in a 5-0 win over Scotland at a snowbound Hampden Park. Ron Greenwood’s Irons were victorious against Don Howe’s struggling Baggies courtesy of goals from Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson and Billy Bonds; Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown was on the scoresheet for the visitors. Robson (pictured below, celebrating with Bonds in a victory at Crystal Palace the following month) scored 28 goals in 46 appearances in 1972/73, a tally which made him the Football League’s top goalscorer that season; he was also voted Hammer of the Year with Trevor Brooking runner-up.

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The Hammers continued a march which saw them end up sixth in the First Division. The Baggies were to finish bottom in 1972/73 and were relegated. Liverpool won the First Division title and Sunderland won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Johnny Ayris, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Pat Holland, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best.

Club Connections

Craig Dawson welcomes his former club, while Robert Snodgrass and Grady Diangana return to London Stadium. Former Baggies player and Hammers manager Sam Allardyce is now in charge of the visitors. The Irons and the Baggies have shared a decent number of players over the years. These include:

Defenders: Danny Gabbidon, Peter McManus, David Burrows, Steve Walford, Gary Strodder, Tyrone Mears, Harry Kinsell.

Midfielders: Peter Butler, Alan Dickens, Franz Carr, Freddie Fenton, Morgan Amalfitano, Nigel Quashie.

Strikers: Geoff Hurst, Tudor Martin, David Speedie, Frank Nouble, John Hartson, Chippy Simmons, Vince Haynes, Tommy Green, David Cross.

Alan Pardew has managed both clubs. Archie Macauley played for West Ham and managed West Brom, while Super Slaven Bilic played for the Hammers and managed both clubs. Bobby Gould played for both clubs and also spent a period as manager at The Hawthorns.

This week’s focus though is on a player who played for West Ham and had a loan spell at West Brom. Jeroen Boere was born in Arnhem on 18th November 1967. He started his career with Excelsior in 1985 before moving to De Graafschap two years later. An old-fashioned centre-forward in the target man mould, Boere moved to VVV-Venlo in 1988 but returned to De Graafschap in a loan deal – he scored an impressive 28 goals in 56 appearances during his two spells with De Graafschap. Boere was on the move again in 1990, signing for Roda JC but he returned to VVV-Venlo later that same year. He joined Go Ahead Eagles in 1991 before moving to England two years later.

The 25-year-old Boere joined Billy Bonds’ newly-promoted West Ham United for a fee of £250,000 in September 1993, hot on the heels of the arrivals of David Burrows, Mike Marsh and Lee Chapman. He suffered an ignominious debut on 25th September 1993, receiving a red card for an elbow on Kevin Scott in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle shortly after entering the fray as a substitute. Boere scored his first goal for the Hammers in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chesterfield on 5th October 1993. He made only three further appearances in claret and blue in 1993/94 and spent the final weeks of the campaign on loan at Portsmouth.

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Boere joined West Brom on loan in the early stages of the 1994/95 campaign, with Harry Redknapp now in the manager’s hotseat at Upton Park – he made five goalless appearances for the Baggies during his loan spell at The Hawthorns. He returned to east London in November 1994 with the Irons entrenched in a relegation battle; he scored his first league goal for the club in his first Premier League start, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 4th December 1994. Boere followed this up with a brace of headers the following weekend in a 2-2 draw at Leeds, salvaging a point from Elland Road after the Hammers had been two goals down. Forging a promising strike partnership with Tony Cottee, Boere scored with another header against Tottenham at the Boleyn on 14th January 1995 but the Irons would lose 2-1 to a Spurs side inspired by goalscorers Jurgen Klinsmann and future Hammer Teddy Sheringham. Boere’s strike against Tottenham’s Ian Walker did, however, deny the goalkeeper a chance to break a consecutive clean sheets record held by Ray Clemence.

With the return from injury of Don Hutchison, Boere found his first team opportunities again restricted, although he did score in a 3-0 home win over Wimbledon on 13th April 1995 and bagged a vital late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich four days later, which would transpire to be his final goal for the club. He made his final appearance in claret and blue as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham on 30th August 1995 before joining Crystal Palace the following month as part of the deal which brought Iain Dowie back to Upton Park for a second spell. Boere had scored seven goals in 29 appearances for West Ham United – all of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

After six months with the Eagles, Boere moved to Southend in March 1996 and spent two years at Roots Hall before moving to Japan to play for Saitama-based Omiya Ardija. In May 1999, after dinner with his wife at a restaurant in Tokyo, he was stabbed in his left eye and arm by two unknown men; his attacker was reported to be an Israeli criminal who was later found shot through the head in a Bangkok river. Boere lost his eye in the incident, forcing his retirement from football at the age of 31.

After his retirement, Boere owned The Half Moon pub in Epping High Street from 1999 until 2004. He moved to Spain in September 2004 to work as a real estate agent. Jeroen Boere tragically died at the age of just 39, on 16th August 2007. Reports regarding the circumstances of Boere’s death are conflicting; some outlets reported that the Dutchman died in a car crash, possibly on Ibiza, while other media reported that he was found dead at his home in Marbella. The Ilford Recorder stated that Boere had committed suicide. Boere left his wife and child, as well as two sons from a previous marriage.

Referee

Tomorrow’s referee is 52-year-old Graham Scott. The Oxfordshire-based official will be taking charge of only his tenth Premier League match involving West Ham United – the Hammers have won six of the previous nine league matches he has officiated. His first Premier League appointment with the Irons was our 3-1 win at Southampton in February 2017. He also took charge of the Hammers for our 3-0 win at Stoke under David Moyes in December 2017 – Scott’s decision to award Manuel Lanzini a first-half penalty saw the Argentine retrospectively banned for two matches. He also refereed our 2-0 home win over Watford in February 2018, our 3-1 home win over Everton in Moyes’ last match of his first spell in charge of the Hammers and our 3-1 defeat at Arsenal in August 2018.

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Scott was the man in the middle for both our matches against Cardiff in 2018/19. The match at London Stadium saw him award a penalty to the visitors which Lukasz Fabianski saved as the Hammers went on to win 3-1. He also officiated our 2-0 defeat in the Welsh capital in March 2019. Scott was also in charge of our 2-1 defeat at Manchester United in April 2019, awarding the home side two penalties. He most recently refereed the Hammers in our 4-0 home win over Bournemouth last January, awarding the hosts a spot-kick which Mark Noble converted. Scott was also in charge for our 2-1 League Cup victory over Cheltenham in August 2013 and sent off Callum McNaughton in the defender’s only Hammers appearance as the club were knocked out of the same competition by Aldershot in August 2011.

The VAR Official is Darren England.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Fabian Balbuena and Arthur Masuaku are on the sidelines. There have been 25 goals scored in the past seven Premier League meetings between West Ham and West Brom in east London. The Irons have won both of their meetings against promoted sides so far this season.

Former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has been on the losing side on both of his previous visits to London Stadium, with Crystal Palace and Everton. He welcomes back Conor Gallagher from suspension but is set to be without Sam Johnstone, Conor Townsend, Matt Phillips, Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant. Semi Ajayi has scored three goals in his past five appearances in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 49.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio.

Possible West Bromwich Albion XI: Button; O’Shea, Bartley, Ajayi, Gibbs; Livermore, Gallagher; Snodgrass, Pereira, Grosicki; Robinson.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Burnley

The Predictor League for Burnley is open. Enter your team HERE. Deadline is Saturday at 1pm.

Blast from the past

In today’s featured match, we travel back to 15th March 1975, when The Bay City Rollers were number one with ‘Bye Bye Baby’, Led Zeppelin had just released ‘Physical Graffiti’ and The Towering Inferno was in UK cinemas. Eva Longoria and will.i.am were born on this day as West Ham United welcomed Burnley to east London. Hong Kong Phooey made its UK television debut two days later and, the following week, a large National Front rally was held in London in protest against European integration.

The Hammers went into the game on the back of a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Arsenal at Highbury the weekend before. They ran out 2-1 winners in front of 28,830 spectators at Upton Park courtesy of goals from future Burnley striker Alan Taylor (pictured below) and Keith Robson; Doug Collins was on the scoresheet for the visitors. The Irons did not win any of their following six matches, until they defeated Ipswich in an FA Cup semi-final replay nearly a month later.

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John Lyall’s West Ham would go on to finish 13th in a 1974/75 campaign that saw them win the FA Cup with a 2-0 triumph over Fulham at Wembley. 19-year-old goalkeeper Mervyn Day would also win the PFA Young Player of the Year Award and finish runner-up to Billy Bonds in the Hammer of the Year voting for the second season in succession. Jimmy Adamson’s Clarets ended the season in tenth position; Derby won the league title.

West Ham United: Mervyn Day, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Kevin Lock, Frank Lampard, Graham Paddon, Billy Bonds (Bobby Gould), Trevor Brooking, Billy Jennings, Alan Taylor, Keith Robson.

Burnley: Alan Stevenson, Keith Newton, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Doug Collins, Billy Ingham, Brian Flynn, Leighton James, Peter Noble, Ray Hankin, Paul Fletcher.

Club Connections

A small collection of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Frank Birchenough, Tommy Hampson and Herman Conway.

Defenders: David Unsworth, Tommy Dunn, Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

Strikers: Alan Taylor, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Wright, Ian Moore and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who spent two spells with Burnley either side of a stint at West Ham United. Bill Jenkinson was born in Chesterfield on 11th April 1874 and began his career with Belgian side Antwerp. Predominantly a centre-forward, he moved to Burnley in 1898 and spent three years at the club, helping them to a third-placed finish in the First Division in his first season. The Clarets could not repeat the success of their 1898/99 campaign and were relegated in 17th position the following season. Jenkinson, who featured at left-back on occasions, was a member of the squad which ended up third in the Second Division in 1900/01, missing out on an immediate return to the top flight by four points. He scored 11 goals in 33 appearances during his first spell with Burnley.

The 27-year-old Jenkinson (pictured) moved to West Ham United, then of the Southern League First Division, in 1901 and made his Hammers debut at inside-left in a 2-0 home defeat to Millwall on 26th October 1901. He was tried in three different positions in his first three games, all of which ended in defeat. He played centre-forward in his next match, a 3-0 defeat at Reading on 23rd November, and was moved to left-half for a 4-0 loss at Southampton two weeks later. He eventually settled down at inside-left as the Hammers finished the season by going unbeaten for the last 11 matches to secure a fourth-placed finish. Jenkinson scored his first goal for the Irons in a 2-1 win at Tottenham on 15th February 1902 and was also on the scoresheet in a 2-0 victory at Brentford on 3rd March 1902. Jenkinson’s last appearance for the Hammers came in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at the Memorial Grounds on 12th April 1902. At the end of the season, having scored two goals in 19 appearances for West Ham United, Jenkinson returned to league football with Burnley.

Jenkinson made 17 appearances for Second Division Burnley in his second spell, scoring once, to take his Clarets totals to 12 goals in 50 matches. He later played for Colne. Bill Jenkinson died between April and June of 1960, aged 85 or 86.

Referee

The referee tomorrow will be Christopher Kavanagh. The Manchester-born official has refereed the Hammers on ten previous occasions, most recently for our 3-0 defeat at Chelsea last month. He also refereed the Irons on our last two trips to Vicarage Road, one of which was a 4-1 win in May 2019, when he sent off the Hornets’ Jose Holebas and awarded the Irons a penalty, converted by Mark Noble after a foul on Michail Antonio. Prior to that, Kavanagh officiated our 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in April 2019 and our 2-0 home win over Newcastle the month before, a game in which he also awarded the Hammers a penalty for a foul on Chicharito which was again converted by Noble.

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Kavanagh had previously been in charge for our 2-2 home draw with Brighton in January 2019, our 1-1 draw at Huddersfield in November 2018 and our 1-0 home defeat to Wolves in September 2018. He was the man in the middle for our 2-0 win at Leicester in May 2018 and also issued Arthur Masuaku with a red card for spitting in an FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan in January 2018.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without Fabian Balbuena and Arthur Masuaku, while Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop are doubts. Lukasz Fabianski could be available.

Burnley have doubts over Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Jimmy Dunne and Charlie Taylor. Chris Wood has scored six goals in his six games against West Ham. The Clarets have scored just four goals in eight away league games so far this season

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Antonio.

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Barnes.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Stockport v West Ham

The Predictor League for Stockport is open. Enter your team HERE. Deadline is Monday at 6pm. If you’ve already chosen Haller or Snodgrass you way want to edit your entry!

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Stockport County in the FA Cup on three previous occasions. The third of these meetings was in the fourth round at Upton Park in front of 36,000 on the 25th January 1958. Elvis Presley was number one with ‘Jailhouse Rock’, Jools Holland was born the day before and, three days later, baseball star Roy Campanella was involved in a road accident that ended his career and left him paralysed.

The Second Division Hammers had beaten First Division Blackpool 5-1 at the Boleyn Ground in the third round to earn safe passage through to this fourth round tie against Third Division North side Stockport. Willie Moir was Stockport’s player-manager – he had FA Cup pedigree having captained Bolton in their defeat to Blackpool in the 1953 ‘Matthews’ Final. Visiting goalkeeper Ken Grieves was an Australian cricketer who made 452 first-class appearances for Lancashire and made a county record 555 catches. He also played as a goalkeeper for Bury and Bolton before representing Stockport, and later played for Wigan.

Centre-forward Bill Holden gave Moir’s visitors a shock lead four minutes into the second half but Ted Fenton’s Hammers equalised two minutes later when inside-right Eddie Lewis bundled the aforementioned Grieves, and the ball, into the net (pictured). Shortly afterwards, Grieves fumbled Bill Lansdowne’s strike from distance and centre-forward Vic Keeble, a hat-trick hero against Blackpool in the previous round, gave the Hammers a 2-1 lead. The 23-year-old Lewis notched his second of the game after 73 minutes when he converted a pass from Malcolm Musgrove but winger Ken Finney pulled a goal back for County with ten minutes remaining through a fine shot.

The Hammers held on to win 3-2 and marched on to the fifth round, where they would be defeated 3-2 by London neighbours Fulham in an all-Second Division encounter at Upton Park. Bolton would win the 1958 FA Cup, beating Manchester United 2-0 at Wembley three months after the Munich air disaster. The Irons would go on to win the Second Division title and win promotion to the top flight after a 26-year absence. Andy Malcolm was voted Hammer of the Year and John Dick was top goalscorer with 26 goals in 48 appearances.

West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Noel Cantwell, Andy Malcolm, Ken Brown, Bill Lansdowne, Mike Grice, Eddie Lewis, Vic Keeble, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove.

Aside from this fourth round win in 1958, the remaining FA Cup record between the two clubs is as follows:
1935 – West Ham 1-1 Stockport (Third Round)
1935 – Stockport 1-0 West Ham (Third Round Replay)

Club Connections

A small group of players have turned out for West Ham United and Stockport County. Divided by playing position, they include:

Goalkeeper – George Kitchen.

Defender – George Kay.

Midfielders – Danny Whitehead, Adam Nowland.

Strikers – Ian Moore, Sam Jennings, Billy Brown.

Today’s focus though is on an inside-left who played for West Ham United before later representing Stockport County. George Dick was born in Torphichen, Scotland on 12th June 1921 and was a Scottish Guardsman during World War Two – he was part of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) after the conflict. A cruiserweight boxing champion, Dick worked as a waiter in Blackpool after leaving the army – he had a trial at First Division Blackpool in August 1946 and was signed within ten minutes. He played in a star-studded Tangerines side which included Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen in the 1948 FA Cup Final, a match they would lose 4-2 to Manchester United.

The 1948 FA Cup Final would prove to be Dick’s last appearance for Blackpool – he moved to Second Division West Ham United in August 1948 for £7,000 in the hope that he would solve a goalscoring problem at Upton Park. The 27-year-old Dick (pictured) made his debut for Charlie Paynter’s Hammers in a 1-0 home defeat to Luton on 30th October 1948 and scored what would be his only goal for the club in a 3-1 win at Leeds on 27th December of that year. Dick’s final match for the Irons was a 4-0 defeat at Cardiff on 12th March 1949. He moved to Carlisle in the summer of 1949, having scored one goal in 15 appearances for West Ham United.

Dick signed for Stockport in 1951 and regained his scoring touch, registering 12 goals in 25 games for the club before signing for Workington later that year. He retired from playing in 1953 and embarked on a coaching career on the continent. Dick managed Racing Club Ghent in Belgium, joining the club in 1953 and departing two years later. He coached the US Army in Germany in 1956 before accepting the managerial post at Danish side Boldklubben 1909 the following year. He moved to Turkey in 1958 to manage Galatasaray for a year before returning to Boldklubben, with whom he won the Danish championship in 1959. Aged 39, George Dick was tragically killed in a road accident in Carlisle in September 1960.

Referee

Monday’s referee will be Cheshire-based Mike Dean; 2020/21 is Dean’s 21st as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Dean has refereed 26 of our league matches, officiating in ten wins for the Hammers, eight draws and eight defeats.

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Dean refereed our final match at the Boleyn when we famously triumphed 3-2 over Manchester United. His decision to send off Sofiane Feghouli just 15 minutes into our 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils in January 2017 was later rescinded. Dean’s three Hammers appointments last season were the 5-0 opening day home defeat to Manchester City, our 0-0 draw at Aston Villa in September 2019 when he sent off Arthur Masuaku and, most recently, our 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2019.

VAR will not be in use for Monday’s match.

Possible line-ups

Stockport boss Jim Gannon was a West Ham supporter as a teenager growing up in London; he was part of the County side which knocked the Hammers out of the League Cup in 1996 and is now in his third spell as manager of the club. Stockport have lost their last five FA Cup ties against top-flight opponents, last knocking out a top-flight team back in January 1994 against QPR, when County were a third-tier side.

33-year-old goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe joined the Hatters in 2016 and has made over 200 appearances for the club. 31-year-old centre-half and captain Liam Hogan moved from Salford last February; 28-year-old centre-half Ash Palmer has spent most of his career in non-league football. Hogan and Palmer could form a back three with Jamie Stott, 23, who came through the youth ranks at Oldham.

24-year-old Welsh right-back Macauley Southam-Hales joined the club in the summer from Fleetwood. 31-year-old Lois Maynard, an international who has been capped by Saint Kitts and Nevis, could anchor the midfield; 26-year-old England C international Ryan Croasdale should start in midfield alongside him. 25-year-old left-back Mark Kitching came through Middlesbrough’s Academy and has played league football for Rochdale.

30-year-old attacking midfielder John Rooney, brother of Wayne, can be a key man for County. The Hatters are likely to play two up front, with Alex Reid and Richie Bennett leading the line of late – Reid is a 6’4 25-year-old product of Aston Villa’s youth system while Bennett, also 6’4, is a 29-year-old who has played league football for Carlisle, Morecambe and Port Vale.

West Ham United have Arthur Masuaku on the injury list while Ryan Fredericks has tested positive for Covid-19. Lukasz Fabianski is a doubt.

Possible Stockport County XI: Hinchcliffe; Hogan, Palmer, Stott; Southam-Hales, Maynard, Croasdale, Kitching; Rooney; Reid, Bennett.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Johnson, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Noble; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Benrahma; Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Everton v West Ham

To enter the Everton Predictor League, click HERE. Entries can be made until 3.30pm today.

Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all West Ham Till I Die readers a very Happy New Year!

Blast from the past

West Ham United recorded a rare win at Goodison Park on the 14th December 2005. The Pussycat Dolls were number one with ‘Stickwitu’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe topped the UK box office and, the following evening, Sir Trevor McDonald made his final ITN news broadcast after over 25 years.

Paul Konchesky had seen an effort saved by future Hammers goalkeeper Richard Wright before James Beattie flashed James McFadden’s cross beyond Roy Carroll to give Everton a ninth-minute lead in front of 35,704. The Irons were level ten minutes later when Tomas Repka’s innocuous cross from the right was turned past his own goalkeeper by Toffees centre-half David Weir.

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West Ham seized the initiative in the second half and Marlon Harewood was inches away from connecting with Matty Etherington’s left-wing cross. Etherington was involved in the Hammers’ winning goal, jinking in from the left touchline, beating two players before firing in a shot which Wright could only parry into the path of Bobby Zamora (pictured above) who tucked home the loose ball with 23 minutes left to play. My video below contains the action from this match, as well as interviews with Irons manager Alan Pardew, centre-half Anton Ferdinand and matchwinner Zamora.

Pardew’s Hammers went on to finish in ninth place in the top flight that season, while David Moyes’ Everton finished 11th. Harewood was the Hammers’ top goalscorer with 16 goals from 46 matches – Danny Gabbidon was voted Hammer of the Year, with Harewood runner-up. Chelsea won the league title in 2005/06 and Liverpool beat the Irons on penalties to win the FA Cup.

Everton: Richard Wright, Tony Hibbert (Mikel Arteta), Joseph Yobo, David Weir, Nuno Valente, Simon Davies, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Kevin Kilbane (Duncan Ferguson), James McFadden (Marcus Bent), James Beattie.

West Ham United: Roy Carroll, Tomas Repka, Anton Ferdinand, James Collins, Paul Konchesky, Yossi Benayoun, Hayden Mullins, Carl Fletcher, Matty Etherington (Christian Dailly), Bobby Zamora (Shaun Newton), Marlon Harewood.

Club Connections

David Moyes sends a side to face his former club. He is joined in representing both clubs by:

Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.

Defenders: Lars Jacobsen, William Wildman, George Eccles, David Burrows, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.

Midfielders: Harry Dawson, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Don Hutchison, Joe Blythe, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop.

Strikers: Tony Cottee, Chas Crossley, Tony Weldon, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Nikica Jelavic.

Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers. Sam Allardyce has managed both the Toffees and the Irons.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who spent a season at Upton Park in between two spells with Everton. David Unsworth was born in Chorley, Lancashire on 16th October 1973 and began his career at Everton. He scored on his debut at the age of 18 for Howard Kendall’s Toffees, bagging the equaliser in a 3-3 draw at Tottenham on 25th April 1992, Gary Lineker’s final match for Spurs at White Hart Lane. Unsworth was part of England’s Under-20 squad that finished third at the 1993 World Youth Championships in Australia and also made seven appearances for the Under-21 side.

Unsworth became a first team regular under first Mike Walker, then Joe Royle, in 1994/95 and won the FA Cup with the Toffees at the end of that season. Terry Venables handed Unsworth his only full England cap on 3rd June 1995, in a 2-1 win over Japan at Wembley. Playing as a left-back or central defender, Unsworth won the Charity Shield with Everton in 1995 and also became the Toffees’ penalty taker – he scored from the spot against West Ham’s emergency goalkeeper Julian Dicks after Ludek Miklosko had been sent off in a match the hosts would win 3-0 at Goodison Park on 11th December 1995. After four consecutive bottom-half finishes, Unsworth helped Everton to a top-six place in 1995/96; the Toffees slumped back down to 15th the following season. Unsworth scored twelve goals in 123 appearances for Everton in his first spell at the club.

Less than two months after Kendall returned to Everton as manager, the 23-year-old Unsworth joined West Ham United in August 1997 in a swap deal with Academy product Danny Williamson. He made his debut, ironically, against the club he’d just left in a 2-1 Hammers defeat at Goodison Park on 23rd August 1997, becoming the first ever Hammer to have a surname beginning with the letter ‘U’ (only Matthew Upson has since joined Unsworth in West Ham’s ‘U’ club). He played on the left side of three central defenders under Harry Redknapp, often alongside Rio Ferdinand and fellow new signing Ian Pearce as the Irons progressed from strugglers the previous season to an exciting, upwardly-mobile outfit also boasting Eyal Berkovic and John Hartson.

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Unsworth scored his first goal in claret and blue in a 4-1 home victory over Crystal Palace on 3rd December 1997. His second and final goal for the club was the winner in a 2-1 triumph over Chelsea on 14th March 1998. The 6’1 defender also converted spot-kicks in the Hammers’ FA Cup penalty shoot-outs at Blackburn in the fifth round replay and in the quarter-final replay home defeat to Arsenal. Unsworth was sent off in his penultimate match for the Hammers, a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace on 5th May 1998. His final game in claret and blue was the 4-3 home win over Leicester on the final day of the season five days later. Unsworth had helped West Ham to an eighth-placed finish in 1997/98, their highest end-of-season standing since 1985/86. He made 41 appearances for the club, scoring two goals – both of these strikes can be seen in my video below.

With his family failing to settle in London, Unsworth moved to Aston Villa for £3m in the summer of 1998 – however, this transpired to not be close enough to the North West and Unsworth returned to Everton without even playing a competitive game for Villa. He made his second debut for the Toffees, now managed by Walter Smith, in a 2-0 defeat at Leicester on 22nd August 1998. After Everton finished one place above the relegation zone in his year away from Goodison Park, Unsworth helped the Toffees to 14th and 13th place in his first two seasons back on Merseyside.

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Unsworth scored a penalty for Everton in front of the Bobby Moore Stand in a 2-0 win against West Ham on 31st March 2001; David Moyes took over from Smith as manager a year later. After a seventh-place finish in 2002/03, Unsworth scored his last goal for Everton in a 3-1 home win over Tottenham on 9th April 2004 and played his final match for the club in a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn at Goodison Park on 24th April 2004. He had scored 27 goals in 202 games for the Toffees in his second spell, taking his totals for the club to 39 goals in 325 appearances.

After six years back at Goodison Park, Unsworth was released by Moyes in 2004 – the defender teamed up with his former Hammers boss Redknapp at Portsmouth. Unsworth spent the second half of the 2004/05 season on loan at Ipswich after Redknapp’s departure from Fratton Park. A permanent move to Championship side Sheffield United followed in the summer of 2005 – he helped the Blades to promotion the following season but was released halfway through their 2006/07 Premier League campaign.

Unsworth signed for Wigan in January 2007, returning to Bramall Lane on the final day of the season to convert the penalty which kept the Latics up and relegated the Blades. It would prove to be Unsworth’s final game for Wigan and he returned to the Championship in August 2007, signing for Burnley at the age of 33. Unsworth turned down the chance to stay with the Clarets at the end of the season and moved to Huddersfield with whom he ended his career in 2009.

After retiring, Unsworth joined Preston as Development Coach. He was promoted to First Team Coach following the departure of current Hammers assistant Alan Irvine, and appointed caretaker manager for a week in the winter of the 2010/11 season. Unsworth was again appointed caretaker manager in December 2011 but was dismissed on the appointment of new manager Graham Westley. In December 2012 Unsworth returned to former club Sheffield United as Head of Academy Coaching; he was named Assistant Manager to caretaker boss Chris Morgan in April 2013. He was appointed Assistant Manager of the Everton Under-21 team in September 2013, becoming manager of the team in 2014. Now 47, he has had two spells in caretaker charge of the first team, most recently in the autumn of 2017.

Referee

The referee on New Year’s Day is Kevin Friend. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal. Last season, Friend refereed the Hammers in our 3-0 defeat at Burnley in November 2019, for our 2-0 loss at Manchester City in February and our 4-0 win at Norwich in July. He most recently took charge of a West Ham match in our 2-1 defeat at Liverpool in October.

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Friend is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. He compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Everton’s Lucas Digne, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Fabian Delph, Allan and James Rodriguez are out injured but Richarlison is available for the visit of the Hammers. Everton beat West Ham 4-1 at Goodison Park earlier this season in the League Cup fourth round, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring a hat-trick – the striker is one goal shy of matching his total of 15 from last season but has gone five games in all competitions without scoring.

For West Ham United, Arthur Masuaku is on the sidelines. The Hammers are winless in four league matches, drawing three of them.

Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey; Doucoure, Gomes, Sigurdsson; Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Fornals; Haller, Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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