Dan Coker's Match Preview

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

Today’s blast from the past features a 2-1 victory at Upton Park against tonight’s opponents, Brighton. It arrived just over 104 years ago, on Boxing Day 1914 in front of 9,600 spectators. H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister during the first Christmas of World War One and Bernard Youens, who would play Stan Ogden in Coronation Street, was born two days later.

Both Hammers’ goals were scored by legendary centre-forward Syd Puddefoot (pictured below), his tenth and eleventh of the season. The 20-year-old ‘Puddy’, as he was affectionately known by supporters, finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 18 goals in 37 matches.

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Syd King’s Hammers ended the 1914/15 season fourth in the Southern League First Division. Brighton were to finish tenth. Watford won the Southern League First Division, Everton won the league title and Sheffield United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Joe Hughes, Frank Burton, Billy Cope, Bob Whiteman, Bill Askew, Alf Fenwick, Dick Leafe, George Butcher, Syd Puddefoot, George Hilsdon, Jack Casey.

Club Connections

Brighton manager Chris Hughton is back in east London having served West Ham United as a player. Other players who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeeper: Harry Medhurst.

Defenders: Len Young, Dennis Burnett, Mauricio Taricco, Tommy McAteer, Matthew Upson, Keith McPherson, William Kelly and Wayne Bridge.

Midfielders: Sebastien Carole, Bertie Lutton, John Payne, George Parris and Tony Stokes.

Strikers: Sam Baldock, Greg Campbell, Brian Dear, Tommy Dixon, Justin Fashanu, Sam Jennings, Sam Small, Bobby Zamora, Dave Sexton, Mike Small and Paul Kitson.

In addition, ex-Hammers Archie Macaulay and Liam Brady have managed Brighton. Alan Curbishley played for both clubs and managed the Hammers.

This week’s focus though is on a player who spent a season with the Hammers before joining the Seagulls. Herbert Lyon was born in Mosborough, Sheffield on 18th May 1875 and started his career with Overseal Town before joining Gresley Rovers in Derbyshire. In 1899, he moved to Leicester but was on the move again a year later, signing for Nelson. The nomadic Lyon, who stood 5’7 tall, also turned out for Watford before becoming one of four players to leave Reading and sign for West Ham United in the summer of 1903.

Better known as ‘Bertie’, the 28-year-old made his Hammers debut in a 4-2 defeat at Millwall on 5th September 1903, the opening day of the 1903/04 season. He scored twice on his home debut two days later in a 4-1 victory over Kettering, playing at centre-forward, but would not score again in the league for another five months. He did embark, however, on a free-scoring run in the FA Cup, bagging a brace in a 4-0 home win over Brighton in the third qualifying round on 31st October 1903 before scoring another double in a 3-0 win at Clapton Orient in the fourth qualifying round two weeks later. Lyon (pictured) scored again in a 5-0 fifth qualifying round win at Chatham on 28th November 1903 before the Irons were knocked out in the Intermediate round by Fulham, losing 1-0 in the last FA Cup tie the club played at the Memorial Grounds.

Lyon’s record of five goals in four FA Cup matches belied his league form, but he finally ended his Southern League drought in a 5-0 home hammering of Brighton on 13th February 1904 having been moved to his favoured position of inside-right. He scored again in his next home match, a 2-0 win against Northampton on 27th February 1904. This would be his last Hammers goal, with his final appearance for the club coming in a 1-0 home defeat to Swindon on 30th April 1904. West Ham ended the 1903/04 season in 12th position and, having scored three times against them during the campaign, Lyon joined Brighton in the summer of 1904 as part of a major clear-out of players designed to reduce the club’s debts before the move to Upton Park. He had scored nine goals in 33 appearances for West Ham United.

Lyon was involved in an unsavoury incident with West Ham goalkeeper Matt Kingsley while playing for Brighton against the Hammers at the Goldstone Ground on 25th March 1905 – Kingsley, who had joined the Irons in the summer Lyon left, was seen to kick Lyon, which caused a crowd invasion and a near riot took place. The fracas led to Kingsley being sent off and Lyon was carried from the field; Brighton won the match 3-1. Lyon scored five goals in 29 matches for Brighton before leaving the Seagulls for Swindon in 1905.

Lyon went on to play for Carlisle before returning to Swindon. He also played for Blackpool and Walsall before ending his career in Wales with Tredegar; Lyon also worked as a brickyard labourer at the end of his playing career. Bertie Lyon died in 1927 at the age of either 51 or 52.


The referee on Wednesday will be Christopher Kavanagh. The Manchester-born official has refereed the Hammers on four previous occasions, most recently for our 1-1 draw at Huddersfield in November. His last match at London Stadium was our 1-0 defeat to Wolves in September.

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Kavanagh was the man in the middle for our 2-0 win at Leicester in May and also issued Arthur Masuaku with a red card for spitting in January’s FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan. He has been the man in the middle for 12 Premier League matches so far in 2018/19, issuing 39 yellow cards in those games and one red, and awarding three penalties.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Chicharito but Pablo Zabaleta could return from illness. Robert Snodgrass has a knock and will undergo a late fitness test. New signing Samir Nasri should be available. West Ham have lost all three Premier League encounters against Brighton, with the Hammers’ last triumph over the Seagulls being a 6-0 home Championship victory in April 2012. The Irons have won five of their past seven league matches, but have lost two of the last three.

Brighton are without goalkeeper Mat Ryan and winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who are away at the Asian Cup representing Australia and Iran respectively. Jose Izquierdo, who has two goals in three matches against West Ham, is likely to miss out through injury. The Seagulls have lost seven of their last eight top-flight games in London, with their win at West Ham last season the exception.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Diangana, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Antonio, Arnautovic.

Possible Brighton XI: Button; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo; Propper, Stephens, Gross; Knockaert, Andone, Locadia.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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