Dan Coker's Match Preview

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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.

Embed from Getty Images

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!