A 4-0 win over Barnsley on Good Friday saw West Ham set a new club record for away wins
West Ham United set a new club record for most away wins in a season after an emphatic 4-0 victory over Barnsley at Oakwell. Goals from Kevin Nolan, Nicky Maynard, Mark Noble and ex-Barnsley striker Ricardo Vaz Te sealed West Ham's record breaking twelfth away victory of the season in a match they dominated from start to finish. The win, in front of 2,500 superb travelling fans, broke the record set in the 1957-58 promotion-winning season and it was a victory that delighted manager Sam Allardyce. "We broke a club record which I'm really pleased about. I'm pleased for the players and for the fans too, it's a terrific result for us and one that we fully deserved after such an excellent performance." Allardyce said. "I think we gave the fans something to cheer about which is great, it's a long journey up here, especially on Good Friday, so we thank them for coming and hopefully we entertained them and sent them home happy."
West Ham controlled the game and in truth were never really troubled by the hosts once they had taken the lead in the seventh minute when, following a corner, skipper Nolan was left all alone a yard out from goal and had the simple task of tapping into an empty net. Maynard then doubled the visitors' lead after 23 minutes with a beautifully struck shot from 22-yards out that nestled in the bottom corner. West Ham's pressure and persistence was the catalyst for their third as, ten minutes before the break, Maynard's excellent closing down of Button in the Tyke's goal led to a poor clearance that was picked up by Noble who struck a lovely chip over the keeper and into the net.
After the break the Hammers continued to dominate and put the game firmly to bed when, after some great work by George McCartney down the left-hand side, the defender saw his shot saved but the rebound fall straight to Vaz Te who side-footed into the net. The West Ham fans were certainly enjoying themselves on a drizzly Good Friday as a conga dance broke out in the away end. "The team deserve a lot of credit for the way they have scored their goals today. Kevin's was from a set-piece - something we work hard on in training, Maynard's was a quality strike and the third, for me, summed up the effort of the whole team today. "We've closed down Barnsley's defence and their keeper forcing them to make the error, then the finish from Noble was outstanding. We've got everything right and that pleases me greatly."
The Hammers could have had more when Nicky Maynard rifled a 25-yard shot against the crossbar and Henri Lansbury had a daisy-cutter well saved. The Hammers now have three days to prepare for another crucial game when Birmingham City visit the Boleyn Ground on Easter Monday. "We had the added pressure of knowing Reading had won earlier in the day and I was a tad worried how the players would take that pressure. But they used it in the right way and gave a very measured, controlled performance," Big Sam said. "Now we look to Birmingham on Monday where we will have the fans right behind us so what we must do is make sure we give the same type of performance as today and get that all important win."
Barnsley 0 West Ham 4
Nolan 7′ Maynard 23′ Noble 35′ Vaz Te 55′
6 April 2012
Last updated at 19:29
By Mandeep Sanghera
West Ham maintained their automatic promotion hopes with an emphatic win at struggling Barnsley. Barnsley failed to deal with a corner and Kevin Nolan tapped in the opener, before Nicky Maynard added a second with a guided 22-yard shot. Mark Noble then chipped in after an error by Barnsley keeper David Button. Ricardo Vaz Te pounced for a fourth after Button had parried a George McCartney shot into his path, before a Maynard shot struck the woodwork. West Ham had seen rivals Reading move to the top of the Championship by beating Leeds in the early kick-off and, knowing they needed victory to stay in touch at the top, the Hammers overwhelmed Barnsley. The victory moved the Upton Park side three points behind second-placed Southampton, who have a game in hand. And the Hammers set a club record of 12 away league wins in a single season. Barnsley suffered a sixth defeat in their last seven league outings and were left looking over their shoulder in the hope they are not dragged into the relegation mire, especially with four of their five remaining games against play-off chasing teams. The Tykes appear safe as they are nine points above the drop zone, but their form has plummeted and West Ham's victory was hardly in doubt after Nolan's sixth-minute goal. A West Ham corner ricocheted off Craig Davies and left an unmarked Nolan to apply a simple finish from point-blank range. Barnsley midfielder Stephen Dawson survived being red-carded for a two-footed tackle on James Tomkins before Maynard's lovely finish extended the away side's lead. West Ham's pressure and persistence was the springboard of their victory and, after Maynard's closing down of Button forced the keeper into a poor clearance, Noble took advantage by chipping in. Barnsley failed to produce any sign of a comeback, while West Ham were revelling in the space and time on the ball they were being afforded. Left-back McCartney even got in on the attacking action and despite having his curling shot saved by Button, the keeper could only palm the ball to ex-Barnsley forward Vaz Te, who sidefooted home.
Maynard shuddered the crossbar with a long-range strike before the referee's whistle ended Barnsley's misery.
It dozen get much better than this
Filed: Friday, 6th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham have beaten their previous record haul of away league wins in a season after securing a 4-0 win against Barnsley at Oakwell this afternoon. Sam Allardyce's side have now won 12 times away from the Boleyn Ground this term - a figure that beats the 11 away wins achieved in the 1922/23 and 1957/58 seasons, both of which ended with the Hammers being promoted to the top flight. Today's win, secured through goals from Kevin Nolan, Nicky Maynard, Mark Noble and Ricardo Vaz Te means that the Hammers have now taken 41 points away from home this season - some seven points MORE than they have accrued from matches at Upton Park. With games at Bristol City and Leicester still to come, Sam Allardyce's squad could still achieve an amazing 14 away wins this season - yet incredibly, that still might now be enough to see them finish in the automatic promotion places come the end of the season.
Hard to beat: How the 2011/12 squad beat the record
13th August: Doncaster 0-1 West Ham Utd (match 2)
16th August: Watford 0-4 West Ham Utd (match 3)
28th August: Nottingham Forest 1-4 West Ham Utd (match 5)
24th October: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 West Ham Utd (match 13)
5th November: Hull CIty 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 16)
19th November: Coventry City 1-2 West Ham Utd (match 17)
29th November Middlesbrough 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 19)
14th January: Portsmouth 0-1 West Ham Utd (match 26)
21st February: Blackpool 1-4 West Ham Utd (match 31)
4th March: Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 33)
27th March: Peterborough 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 39)
6th April: Barnsley 0-4 West Ham Utd (match 41)
Previous best: the 1922/23 season...
2nd September: Bradford City 0-1 West Ham Utd (match 3)
25th November: Clapton Orient 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 16)
16th December: Wolves 1-4 West Ham Utd (match 19)
25th December: Manchester Utd 1-2 West Ham Utd (match 21)
30th December: Coventry City 1-3 West Ham Utd (match 23)
20th January: Port Vale 1-3 West Ham Utd (match 25)
15th February: Leicester City 0-6 West Ham Utd (match 28)
31st March: Crystal Palace 1-5 West Ham Utd (match 33)
2nd April: Bury 2-5 West Ham Utd (match 34)
14th April: Fulham 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 37)
30th April: Sheffield Weds 0-2 West Ham Utd (match 41)
...and the 1957/58 season
31st August: Bristol Rovers 2-3 West Ham Utd (match 3)
12th October: Charlton 0-3 West Ham Utd (match 12)
26th October: Rotherham 1-2 West Ham Utd (match 14)
9th November: Grimsby 1-2 West Ham Utd (match 16)
21st December: Lincoln City 1-6 West Ham Utd (match 22)
11th January: Derby County 2-3 West Ham Utd (match 26)
20th February: Leyton Orient 1-4 West Ham Utd (match 30)
1st March: Doncaster Rovers 1-2 West Ham Utd (match 32)
29th March: Stoke City 1-4 West Ham Utd (match 36)
12th April: Cardiff City 0-3 West Ham Utd (match 40)
26th April: Middlesbrough 1-3 West Ham Utd (match 42)
Barnsley 0 West Ham Utd 4
Filed: Friday, 6th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce's West Ham secured a record-breaking 12th win of the season away from home at Oakwell this afternoon after thrashing a distinctly under-par Barnsley. United hit four, saw another disallowed and also hit the bar on what proved to be an extremely Good Friday for the Irons, who are now just three points behind second placed Southampton (albeit having played a game more). The game was as good as over by half time after West Ham entered the break with a commanding three-goal lead having completely overwhelmed their hosts, with former Barnsley forward Ricardo Vaz Te - who moved to east London in the January transfer window - being particularly influential. Captain Kevin Nolan gave Sam Allardyce's side an early lead when he grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign with just seven minutes on the clock. Matt Taylor's corner was flicked onat the near post leaving Nolan with the simplest of chances to score from virtually underneath the crossbar. The Hammers doubled their advantage after 23 minutes when Nicky Maynard grabbed his second goal for the club since moving from Bristol City. The striker, whose only previous goal for United came in the 4-1 win at Blackpool back in February played a delicious one-two with captain Nolan before firing expertly from 25 yards into the bottom right-hand corner.
West Ham grabbed a decisive third just nine minutes ahead of the break after an horrendous unforced error by Tykes 'keeper David Button. The on-loan-from-Spurs stopper lost the ball under pressure on the edge of the box allowing a lurking Mark Noble to lob the ball over his head into an empty net. Although the game was virtually in the bag at that the Hammers were far from done and added a fourth just nine minutes into the second half. George McCartney, who enjoyed a profitable afternoon on the left flank sent over a dipping cross-cum-shot that Button failed to deal with. The goalkeeper's save fell straight at the feet of Vaz Te who had the simplest of chances to convert in order to put the Hammers into an unassailable 4-0 lead; to his credit, the Portuguese forward refused to celebrate the goal against a club for whom he has scored 12 of his 17 goals this season.
The victory could have been even more comprehensive had Nicky Maynard not strayed marginally offside before converting from close range - whilst Nicky Maynard was centimetres away from grabbing a brace when his second 25-yard effort of the day smashed against the crossbar. But there will be few complaints from the West Ham camp on a day when they broke an 80-year-old record for away wins in a season and reduced the margin between them and the leading two clubs - even if that only proved to be temporary.
Barnsley 0 West Ham Utd 4: match facts
West Ham Utd: Green, Demel (Collins 59), Tomkins, Reid, McCartney, Noble (Diop 80), O'Neil (Lansbury 70), Nolan, Vaz Te, Taylor, Maynard.
Subs not used: Baldock, Cole.
Goals: Nolan (7), Maynard (23), Noble (35), Vaz Te (55).
Booked: Nolan (67).
Shots on/off target: 9/9 (18).
Barnsley: Button, Higginbotham, Foster, Dawson, Wiseman, McNulty, Golbourne (Collins 61), Smith (Perkins 64), Davies (O'Brien 64), Cotterill, Gray.
Subs not used: Lidakevicius, Tonge.
Booked: McNulty (11), Dawson (19).
Shots on/off target: 2/3 (5).
Possession: Barnsley 41%, West Ham Utd 59%
Referee: Tony Bates.
Assistants: Christopher Kavanagh and Tony Peart.
Fourth Official: Gary Sutton.
Did You know? Not only did West Ham break their record number of away wins in a season today but it was also the first time the Hammers have ever scored more than three goals at Oakwell in a competitive fixture (the previous best being a 3-2 win way back in November 1948).
Today's Other Championship Results
Reading 2-0 Leeds Utd
Burnley 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Watford 0-2 Blackpool
Allardyce: it's not over yet
Filed: Friday, 6th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce expressed his delight after he watched his side rack up four goals away from home for the fourth time this season - and maintained that automatic promotion was still a possibility. Allardyce answered his critics in perfect fashion this afternoon after his team produced a wonderful exhibition of passing football that left commentators drooling and supporters singing, "we're West Ham United, we play on the floor" without a hint of irony. It was the perfect response to Reading's somewhat fortuitous win at home to Leeds earlier in the day and one that keeps United's hopes of automatic promotion alive - even if victory for Southampton at home to bitter rivals Portsmouth at St Mary's tomorrow lunchtime would see the Hammers fall six points behind the automatic spots once again, with just five matches left to play. "It's still in sight for us," the Hammers boss told the BBC. "We had that extra bit of pressure on us today because we knew that Reading had won before we went out and I was just wondering would it affect the lads or not. "It affected them - but in the right way, as they went out and gave a very measured and controlled performance with a lot of quality. I'm really pleased that we've got the win and that we've broken the club's record for away wins in one season. "You've got to credit the whole team on how well it shook Barnsley down. All the goals were good today, it was a great performance and we got the all-important clean sheet to go with it. We got everything right and I'm pleased for everybody."
Allardyce, no doubt keen to repair the damage that comments he has made to critics of his footballing philosophy have caused also thanked the travelling supporters who gave up the first day of their Easter holiday in order to back the team. "I was really pleased for the players and the fans today and that we gave them something to cheer about all the way through," he said. "It's a terrific result, well deserved as we played ever so well and I'm pleased that three goals went in the end where they were supporting us. "It was a long journey for them today, we gave them great entertainment and they'll go home happy."
Hammers crush Tykes at Oakwell
Last updated: 6th April 2012
West Ham kept Reading and Southampton in their sights in the Championship's automatic promotion race thanks to a 4-0 win at Barnsley. The Hammers, who started the game seven points adrift of new leaders Reading, never looked back once midfielder Kevin Nolantapped the ball home in the sixth minute after Nicky Maynard's corner had bounced between Barnsley striker Craig Davies' legs. Maynard added a fine second with a low finish from the edge of the penalty area after a neat interchange with Nolan in the 23rd minute and Mark Noble cashed in on some more hapless defending 12 minutes later to curl home a third goal from a tight angle.
Five straight draws last month meant Sam Allardyce's side have seen Reading cruise past them into the top two, but their second league win in eight games was already secured when Ricardo Vaz Te added a fourth goal from close range against his former club early in the second half. Barnsley have now won only one of their last 10 league matches and were left looking anxiously over their shoulders despite a nine-point cushion between themselves and the bottom three. Maynard went close to making it five with a spectacular 30-yard shot which crashed back off the crossbar soon after Vaz Te's effort. It took the Hammers only six minutes to make the breakthrough as Maynard's corner from the right somehow found its way to an unmarked Nolan on the goal line and the midfielder prodded the simplest of finishes beyond Barnsley goalkeeper David Button.
Vaz Te, on his first return to Oakwell since his January move to West Ham, saw his overhead kick comfortably held by Button, on loan from Tottenham, before the Hammers extended their advantage in the 23rd minute. Nolan was this time the provider, cutting the ball back inside on the edge of the penalty area, where Maynard drilled a low shot into the bottom corner. Barnsley then gave themselves a mountain to climb with some more shocking defending 10 minutes before the break. Winger David Cotterill played Button into trouble with a short back pass and when the goalkeeper's clearance rebounded to Noble on the left edge of the area, the Hammers midfielder curled the ball home in some style from a tight angle. West Ham defender George McCartney's 20-yard shot was well saved by Button soon after the restart before Vaz Te put the Hammers out of sight with a fourth goal in the 55th minute. The Portuguese striker latched on to McCartney's cross from the left six yards from goal and buried the ball beneath Button into the centre of goal. Barnsley substitute Jim O'Brien went close with a raking drive in the closing stages, but it was another afternoon to forget for Keith Hill's side.
Allardyce hails performance
Hill at a loss to explain Barnsley display
Last Updated: April 6, 2012 8:58pm
Sam Allardyce was delighted with West Ham's performance after they eased to a 4-0 at Barnsley on Friday night. The comfortable win also set a new club record as the Hammers took their 12th away win of the season to keep the pressure on Reading and Southampton at the top of the Championship. The result at Oakwell was never in doubt, and Allardyce was pleased with how his side dominated the game. "We found a cutting edge and it was a fantastic, professional performance," he said. "We've broken the club record for away wins in a season, which is a great achievement. "It's very pleasing because it's always difficult to play away from home. It's just a pity we haven't won more games at home. "The front men are finding the back of the net and we scored three great goals in front of our fans in the first half. "It was a great strike from Nicky Maynard and he could have scored with another great effort late in the game "It was great for Vaz Te to come back to his old club and score. "I'm delighted because it was a great, all-round performance. "The pressure was on us after Reading won earlier in the day. Winning was the only thing for us and we did that. We did that with style and showed we could handle the pressure situation. "We now face Birmingham City on Monday and that will be a tough test for us. We need to try and grasp another three points and see where we go from there."
For Barnsley the result means they have won just once in their last 10 games, and Keith Hill was at a loss to explain his side's performance. He said: "I was disappointed with the result and the performance and I can't defend that as a manager. "It was always going to be difficult but we shot ourselves in the foot magnificently. Even John Wayne couldn't have done it better. "The only positive that I can salvage is that it wasn't six, seven or eight because it could have been even more embarrassing. We could have been more than three goals down at half-time. "You have to have the finance to be successful. I would like to spend on a squad what they spent on Kevin Nolan. They recruited Maynard and Vaz Te in the January transfer window. We are not, in any way, a competitor to West Ham. "I hate it because I want to be successful. It's at times like this that we've got to be brave and accountable."
Vinny's Barnsley Report
Vinny 2:21 Sat Apr 7
West Ham Online
Barnsley 0 West Ham United 4
West Ham cruised to victory at Oakwell as Barnsley were crushed in a result which breaks the record for the number of away wins in the history of the football club.
This was a fine performance and perhaps the most complete display of the season given how we controlled the game from start to finish. We played some lovely passing football and looked so far ahead of our opponents it was boarding on embarrassing. Barnsley are one of the worst sides I have ever seen us play and we have played some pretty poor teams over the years. This is not to take away from our dominant performance and we can all be pleased with the way we applied ourselves and of course the end result.
It was as complete performance as you are likely to see and certainly the result we required after the crippling defeat at the hands of Reading last weekend. With Reading beating Leeds United in an early kick off the pressure for us to keep up with them was clear.
Manager Sam Allardyce had decided to make further antagonistic comments earlier in the week implying that certain supporters were 'talking bollocks' by questioning his tactics such as playing James Tomkins in centre midfield. The travelling fans would make reference to these comments (as well as previously calling us 'deluded') although it was all done in good spirit but with the team winning it certainly helped.
I felt these comments from Allardyce was just another example of him drawing a line in the sand. He clearly cannot take any criticism and for a manager with such experience he has been rattled by comments from the West Ham support and he is clearly bothered by what has been said.
But I don't want to make this a negative rant about Sam Allardyce as we have just put in a really fantastic display away from home. We should be feeling positive and although the odds are stacked against us we know that automatic promotion is still attainable.
Allardyce made three changes to the side who were beaten at the Boleyn Ground last weekend at the hands of Reading.
In defence, Julien Faubert was missing from the squad and with Joey O'Brien also out in came Guy Demel who was making his first start since November.
At centre half Winston Reid returned to the starting line up with Abdoulaye Faye missing.
The other change came up front with Nicky Maynard coming into the starting line up in place of Carlton Cole who dropped to the substitute's bench.
Mark Noble did start despite it being claimed that he was going to be out for a few weeks. I'm not really sure what that was all about.
Papa Bouba Diop was back from injury and in the squad and was on the bench.
The travelling West Ham fans took their place in the North Stand on this Good Friday and there were 2,428 of us in attendance. This was my first trip to Oakwell and as a club was our first trip since 1997 in a 2-1 victory with John Hartson and Frank Lampard Junior scoring the goals.
The opening few minutes of the game saw us have plenty of possession and it was an early indication of how the game would progress.
A good move saw Nolan exchange passes with Gary O'Neil and Nolan saw his shot scrambled behind for a corner.
With six minutes on the clock the corner was put into the area by Matthew Taylor and the ball took a touch off the Barnsley player Craig Davies and into the path of Kevin Nolan who simply poked the ball over the line from a couple of yards and made it 1-0.
It is certainly no coincidence that Nolan was again in the right place at the right time. He has made a career of it and whatever is said about his all-round performances this goal was his 11th of the season which for a midfielder is not a bad return.
From that moment on Barnsley couldn't get a look in and we controlled so much of the game.
The first booking of the game came when Vaz Te was brought down by McNulty and the resulting free kick was played into the area for Nolan to be there again but his volley went wide when it seemed certain that he would score.
With 15 minutes on the clock another chance to make it two came when Vaz Te found the unmarked Gary O'Neil who blasted his volley over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.
When Barnsley did have the ball they would quickly give it back to us with their own supporters beginning to get frustrated by their inability to hold onto the ball.
We were clearly growing in confidence and I thought we were going to score with every attack.
A two footed tackled from Dawson on Tomkins saw the Barnsley player become the second player to be yellow carded. From where we were it didn't look that bad and looked as though he got the ball but I haven't seen a replay yet so will have to wait for that.
A foul on Taylor saw the cross put into the area by McCartney to the back post for Tomkins to win the header and Vaz Te to attempt an overhead kick which he did connect with but it went harmlessly into the hand of the Barnsley keeper Button.
With the pressure being put on it was not a surprise when we scored our second goal with 23 minutes gone.
It was a fantastic finish as Nicky Maynard played a one-two with Kevin Nolan and Maynard took a touch and hit an excellent shot from outside the area which flew past Button and made it 2-0.
We continued to pass it around and any question regarding us playing the long ball was certainly not evident in the game as we simply out passed Barnsley all day long. If ever there was a time to use the phrase 'men against boys' this was it.
With only a half hour gone the 'ole's' could be heard from the away supporters who were in full voice and singing all the way through.
Vaz Te should have scored when he was put through and he got into the area, looked to have the chance to score but for some reason he continued his run and went nowhere. His eventual cross was snuffed out and scrambled clear.
But just a moment later it was 3-0.
Barnsley keeper Button was closed down by the hardworking Maynard which forced him into a poor clearance which went only as far as Mark Noble who took advantage and cooly chipped the ball into the back of the net to make it three.
This was Noble's 8th goal of the season but his first from outfield play.
It could have got even better when Taylor found himself in acres of space and his cross was just inches away from being turn in by Maynard.
It was almost like a training match with the space we were being afforded. We were just ripping Barnsley to pieces and they looked lost and without a clue to how to deal with us.
As the half time whistle blew just about every West Ham fan applauded the team off in what was a truly dominant first half.
At half time it was announced that we had 'drunk the bar dry' and there was no more alcohol.
We took our foot off the gas in the second half but still had the better of it and started the half brightly.
A good chance saw O'Neil cross into the area for Nolan to put his header wide when if he had flicked the ball on or just left it Taylor was totally unmarked and would have surely scored.
Just nine minutes into the second half we did find the fourth goal and it all came from a wonderful run down the left from George McCartney who burst forward, cut inside the defender and hit a curling right foot shot which was palmed away by Button but only into the path of Ricardo Vaz Te who volleyed in from close range.
This was the third goal in three games from Vaz Te who is picking up the goal scoring knack at just the right time.
Nicky Maynard came so close to scoring the fifth when he picked up the ball midway in the Barnsley half, drove forward and smashed a shot from 30 yard at goal only for it to beat the keeper and crash off the cross bar. So unlucky and a fantastic effort.
With an hour gone Guy Demel was taken off and replaced by Danny Collins who went to left back with McCartney switching to the right.
In the stands the 'Conga' had begun and was slowly picking up numbers as the West Ham fans were in the mood to party. Barnsley feeling left out even had to copy us at the other end.
Like at Peterborough Robert Green was receiving a lot of love from the Hammers fans and even a chant of 'Robert Green's Claret & Blue Army' went out.
Kevin Nolan was booked for a lazy foul on Dawson from behind and could have no complaints with the award of the yellow card.
Henri Lansbury came on for Gary O'Neill with twenty minutes remaining.
Vaz Te had a go from around 20 yards out which was comfortably saved by the keeper.
Maynard had the ball in the back of the net a few moments later but he was flagged offside and before the free kick could be taken Mark Noble came off and Papa Bouba Diop replaced him.
As we got into those final 10 minutes some West Ham fans were singing 'Is there a fire drill' in reference to some Barnsley supporters leaving. I would have sung that in the first minute as most of the ground was empty in a very poor turn out from the Barnsley support. There again, having to watch a quite truly terrible team such as that it should come as no surprise.
Barnsley's Steve Foster was voted man of the match over the tannoy system and despite no one in the West Ham end being aware of who he even was the chant of 'One Steve Foster' bellowed out from the West Ham end.
We saw out the rest of the game with relative ease with Robert Green having to make one decent stop in an otherwise untroubled final few minutes.
The fans applauded the players as they came off with Henri Lansbury and Robert Green both giving their shirts to supporters.
Forget the rest of the season for just a moment and savour a really good away day and a brilliant result.
If there is to be a 'fans favourite' it seems that Green is the one you would nominate for that position. A clean sheet in a very easy game was pleasing but his banter and positive reaction to the supporters was good to see.
I'll be honest; I can't remember much about his performance at all. He had bright orange boots. I don't know if that helps with an assessment of him. I had totally forgot he was playing till he was coming off and I can't seem to recall anything he did. But, as a defender to not be troubled for an hour is never a bad thing.
A really top display from Reid who put in a commanding display. Good to see him back in the side and he and Tomkins seem like a good partnership.
An authoritative performance from Tomkins who won countless headers and was always quick to read a pass and make a tackle.
Superb showing from McCartney who was excellent defensively and was eager to bomb forward showing some great awareness and enthusiasm.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Up against his old club he was dangerous throughout and give us that little more edge when attacking. Scored another goal which was his third goal in the last three games. He is a big player for us.
Tireless and put in a really good shift. Did a lot of running and closing down and I have to say I have been impressed with him over the last few games.
For a bloke who was apparently going to miss the next few games he came and did really well. Looked a bit leggy at times but he was persistent and made a number of interceptions. And of course his finish for his goal was sublime.
An assist and a goal means that this was another effective Kevin Nolan performance.
Like many of his performances he was decent in parts then anonymous in others. Looked tired at times in the second half and although the idea to beat his man was there he wasn't able to execute it.
Really stepped up his game with a terrific performance. He ran and he ran, he scored, he hit the bar, he forced the keeper into a mistake which led to the third goal and he never tired. Even in second half injury time I saw him chase the keeper down.
Danny Collins (on for Demel 59 mins)
Allardyce clearly loves a bit of Danny Collins so it was no shock to see him get on again. He did well enough and made a few good runs down the left and one decent cross was cut out.
Henri Lansbury (on for O'Neil 70 mins)
After scoring for the reserves earlier in the week Lansbury clearly had a spring in his step and saw one low shot saved by the keeper. I thought that he did well in his 20 minutes on the pitch.
Papa Bouba Diop (on for Noble 80 mins)
Made a few interceptions and gave the ball away a couple of times.
Subs Not Used: Baldock, Cole
Man Of The Match: Nicky Maynard
Barnsley: Button, Higginbotham, Foster, Dawson, Wiseman, McNulty, Golbourne, Smith, Davies, Cotterill, Gray
Subs: Lidakevicius, O'Brien, Perkins, Tonge, Collins
Attendance: 11, 151
Whilst I had always hoped that this would be a game we would win comfortably I was still impressed that we actually went out and did the job. We looked a class above Barnsley and that is exactly what we should be playing like when playing a team this poor.
It is amazing to think of how good we have been away from home this season and how much we have struggled at home. It doesn't seem to make much sense and it is like watching two different teams.
Next Game – Birmingham City (h) Monday 9th April, 5.20pm Kick Off
Now here comes the test.
An away win at Barnsley is all very well but if we cannot win the following home game then it will mean nothing.
We are playing a side whom we have struggled against in recent times and the memories of the League Cup Semi Final still hold bitterness within me.
If we are to gain automatic promotion we simply have to win the remaining home games. There is no more excuses to be made.
I fear that we will not stand up to the pressure and will fail once again. I hope I am wrong but with the way we have been playing at home I want to know how Allardyce is going to change our fortunes.
And starting Carlton Cole up front on his own is not the answer.
"We broke a club record which I'm really pleased about. I'm pleased for the players and for the fans too, it's a terrific result for us and one that we fully deserved after such an excellent performance."
"I think we gave the fans something to cheer about which is great, it's a long journey up here, especially on Good Friday, so we thank them for coming and hopefully we entertained them and sent them home happy."
"The team deserve a lot of credit for the way they have scored their goals today. Kevin's was from a set-piece - something we work hard on in training, Maynard's was a quality strike and the third, for me, summed up the effort of the whole team today.
"We've closed down Barnsley's defence and their keeper forcing them to make the error, then the finish from Noble was outstanding. We've got everything right and that pleases me greatly."
"We had the added pressure of knowing Reading had won earlier in the day and I was a tad worried how the players would take that pressure. But they used it in the right way and gave a very measured, controlled performance,"
"Now we look to Birmingham on Monday where we will have the fans right behind us so what we must do is make sure we give the same type of performance as today and get that all important win."
Season 2011/12 Scorers and Red Cards
Kevin Nolan - 11 (11 League)
Carlton Cole - 10 (10 League)
Mark Noble - 8 (8 League)
Ricardo Vaz Te - 5(5 League)
Sam Baldock - 5 (5 League)
Jack Collison - 3 (3 League)
James Tomkins - 3 (3 League)
Own Goal - 3 (3 League)
Gary O'Neil - 2 (2 League)
Nicky Maynard - 2 (2 League)
Winston Reid - 2 (2 League)
John Carew - 2 (2 League)
Frederique Piquionne - 2 (2 League)
Papa Bouba Diop - 1 (1 League)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (1 League)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (1 League)
Henri Lansbury - 1 (1 League)
Julien Faubert - 1 (1 League)
Frank Nouble - 1 (1 League)
George McCartney - 1 (1 League)
Danny Collins - 1 (1 League)
Scott Parker - 1 (1 League)
Junior Stanislas - 1 (1 Cup)
Callum McNaughton - 1 (vs Aldershot home)
Frederique Piquionne - 1 (vs Portsmouth home)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (vs Reading away)
Jack Collison - 1 (vs Reading away)
Kevin Nolan - 1 (vs Millwall home)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (vs Southampton home)
Robert Green - 1 (vs Blackpool away)*
*rescinded by FA on appeal
West Ham set club record to put the heat on Saints
Barnsley 0 West Ham United 4
GORDON TYNAN OAKWELL SATURDAY 07 APRIL 2012
West Ham maintained their hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship in emphatic style, as they swept Barnsley aside to seal to a club record 12th away win of the season. Three goals up inside the opening 35 minutes, the visitors moved within three points of second-placed Southampton. Sam Allardyce had suggested that anything other than victory would end his side's hopes of finishing in the top two, but it was soon clear they would avoid any such pitfalls with consummate ease.
"It was a measured, controlled performance with a lot of quality," the West Ham manager insisted. "It's a terrific result and well deserved. We've broken a club record which I'm really pleased about for the players and our fans. We've given them something to cheer about all season away from home and it's just a shame we can't transmit that into our home form. Automatic promotion is still in sight."
Kevin Nolan stabbed home his 11th goal of the season from close range as Nicky Maynard flicked on Matt Taylors in-swinging corner after seven minutes for the Hammers' first.
Maynard's second goal for the club since a £1.5m move from Bristol City in January doubled the advantage on 23 minutes, the forward firing the ball into the bottom corner from 20-yards to round-off a free-flowing 10-pass move. Mark Noble chipped the third after a mistake from goalkeeper David Button presented the midfielder with the ball on the corner of the Barnsley area.
Ricardo Vaz Te, who remains Barnsley's top scorer on 12 despite leaving for Upton Park in January, volleyed his fourth goal in five games from close range 10 minutes after the break.
Barnsley (4-4-2) Button; Wiseman, Foster, McNulty, Golbourne (L Collins 61); Cotterill, Dawson, Smith (Perkins 64), Higginbotham; Davies (O'Brien 64), Gray. Substitutes not used: Lidakevicius, Tonge.
West Ham United (4-4-2) Green; Demel (D Collins, 59), Tomkins, Reid, McCartney; O'Neil (Lansbury, 70), Nolan, Noble (Diop, 80), Taylor; Vaz Te, Maynard. Substitutes not used: Baldock, Cole.
Referee: T Bates (Staffordshire).
Hill downbeat after Hammers defeat
by Setanta Staff , 06 April 2012
Barnsley boss Keith Hill offered no excuses after his side were blown away 4-0 at home by high-flying West Ham. It was a second 4-0 defeat in the club's last three Oakwell outings and means the Tykes have now won just one of their last nine games. Hill said: "I was disappointed with the result and the performance and I can't defend that as a manager. "It was always going to be difficult but we shot ourselves in the foot magnificently. Even John Wayne couldn't have done it better.
"The only positive that I can salvage is that it wasn't six, seven or eight because it could have been even more embarrassing. We could have been more than three goals down at half-time. "You have to have the finance to be successful. I would like to spend on a squad what they spent on Kevin Nolan. They recruited (Nicky) Maynard and (Ricardo) Vaz Te in the January transfer window. "We are not, in any way, a competitor to West Ham. I hate it because I want to be successful. "It's at times like this that we've got to be brave and accountable."
Barnsley 0 West Ham United 4: match report
7:15PM BST 06 Apr 20121
West Ham outclassed Barnsley to stroll to their 12th away win of the season and maintain hopes of automatic promotion. The visitors, who were three goals up inside 35 minutes, moved to within three points of second-placed Southampton, albeit while having played a game more. With West Ham manager Sam Allardyce having warned that anything other than victory would end his side's hopes of finishing in the top two, Kevin Nolan stabbed home his 11th goal of the season early on when Barnsley failed to deal with Matt Taylor's inswinging corner. Nicky Maynard doubled the advantage when the forward fired into the bottom corner from 20 yards to round off a slick 10-pass move from West Ham's half. Mark Noble deftly chipped in the third goal after a mistake from goalkeeper David Button presented the midfielder with the ball on the corner of Barnsley's penalty area. Craig Davies came closest for the home side before the break, the forward's powerful 25-yard drive saved at full-stretch by Robert Green.
The margin of victory ought to have been more emphatic for West Ham, as Nolan forced a good save from Button after he burst through from a narrow angle and Gary O'Neil went close with a volleyed effort. Barnsley mounted a damage-limitation exercise after the interval. It failed to work as Ricardo Vaz Te, who left Barnsley for Upton Park in January, gathered a rebound to volley home his fourth goal in five games after Button had saved from George McCartney.
Barnsley (4-4-2) Button; Wiseman, Foster, McNulty, Golbourne (L Collins 61); Cotterill, Dawson, Smith (Pekins 64), Higginbotham; Davies (O'Brien 64), Gray. Subs: Lidakevicius, Tonge. Booked: McNulty, Dawson.
West Ham (4-4-2) Green; Demel (D Collins 59), Tomkins, Reid, McCartney; O'Neil (Lansbury 70), Nolan, Noble (Diop 80), Taylor; Vaz Te, Maynard. Subs: Baldock, Cole. Goals: Nolan 7, Maynard 23, Noble 35, Vaz Te 54. Booked: Nolan.
Referee: T Bates. Att: 11,151.
Four-some West Ham grab record 12th away victory
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Friday, April 6, 2012
Barnsley 0 West Ham United 4
West Ham kept alive their slim chance of automatic promotion as they swept aside Barnsley at Oakwell with a clinical performance that gave them a club-record 12th away victory of the campaign. Yet another win by relentless Reading earlier in the day stretched the gap between the Hammers and the top two and piled more pressure on Sam Allardyce's men, but they responded in style and had wrapped up this game long before half time. The initiated watching on tv must have been wondering why the Hammers were not running away with the Championship as for much of the time this was a Premier League performance by the east London outfit. Allardyce surprisingly recalled Guy Demel at full back, while Nicky Maynard was preferred to Carlton Cole up front and Winston Reid returned instead of Abdoulaye Faye. In the first attack of note from either team on seven minutes, West Ham grabbed the lead. Matt Taylor's corner flew through a crowd of players, deflected of Craig Davies and fell invitingly for Kevin Nolan to tap in from close range. It was the skipper's 11th goal of the campaign and he could have added a second four minutes later when he latched on to Mark Noble's floating free kick, only to fire a volley wide. West Ham were passing Barnsley off the park by this stage and Ricardo Vaz Te set up Gary O'Neil for a chance which he blazed over the top, before the former Barnsley man tried himself with an overhead kick which was straight at the keeper. The home side's only real early chance came when Rob Green's poor kick was almost fired back in by Davies, but West Ham made it 2-0 on 23 minutes with a beautifully executed goal.
Nicky Maynard played a clever one-two with Nolan and then hit a low shot from the edge of the box that skidded past David Button and into the corner of the net.
Vaz Te had a chance to make it three when he raced past two defenders to get to the danger area, only to decide not to shoot, but seconds later the game was out of sight. Button went to deal with a back-pass, but was spooked by the sliding arrival of Maynard and miscontrolled the ball into the path of Noble on the left edge of the penalty area. The midfielder looked up and lobbed Button perfectly to put the ball into the empty net and score his eighth goal of the season, but his first from open play. Matt Taylor's low centre was almost turned in by Maynard before half time, while all Barnsley had to show for their efforts in that first half was a couple of moments for David Cotterill on the right which were both expertly cleaned up by the Reid. The Hammers continued their dominance after the break as they simply outclassed the home side with their passing game which prompted more of those 'we play it on the floor' chants. Nolan headed O'Neil's cross wide and then on 55 minutes they made it 4-0. George McCartney cut in from the left and hit a right-foot shot that was palmed out by Button, but Vaz Te reacted first to volley home the rebound and score against his old club. In truth it could have been many more. Maynard shot wide and then sent another shot crashing against the crossbar.
Allardyce brought on Danny Collins, Henri Lansbury and Papa Bouba Diop and the lively Lansbury went close with a drilled shot that forced a decent save, before he put in Maynard to score what looked like a fifth, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Green had to save well from O'Brien late on, but that was the only danger to the Hammers in that second half as they cruised to a magnificent victory.
West Ham: Green 7, Demel 6 (Collins 59, 6), McCartney 7, Tomkins 8, Reid 9, Vaz Te 8, Nolan 9*, Noble 8 (Diop 81), O'Neil 7 (Lansbury 70, 7), Taylor 6, Maynard 8.
Unused subs: Baldock, Cole.