Rice defensive error gives Newcastle a valuable point at London Stadium
Hi everyone, I hope this finds you all safe and well. Sadly I must apologise again for the lateness of my photo diary. My personal situation hasn’t improved at all and we remain in a hotel looking to celebrate 6 months without a permanent home and no hope on the horizon of that changing any time soon. It is an ongoing trauma that is physically and emotionally exhausting and manages to eat away at our ability to focus on much other than worrying about what is going to happen to us. Me and my family appreciate everyone’s thoughts, prayers and well wishes.
To the match with the Hammers, stuttering of late, welcoming a resurgent Newcastle at the London Stadium on the back of their 3 wins and unbeaten form in the Premier League since Christmas. The match also saw Kurt Zouma return to the home side’s defensive line up after missing the previous weeks game against Leicester due to illness in the warm up.
There was certainly a subdued atmosphere from the home crowd, despite the away fans booing Zouma whenever he touched the ball in the early stages of the game that sparked a song from the home faithful. You could feel that this may not go our way. We needed a good result on the back of a last gasp draw away to Leicester the previous week. Could that result provide the team some boost?
West Ham were certainly nervy in the early part of the game against a bright Newcastle side without two key players in Kieran Trippier, who has made an impact since joining and winger Allan Saint-Maximin. But, Willock and Joelinton were in great form and Joelinton almost fashioned goal before Dawson’s opener on 32mins.
The Hammers have become adept at scoring from set pieces, so it was when Emil Krafth fouled Michail Antonio, Cresswell was set up in a dangerous position to deliver an excellent free kick for Dawson to dive a head of the Newcastle defence putting the home side in front. The atmosphere lit up and the crowd were in good form. Having rescued a draw for the Hammers last week, could Dawson’s goal push West Ham take control of the game?
There was more to this game and Newcastle recovered some of their bright play to level the match just before the half time whistle. A usually assured Declan Rice mistimed a header that Willcock jumped on to score his first goal of the season as Fabianski failed to clear the ball off the line. A sucker punch for the home side giving the game a different and more precarious complexion.
A brighter start from the Hammers after the half time could not lead to any meaningful breakthrough for the home side who could not find a way beyond a Newcastle side who remained 17th in the League, 5 points above Norwich whilst West Ham failed to take advantage of the chance to leapfrog Manchester United and regain 4th spot. A worrying form given the games in hand advantage to those sides around us in the table.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine that is devastating the lives of so many.
I hope you enjoy the photos, be safe everyone and take care