Back to the Future Part 2

West Ham United 3 Southampton 1 29th February 2022

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Well, getting back into our Delorean and setting the date for the next win under our new manager we have to go to 29th February 2020.

After the Moyes bounce on 1st January, the Hammers continued to struggle for form and were even dumped out of the FA Cup 4th Round by Slaven Bilic’s West Brom. Strewth, what a night that was.

We found ourselves back in the relegation zone for our match against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Saints against the backdrop of fan protest with an estimated 3000 marching against Gold, Sullivan and Brady. The protest, organised by Hammers United, started in Plaistow and ended outside the ground with speeches and chants urging fans to support the team and not the board but highlighting the issues fans have with the way the club is being run.

None of this toxicity filtered into the ground and Hammers new singing Bowen, lifted the mood by scoring his first goal after a £22m move from Hull in January to put the Hammers ahead against a struggling Saints. The move started with the impressive Rice winning possession and then for Fornals to spot Bowen and deliver a perfect assist.

But the Saints weren’t to give up just yet as Michael Obafemi equalised after Noble was caught for pace in midfield and with a quick counter attack, James Ward-Prowse cut back for Obafemi to curl his shot past the advancing Fabianski.

This briefly knocked the Hammers but they returned in the second half with purpose and drive, not the same team it seemed who had lost 22 points from winning positions so far in the League. Antonio provided an excellent slice of a pass for Haller to place into an empty net after a bump into saints keeper MaCarthy.

Haller was involved again as the hammers sealed a valuable victory with a flick on to Formal who then released Antonio to finish off the match with time to spare.

The win took the Hammers up to 16th in the League and brought renewed hope of avoiding the drop.

It seemed that the team were making progress and the formation and players looked as of they were starting to click under Moyes management. Could they hold out for the rest of the season?

Today’s photos focus on the protest before the game and Bowen’s first goal for the club.

Enjoy the photos and take care

Dawud

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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