West Ham United v Manchester City 1971/72

west ham 1971 to 72 prog


League Division 1

20th November 1971

attendance 33,694

Scorers Lee(pen), Davies(60)

Ref W Castle

City Corrigan, Book, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Davies, Lee, Mellor – sub Jeffries(unused)

West Ham Ferguson, Bonds, Lampard, Eustace, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Coker, Brooking, Robson – used sub Durrell




There are few football secrets between Ron Greenwood and Malcolm Allison, managers of West Ham United and Manchester City, Greenwood is the founder teacher of that small band of successful progressives who studied at Upton Park, Allison, O’Farrell, Sexton, Cantwell, Musgrove and Bond. A meeting between the teams of Greenwood and Allison at this stage in their careers was bound to be enthralling.
The outcome should have rested on West Ham’s ability to hold their midweek form in spite of a slightly altered team. In fact, a 2-0 win for City was the result of a hardened, unmitigated professional outlook overcoming the aesthetically fine but brittle football of West Ham. Improbably, West Ham fell to most of football’s three card tricks but will have gained by the experience.
City sought every method by which to impose their wii, including the unmentionables, provocation and intimidation, and West Ham sprawled into the trap together with the referee. By far the most vulnerable victim was Taylor, the West Ham defender who was being watched by Sir Alf Ramsey. His sturdy tackle on Davies brought a sharp spark of retaliation. The referee seemed to see the trouble and ignored it. A running battle continued into West Ham’s penalty area and when the ball arrived Taylor grabbed Davies around the neck and pulled him down and with him West Ham’s hopes. Lee scored the penalty.
The important point was that Davies had much to gain by allowing the incident to boil until they reached the penalty area. If he did in fact, realise that at the time, it would not have been out of character with City’s approach. That goal turned the game but it was not merely a lucky break for City; it was the penalty of lost control, partly by the referee and largely by Taylor. Later Davies had his name taken but that was a cheap price to pay for two vauable points, especially as the Welshman scored the second goal from a detemined breakaway.
If judged on the face value of pure skill, the game would have ended in a 2-2 draw, which is a compliment to West Ham’s progress towards recovery of stature. Some of their movements were worthy of Manchester United. Brooking’s play has come to fruition: Best shields the ball in a way that allows him time to think: Bonds is a revelation if he will excuse the implication. The weakness here was in finishing because young Coker was overpowered by that massive portcullis of Doyle, Booth and Oakes.

whul away 1971-72 action


Manchester City revealed the other half of their Championship potential with a masterful defensive display that saw them out smart and out run classy West Ham.
Joe Mercer described it as “professional and polished”, while Malcolm Allison admitted he had derived more satisfaction winning at Upton Park than he had from the previous week’s victory against Arsenal’s double Champions.
And Sir Alf Ramsey, the England team manager, must have left with a smile of satisfaction on seeing the exciting performance presented by his latest international recruit Tommy Booth. Booth who plays for the under 23s at Ipswich on Wednesday, vied with a magnificent Alan Oakes and the relentless running and hard driving Mike Doyle for man of the match honours.
Such was Booth’s mastery over Clyde Best, the Hammers dangerous Bermudan striker, that I would not be surprised to see the young City giant included in Ramsey’s full England squad for next week’s European Championship match in Greece.
Neither Booth nor Oakes put a foot wrong at the hub of a City defence in which Tony Book and Willie Donachie also soaked up tremendous West Ham pressure that saw the Blues emerge with a brilliant 2-0 victory, their second successive win in the capitol to give them nine out of ten points from five London sides this season, a truly remarkable record.
The imaginitive touch of Colin Bell and the power of Doyle gave City the initiative in the middle, too, while the effort Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee threw into the task rarely flagged. However it was Wyn Davies who stole the attacking honours, with City’s Welsh international surrounding himself in controversy as well as having a direct say in both of the goals.
The running battle Daies had with Tommy Taylor that ended in the West Ham centre half giving away a penalty earned undeserved jeers for the City leader. For it was clearly sheer stupidity on Taylor’s part that saw Worcester referee Bill Castle give the only award possible, a penalty, when he dragged down Davies to give Lee his eighth spot kick of the season.
Then after Davies had burst through to hit the second on the hour, he finally ended the match by having his name taken, inevitably it was for a foul on Taylor.

 Wyn Davies is congratulated on his goal
whul away 1971-72 davies goal celebration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *