West Ham United Milk Cup 3rd Round 1984/85

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Milk Cup 3rd Round

31st October 1984

Attendance 20,510

Ref D Hutchinson

City Williams, May, Power, Reid, McCarthy, Phillips, Smith, Baker, Cunningham, Wilson, Kinsey – used Sub Beckford

West Ham  McAlister, Stewart, Walford, Allen, Martin, Gale, Whitton, Barnes, Cottee, Bonds, Pike



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West Ham United spent 90 minutes at Maine Road. seemingly heading full pelt out of the Milk Cup yet arrived at the final whistle with the luxury of a home replay next Tuesday. In doing so they denied Manchester City a richly deserved safe passage to round four more by luck than calculated design.
There is little about a visit to the ground which prompts the feeling of a second division setup and last night that applied particularly to City`s football. They started well and got better as they went along, to the point where a 4-0 victory would have hardly have flattered them.
In contrast Hammers began collectively one degree under as a result of a stomach virus which ruled. out Paul Goddard and they ended up in an exhausted lather.
ln truth. though. it was.City`s slightly inadequate finishing rather than West Ham’s defensive excellence which gave the game such a misleading scoreline. Their dual spearhead of the powerful Cunningham and the sprightly Kinsey was a potent mixture. With Baker backing them up with a series of scoring attempts in the second half it was remarkable that no goals arrived. The fair-haired Kinsey it was who earlier promised most frequently to add a goal to the industrious activity of those behind him. Midway through the first half he fired two shots fractionally over the bar.
The quality and urgency of the second division’s cIub’s foolball always gave the impresssion that a goal was not far away
Cottee fired one effort at the goalkeeper and Allen forced an interception from Williams but that was about all. They were fortunate indeed that their opponents could not match the fire and purpose of their approach play with decisive finishing.
Baker, the second half star, steered a spectacular header a degree or so off course. Reid slammed a long shot against the goalkeepers chest and Power forced him to deflect a dipping shot over the bar. All invigorating stuff but it robbed the game of the seal of`a goal and a result.
By the eighty-fourth minute, when the referee surprisingly declined a penalty as McAllister missed the ball and fouled Baker the feeling was inevitable that the gods of the game were on West Ham’s side.



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