|match review copied from the WHU v Southampton programme dated 31 August 1970|
TREBLE DERBY DRAW
Three successive " derbies" at the start of a season would be a difficult proposition for any London club, and as we had to follow these with away games against Leeds and Manchester United it could hardly be said we were favoured by the fixtures-computer.
However, whilst we might have cause to complain at legislative level, there was no option but to face the facts on the field ; and after " breaking even" on this opening trio, we might well reflect on the fact that eight matches against Metropolitan rivals last season earned us a total of nine points—figures which indicate how "tight" these games can be.
Understandably, we were disappointed at surrendering half the spoils after being two goals up against Chelsea last Saturday week. But, knowing the West Londoners' propensity for " pulling the chestnuts out of the fire " we were not entirely surprised at their second-half rally, and it would be uncharitable not to congratulate them on their contribution to an enthralling afternoon.
Certainly none of the interest was lost during a " repeat" on ITV just 24 hours later.
Of the four goals, ours were undoubtedly the more spectacular, but the Blues' counters underlined their ability to capitalise on the half-chances whose conversions make that vital difference in the final standings.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Div. I
Aug. 22 v Chelsea at Upton Park
West Ham Utd.: Grotier. Bonds, Larnpard,
Bennett, Stephenson, Moore (capt.), Best,
Brooking, Hurst, Greaves, Howe.
Chelsea: Bonetti, Mulligan, Harris (capt.),
Hollins, Dempsey, Hinton, Weller, Hudson,
Osgood, Hutchinson, Houseman.
2—2 (H.T. 2—0). Scorers: Howe (11),
Hurst (20), Weller (60 and 74).
39,240. Referee: F. Nicholson (Manchester).
The broad outlines of this game could well have been predicted by the mindless computer which gave West Ham three local derbies in eight days. What was beyond any computer's power to create, however, was the coruscating brilliance of the crammed first half in which only one man played less than competently and many superbly, and the rarity of serious fouls.
MAX MARQUIS, Sunday Times
Matches between these London rivals have become traditional in their excellence. This was a majestic example of how fine English League football can be, and referee Ricky Nicholson who also played his part nobly said: " Just about the best match I've been in."
ROBERT OXBY, Daily Telegraph
West Ham are a side of great potential with obvious weaknesses.
MAURICE SMITH, The People
This was football to thrill any fan. Who deserved to win . . . West Ham perhaps for sheer flair, or Chelsea, Britain's No. 1 comeback specialists ? I couldn't give a casting vote, but those teams ought to have four points each and double bonuses if rules could be bent and broken.
JOHN JENKINS, Sunday Express
It is ironic that last week the Football League — through their League Review — were talking about the bankrupt state of the game. Here were two teams delighting 39,240 fans . . . and able to leave £500,000-worth of talent on the sidelines in the process.
HARRY MILLER, Daily Mirror
One sad and unfathomable aspect was how a small section of the crowd managed to be distracted from the entertainment to carry on a running battle on the terraces.
STEVE CURRY, Daily Express
West Ham, two goals up in 20 minutes and playing for a time like a dream, displayed many of their known characteristics as they allowed Chelsea to come back and collect the point they ultimately deserved. Chelsea have a belief in themselves and an all-round balance which West Ham, for all their purple patches, still lack.
MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Sunday Telegraph