Saturday, 2 June 2012

Southampton 3 West Ham 3

Another one from the archive, and a game I thought I remembered very well even though it was played in December 1971. I was at the Dell, in the family enclosure behind the goal where we scored three and where Southampton bagged their equaliser. Bonds, Best and Brooking put us 3-0 ahead, but amazingly, we allowed the Saints to pull back to 3-3, with Terry Paine having a stormer after collecting his pension from the post office in Hill Lane just before kick off.

In my memory, however, it was 3-0 at half time, not 3-2. Just shows how the mists of time have the power to distort! Obviously as a twelve year old West Ham fan I was bitterly disappointed at witnessing the Southampton fight back, but the spirits were soon lifted when, upon arrival at the railway station to catch a train back down to Yeovil, we found the entire West Ham team on the platform, awaiting a train back up to London. Moore, Hurst, Bonds, Pop Robson, they all signed my programme - but not Brooking, who completely ignored me, as he was to do years later when I was sat behind him at a Luton v West Ham game. People assure me that he is a thoroughly decent guy but that's not my experience of him!

Anyway, the highlights are very limited but there's some great old names on display for fans of both clubs. Point of interest? Watch Bobby Ferguson for the penalty! Could he have made himself look any smaller? Contrast his decision to drop to his haunches with the modern technique of standing tall and wide.

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