theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue

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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh 1248 Stoke City (N) 71-72
Stoke City (A) FLC 01 Banks saves from Hurst

By now Stoke had lost their grip on the game and never recovered their attacking heights as Clyde Best rifled in a magnificent winning goal just after the hour mark.

At the end of the game the West Ham players had celebrated as though the battle was over as it was they who had edged one step nearer Wembley.

 

Hurst commented on his penalty goal afterwards

 

 

 

   

 

 

These words were to haunt the West Ham striker exactly one week later.

Mike Bernard hits a weak penalty which Bobby Moore correctly reads and gets to but can only push back

into the path of the grateful Stoke man who then rams the ball home.

1971-72 League Cup Saga ...

by John Northcutt

1238 Stoke City (A) 71-72 1244 Stoke City (N) 71-72 Moore Penalty save 71_12_08 Stoke City v. WHU FLC Semi 71_12_15 WHU v. Stoke City FLC Semi-Final 72_01_05 Stoke City v. WHu FLC Semi Replay 72_01_26 Stoke City v. WHU FLC Semi 2 Replay

Semi-Final 1st leg

Victoria Ground : Stoke

Wednesday, December 8, 1971

Semi-Final 2nd leg

Upton Park : London

Wednesday, December 15, 1971

Semi-Final Replay

Hillsborough : Sheffield

Wednesday, January 6, 1972

Semi-Final 2nd Replay

Old Trafford : Manchester

Wednesday, January 26, 1972

West Ham United and Stoke City played out a dramatic four game League Cup saga that will live long in the memory of both sets of supporters.

When the two clubs were drawn together at the semi-final stage of the competition in the 1971-72 season there was a special air about their meetings. West Ham United were renowned for their pure football, Stoke City were a friendly club and for all their entertaining football over the years had never won a major trophy.

The semi-finals were two-legged affairs with the first taking place at Stoke City’s Victoria Ground December 8, 1971.

 

It was Stoke who took the initiative in this first encounter and seemed to have the twin towers of Wembley firmly in their sights when they scored after 14 minutes when captain Peter Dobing pushed the ball past Hammers’ keeper Bobby Ferguson.

 

With West Ham looking bewildered by the ferocity of the Potters’ persistent raids, a Brooking cross high into the penalty area in the 28 minute, led to Bermudian Clyde Best diving headlong to the turf and referee Morrissey pointing to the spot.

Geoff Hurst levelled the score with his first penalty of the current campaign, smacked hard in his customary fashion.

if you connect properly no goalkeeper should be able to save them

Quote Quote

Stoke City:  Dobing 14

Banks, Marsh, Pejic, Bernard, Bloor, Jump, Conroy, Greenhoff, Ritchie, Dobing, Eastham.

 

West Ham United:  Hurst 28 [pen], Best 62

Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Hurst, Brooking, Robson, Best.

Crossed Hammer

The Potters were not too downhearted going into the second-leg in east London, twice in the past four years they had come back from being three goals behind at Upton Park, 7 October 1967 in a 3-4 Potters win and 6 October 1969 when the sides drew 3-3.

Under the Boleyn Ground floodlights a week later, Stoke played with more conviction in this red–bloodied tie and overall had been clearly the better of the two sides when late in the game they launched a counter-attack. Full-back Marsh whacked over a long, high cross and John Ritchie who was left unattended scored at the far post.

 

The 73rd minute goal stunned the West Ham crowd who were already counting down the minutes that separated them from a day out at the famous Wembley Stadium.  

 

At the end of normal period and both sides tied at 2-2 on aggregate the game went into extra time. With just a few minutes remaining to the final whistle Stoke’s England international goalkeeper Gordon Banks made a desperate rugby tackle on winger Harry Redknapp as he was about to slide the ball home. In unison, 38,000 West Ham voices shouted “Penalty”, referee Walker agreed and pointed to the spot.

 

Geoff Hurst steps up and places the ball on the white spot, as four West Ham players faced the other way not daring to watch. What they missed was one of football’s greatest saves as Banks hurled himself to connect with Hurst’s thundering shot. There was still a corner to be faced which was cleared, the final whistle was sounded and this amazing cup-tie moved off to Hillsborough the home of Sheffield Wednesday.  

Banks World Class Save

West Ham United:

Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Hurst, Brooking, Robson.

 

 

Stoke City: Ritchie 73

Banks, Marsh, Pejic, Bernard, Bloor, Skeels, Conroy, Greenhoff, Ritchie, Dobing, Eastham*.

Sub: Mahoney

1240 Stoke City (H) FLC 01 Crossed Hammer

The tie, it seemed had slipped away from the Hammers. Should Hurst have changed his method of taking penalties against his England colleague when it seemed obvious that Banks might have pre-guessed which way the ball would go?

After all, they had been England colleagues for 50 games, the international custodian would also have remembered that Hurst had missed his FA Cup 4th round-tie penalty against him at the Victoria Ground in February 1968, that time, the West Ham marksman belted his spot-kick against the bar with the ‘keeper diving to his right.

The Guessing Game

Before the Semi-final replay took place the omens were not looking good, there was trouble for the Hammers even before they got to the ground. Their coach was miles from the ground and tangled up in the match day traffic. In his haste the coach driver scraped half-a-dozen cars and had to face the wrath of six angry drivers before going on his way.

 

Manager Ron Greenwood became worried that his team were now tense and ill prepared for the match ahead. In fact Trevor Brooking later recalls that his teammates thought it was all hilarious and were not disturbed by it.  

 

The 46,196 fans were treated to another exhilarating game which had everything but goals. There was more superlative goalkeeping from both Banks and Ferguson, and with Bobby Moore in full command at the back throughout, the sides finished equal.  

 

After the match referee Matthewson spun a coin to decide the venue for the second-replay, West Ham lost the toss and the replay went to Old Trafford, Stoke's preferred choice, the Hammers wanted Highbury.

Stoke City:

Banks, Marsh, Pejic, Bernard, Smith, Bloor, Conroy, Dobing, Ritchie, Greenhoff*, Eastham. Sub: Skeels

 

West Ham United:

Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp, Best, Hurst, Brooking, Robson.

1244 Stoke City (N) FLC 01

Stoke City: Bernard 33, Dobing 50, Conroy 55

Banks, Marsh, Pejic, Bernard, Smith, Bloor, Conroy, Greenhoff, Ritchie, Dobing, Eastham.

 

West Ham United: Bonds 39, Brooking 46

Ferguson, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Redknapp*, Best, Hurst, Brooking, Robson. Sub: Eustace

West Ham’s night was not over yet as someone, maybe, one of those battered drivers had put sand in the petrol tank of the West Ham coach. The Hammers players and officials were marooned at a deserted Hillsborough until a replacement coach could be found.

Crossed Hammer

The second replay at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground on January 26, 1972 gave this cup-tie a final and memorable flourish in the most appalling conditions imaginable, pouring rain, a treacherous pitch, and a bitterly cold wind. It was a night for great deeds, a night when surely this marvelous cup-tie would finally be resolved. For twists, turns, upheavals and sheer football drama, one of the great semi-final nights of the 1970s was now unfolding.

As early as the 13th minute the first extraordinary moment occurred. Stoke’s Terry Conroy chased a ball into the West Ham area when he caught goalkeeper Ferguson on the side of the head.

 

The West Ham keeper was badly dazed and in no state to continue as he was helped back to the bench. He left behind confusion, Clyde Best the nominated reserve goalkeeper found the task greater than his nerve.

It was left to the calm composed captain, Bobby Moore to restore order and elected himself to take over the green jersey.

 

Moore was well protected by his fellow defenders and looked comfortable between the sticks. However it didn’t last long, full back John McDowell delivered a bad back-pass and recklessly conceded a penalty.  

Stoke defender Mike Bernard took the spot-kick and to everybody’s amazement, Moore saved it as he dived to his right to parry the ball. Sadly for West Ham’s hopes the ball rebounded into the path of Bernard who slipped it into the net.  

 

Ten-man Hammers began to play with greater spirit and astonished everyone by going into a 2-1 lead. A buccaneering run by Billy Bonds after 39 minutes ended with a strong shot past Banks to give West Ham the equalizer.

A minute into the second-half and Trevor Brooking created a clever goal which he scored himself.  

 

A still shaken Ferguson returned to the action after being sidelined for 19 minutes, his defenders flung a protective ring around him but could not prevent Dobing from stealing in for an equalizer on 55 minutes.

 

Stoke began to hit long range shots towards the dazed Ferguson. Some were way too high, and some were bundled away by the keeper until Terry Conroy struck a shot from beyond the penalty area that the West Ham 'keeper could only acknowledge as it soared past him on its way into the net after 55 minutes.

 

The east Londoners rallied in the closing stages but Stoke won on merit. Nobody will forget the magnificent struggle West Ham put up especially when they were reduced to ten men.

 

Stoke City went on to the Final at Wembley Stadium where they defeated Chelsea 2-1.

 

 

Green Jersey Drama

Articles London 5-A-Side 1970s The Minute Men

Their attitude towards my injured ‘keeper in the second half was not what I would call good sportsmanship

 

Quote Quote

That’s ridiculous. In fact, I told West Ham’s trainer to take all the time he needed to get Ferguson right

Quote Quote

Ron Greenwood - West Ham manager

Peter Dobing - Stoke City captain

Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller

Bernard pen quote

Bobby Moore - West Ham captain