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After beating Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday December 15, 2018, the Hammers now have their sights set on completing the double over their west London neighbours when the Cottagers visit the London Stadium in the reverse fixture on Friday February 22, 2019.
As for all league matches at the London Stadium this evening game will be an all-ticket event which is a timely reminder of West Ham United’s first ever all-ticket home match.
In West Ham United’s promotion winning season of 1957-58 the Hammers had a decent run in the FA Cup. After 3rd and 4th round home victories over Division One side Blackpool (5-1) and Stockport County (3-2) respectively, the Hammers’ 5th round reward was a home tie against fellow Division Two side Fulham.
Four months earlier West Ham had beaten Fulham 3-2 in their home league fixture and would have been clear favourites to progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
In anticipation of further cup glory and a big crowd, the West Ham United board met to decide if the game should be all-ticket or pay on the day.
After all, it was only two weeks earlier a crowd of 42,195 attended Craven Cottage for the 2-2 league draw between the two clubs.
On February 15, 1958 when Fulham visited the Boleyn Ground for a FA Cup 5th round tie, the turnstiles were firmly closed to spectators hoping to pay on the day.
The Stratford Express’ coverage of the all-ticket announcement explained that West Ham’s board of directors took close to four hours of discussion to reach their decision to make the match all-ticket.
This first Boleyn Ground all-ticket game may make impressive reading in the club’s history books, but the result doesn’t. In a close and exciting cup tie, the west Londoners spoilt the story as they ran out the winners 3-2. A summary of the cup tie follows.
Ten weeks after the deflating FA Cup exit to Fulham, the Hammers won the bigger prize when they clinched the Division Two championships and promotion to the top tier of English football in beating Middlesbrough on Saturday April 26, 1958. Fulham who had been promotion contenders finished five points behind the Hammers in 5th place.
Back in the top division after a 30 year exile. The 5th round FA Cup defeat was the campaign’s only significant disappointment. In the season’s run of games from December 26, 1957 to the final league game on April 26, 1958 the Hammers played 21 League and FA Cup matches, winning 14 and only losing three.
February 15, 1958
West Ham United:
Noel Cantwell (Capt)
Johnny Haynes (Capt)
West Ham United 2 – 3 Fulham (HT 1-1)
Scorers: West Ham: Grice (2 mins), Bond [pen] (65 mins)
Fulham: Dwight (12 mins), Hill (55 mins), Haynes (75 mins).
The following is a brief description of the goals as reported in newspapers of the day.
West Ham 1-0 Fulham
Grice hammered a 15 yarder past Macedo (Fulham goalkeeper)
West Ham 1-1 Fulham
Veteran Stevens pin-pointed a lob forward, and forward Reg Dwight hooked the ball over a groping Ernie Gregory
West Ham 1-2 Fulham
Dwight hit a fast one across goal, and Jimmy Hill volleyed the ball home from an acute angle
West Ham 2-2 Fulham
Hammers made it level pegging from the penalty spot. Grice was brought down in the area and though John Bond beat Macedo with his kick, referee Mr.A.Holland ordered it to be re-taken – Lewis had moved inside the 18 yard line. Casual Bond again made no mistake.
West Ham 2-3 Fulham
Chamberlain paved the way for Haynes to beat Gregory with a low drive that went in off a post.
The Bigger Prize - Promotion to Division One
Eddie Lewis watching
Tony Macedo saving a shot
Reg Dwight scores for Fulham
Ernie Gregory saves at the feet of Jimmy Hill
Ken Brown's defensive header
Pathe News clip from the match
Match photographs courtesy of Ken Brown and the late Ernie Gregory
The Game's a Sell-Out
The number of tickets would be limited to 37,500 of which Fulham would receive about 9,500. The game was a sell-out with all tickets sold.
The newspaper also warned to be on the lookout for fake tickets. Touts were offering tickets for a marked up price of £5.
After winning at the Boleyn Ground, Fulham progressed to the FA Cup semi-final where they lost to Manchester United 5-3 in a replay, after a 2-2 draw.
2nd All-Ticket Affair
The Boleyn Ground’s second all-ticket game was six seasons later. A FA Cup 6th round tie against Burnley with a semi-final spot at stake was a guaranteed sell-out. On Saturday February 29, 1964 36,651 filed through the turnstiles to witness the Hammers’ 3-2 victory.
The rest of 1964’s successful FA Cup campaign is well documented. For two Hammers, John Bond and Ken Brown, who played in the 1958 all-ticket tie, lifting the FA Cup in 1964 more than compensated for any FA Cup blues in 1958.