Competition: First Division.
West Ham United:
Referee: K. Walmsley (Thorn, Nr Blackburn).
Peter Lorimer declared himself ready to step down as Leeds United’s chief penalty taker following a costly miss from the spot in a First Division home loss to West Ham United in April 1978. When the powerful shooting Scot blasted the ball yards wide against the Hammers, it was his second successive penalty ‘miss’ and his fourth failure in five attempts. “To be fair to the team and our fans, I think it is time someone else was given the task for a while and I would be quite happy now to see someone else take it on,” he said. Lorimer, who took on the role as main penalty taker when Johnny Giles had gone through an indifferent patch several years earlier, shouldered much of the blame for United’s defeat by the Hammers. “I knew I had to score to get us a point and if I had scored I would have fancied us to win” he added.
United had had massive territorial advantage and the encouragement of the first goal after twenty-six minutes and scored by Scottish winger Arthur Graham, whose direct running and powerful finishing made the most of an opening created by Brian Flynn. West Ham had little to commend them other than an honest will to keep going but they were a threat from set-piece moves. Nineteen-year-old Alvin Martin headed in powerfully to equalize with his first goal for the club, after Billy Bonds had taken a free-kick quickly a minute before half-time. Eight minutes into the second half it was Martin who gave West Ham the lead with a powerful shot to finish a move which had stemmed from another Bonds free-kick.
United were missing strikers Allan Clarke and Ray Hankin but when Bonds flattened Tony Currie in the box in the seventy-sixth minute, Jimmy Armfield’s men had a seemingly great chance of the equaliser. Although Lorimer put plenty of power into his shot, unfortunately for United the ball zipped well wide of the target. United mounted plenty of pressure with Paul Hart and Paul Madeley coming forward whenever possible but the visitors defended stubbornly, if at times a little desperately.
Goalkeeper Rob Ferguson did well to punch
clear an in-swinging corner from Tony Currie and Frank Gray shot wide from just
outside the penalty area. Bonds also headed away a dangerous centre from Flynn
as West Ham held out for their first League win at
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Frank Gray clears in the nick of time
Carl Harris is closed down by a West Ham defender
Arthur Graham scored for
Brian Flynn created the
United defenders Paul Hart and Paul Madeley came forward in attack Frank Gray shot wide
Tony Currie was flattened in the box. Billy Bonds made both goals but conceded a penalty Bobby Ferguson did well