Venue: Upton Park, West Ham.
Competition: Second Division.
Score: West Ham
Scorers: West Ham
West Ham United: Parkes; Potts, Dicks; Gale (Brady), Martin, Keen; Allen, Slater, Ward, Foster, Parris.
Chris Fairclough enhanced his
reputation as a central defender of stylish authority and effectiveness when
Leeds United moved into the top three of the Second Division with a 1-0 win
over West Ham in October 1989. With the Fist Division programmes having been suspended
West Ham strung five defenders across the back and United, especially early on, used the frustrating offside ploy and though United fans went home happy with three points to savour as the result of a well-finished off goal from Vinnie Jones, the game as a whole drew some vitriolic comments from London based writers. “The game was hard, as we knew it would be, but West Ham were the team who had three players booked, while we did not have anyone cautioned. The criticism we have received is totally unfair. It has astounded me,” said United manager Howard Wilkinson.
There could certainly be no fault finding with the qualities shown by Chris Fairclough whose decisiveness, accuracy in the tackle and general awareness stood out for even the sternest critic to note. “His was as good a defensive display as I have ever seen from anyone,” declared Gordon Strachan, who was another outstanding figure on the day. Mervyn Day, playing against the club where he made such a promising start to his professional career sixteen years earlier, distinguished himself with two excellent saves, the second of these a flying one-handed effort to deny Mark Ward in the dying minutes of the match.
The goal that settled the match was a wonderfully simple
one. Mike Whitlow made a run along the left wing and his accurate low cross was
side-footed in by Jones, who had charged through to meet it. Phil Parkes in the
West Ham goal had no chance and Jones saluted the
It was the
day when Leeds United really signalled their
intentions for a return to the big time. They grappled, they snarled, they spat
and they fought. So said the Sunday match reports after Howard Wilkinson
plotted West Ham's downfall at Upton Park with one of the most professional
gone un-noticed that United had a poor record in the capital, although facing
newly-relegated West Ham was a more enticing prospect than some of the other
performance was simply faultless and it was ironic that Vinnie
Jones, booed every time he went near the ball, scored the only goal of the game
midway through the first half. After that United held on to their lead with
some tremendously cynical tactics that had the home crowd baying for blood.
Chris Fairclough and Peter Haddock spent much of the
game perched on the halfway line and every time a West Ham long ball cleared
the Leeds two central defenders the linesman's flag went up for offside.
The Hammers got more and more frustrated as the game went on, but
Gordon Strachan checks his options as he speeds down the wing
Vinnie Jones got only goal of the game. Chris Fairclough enhanced his reputation to the approval of Gordon Strachan.
Howard Wilkinson disagreed with press Mervyn Day pulled off two brilliant saves Carl Shutt came on as substitute
Mike Whitlow crossed for Alan Williams was on Phil Parkes was in the West Ham goal Liam Brady came on as substitute
the goal. the left-wing.
Steve Potts and Julian Dicks were the full-back pairing Tony Gale and Alvin Martin were in central defence
Kevin Keen, Martin Allen and George Parris were in the midfield
Stuart Slater and Mark Ward were on the attack Colin Foster was a central defender