Press Pass – WBA vs West Ham United
‘Press Pass’ is a partnership between The Albion Foundation and Albion’s Media Team – providing a once in a lifetime opportunity for young writers to report on a Premier League match alongside the professionals!
Jake Morris and Ellie Griffiths, both 15, and members of the WBA FC Junior Assembly were the first young reporters selected for ‘Press Pass’ and here’s what they had to write about West Bromwich Albion FC v West Ham United fixture:
Walking into the West Ham United fixture, unrest, negativity and uncertainty surrounded the club. Speculation swarmed around The Hawthorns, surrounding the recent take over and Pulis’ future prospect at the club.
West Brom go into the game having won only one of their last thirteen matches, whilst West Ham United have often left the mood amongst fans uneasy, after losing their last three consecutive away fixtures.
Yet, at five o’clock that mood among Baggies fans seemed a distant memory following a memorable 4-2 triumph over the big-spending Hammers. Four goals by a team who have failed to score in 21 of their league games since Pulis took charge in January 2015.
Summer signings Chadli and Philips provoked a refreshing change of play for Pulis’ starting eleven as Field and Berahino stepped aside allowing McClean and Rondon to flourish.
A rare early lead took home fans by surprise, as the Baggies were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute of game-time. This was converted by record signing Nacer Chadli. West Ham often dominated possession without creating too many clear cut chances with Zaza’s flick from a Payet corner missing the target. Michail Antonio also went close with a header.
Later on in the first half, birthday boy Rondon, who turned 27 on Friday,
doubled the home sides lead with a finish low to Adrian’s right following a pass from Chadli. The Venezuelan, who scored three of the four last goals going into today’s match celebrated his birthday with yet another.
Antonio and Lanzini both fired over for the visitors before McClean turned Chadli effort goal bound to give the Baggies a three goal lead going into the break, which meant that the team had scored more goals in 45 minutes than they had managed in the previous five Premier League games!
Albion dominated the score-line going into half-time, having managed to create and maintain a 3-goal-lead for the first time sinceFebruary against Crystal Palace.
West Ham started the second half brightly but on a counter attack from a corner in which Albion scored a fourth, as Rondon unselfishly teed up Chadli for the Belgian’s second on his home debut. This was shortly followed up by a Hammers free kick, awarded due to a Payet/Evans collision, which saw the strike hit no more than the crossbar.
Within minutes Antonio managed to score West Ham’s first before Lanzini beat Foster from the penalty spot as West Ham pulled themselves back into the game.
The final opportunity of the game went to recently signed Robson-Kanu who missed a close-shot on goal through a Philips’ pass during the 89th minute.
Overall, it was a fantastic, goal-filled, afternoon at The Hawthorns which we were both privileged enough to be a part of through the innovative ‘Press Pass’ initiative.
Jake Morris and Ellie Griffiths (aged 15) – Junior Assembly members.