Saturday 26th April 2008
Birmingham v Liverpool 15.00
Chelsea v Man Utd 12.45
Man City v Fulham 15.00
Sunderland v Middlesbrough 15.00
Tottenham v Bolton 15.00
West Ham v Newcastle 15.00
Wigan Athletic v Reading 15.00
Sunday 27th April 2008
Everton v Aston Villa 16.00
Portsmouth v Blackburn 13.30
Monday 28th April 2008
Derby v Arsenal 20.00
from the M1 leave at Junction 2 onto the A1. After a short distance the A1 joins tha A406 (North Circular Road). Turn left onto th A406 and follow this road until it reaches tha A124 (Barking Road) and turn right heading into London. After about 1.5 miles turn right into Green Street and the ground is on the right.
A number of bars are home fans only, but times have changed and this place isn't as bad as it used to be. I know away fans are always told not to visit the Boleyn Pub (on the corner of the ground), plus the Greengate, Wine Bar, Village and the Central pubs on Barking Road. But I've been in them all, without any trouble. Millers Well is a Wetherspoons (opposite East Ham Town Hall) is good, although for years we've used the East Ham Social Club and the Denmark Arms.
The ground is walkable from the Upton Park tube station which is on the District, plus Hammersmith and City lines. Please not the West Ham tube station is nowhere near the ground so don't get off there. The queue to get away from the ground is always horrendous, and you're probably better off going for a couple of pints before going back on the tube. Forest Gate is a 25 minute walk, but far less busy.
OUR LAST VISIT TO UPTON PARK ....
WEST HAM 0 NEWCASTLE UTD 2
West Ham Carroll, Mears (Mullins 67), Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky, Bowyer, Mascherano (Benayoun 67), Reo-Coker, Etherington, Tevez (Harewood 45), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Green, Cole.
Newcastle Given (Harper 86), Carr, Moore, Ramage, Babayaro, Milner, Parker, Emre (Butt 90), Duff, Martins, Ameobi (Sibierski 72).
Subs Not Used: N'Zogbia, Rossi.
Second-half goals from big-money summer buys Damien Duff and Obafemi Martins allowed Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder to make a winning return to West Ham, the club he left three years ago.
A brain operation, relegation and an Upton Park exit were the setbacks Roeder had to endure in 2003 and this time he needed pitch-side protection from the wrath of angry Hammers fans amid chants of "You're the reason we went down".
It was a poisonous end to the afternoon but Roeder's current crop of players had thoroughly deserved their victory, with the Hammers' much-hyped Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano making minimal contributions.
Roeder's side dominated after taking the lead through Duff early in the second half.
Martins' influence grew and grew in the second period although he should have done better than nod an early header straight at Roy Carroll.
The game's first real let-off came in the ninth minute at the other end however when Tevez curled a free-kick over the wall and back off the crossbar.
That ignited home fans and players alike as Roeder's side had to soak up a barrage of intense pressure that was eventually punctured by another Martins miss.
Again the Upton Park faithful had a loud opinion as the former Inter Milan man fired across goal and wide with no challenger present as they were convinced play should have been stopped first for handball by Shola Ameobi and then when Danny Gabbidon was hurt challenging.
At the other end, Tevez fired another free-kick, from a similar position, past a nervous black and white wall but this time Shay Given was able to make a comfortable save low down.
West Ham were on top at this point but Newcastle were trying their luck from distance whenever possible with Ameobi, following two weaker Emre efforts, winning a corner off Gabbidon's back.
Again Carroll had to make a save with little time to adjust as Craig Moore met Duff's flag-kick delivery but this was merely the prelude to the half's most extraordinary moment, which arrived in the 33rd minute.
Lee Bowyer, who had left Newcastle to rejoin the Hammers in the summer, was inches away from recording a goal to remember when he lobbed Given from all of 50 yards near the right touchline. The goalkeeper back-tracked frantically but was powerless to do anything but watch the ball drop just beyond his far post.
The fit-again Celestine Babayaro - one of three changes from the side that had won 1-0 at Levadia Tallinn in midweek, was booked in the 41st minute for a foul on Bobby Zamora, with Hammers defender Tyrone Mears following him into the book for clipping Duff just before the half-time whistle.
Tevez had contributed little apart from his two free-kicks and was replaced at the break by Marlon Harewood.
Midfielder Mascherano, who was at fault when Newcastle took the lead through Duff five minutes into the second half, stayed on.
He came off second best as Martins powered through the middle to set up the Irishman, who fired coolly across Carroll from a position on the left of the box. It was Duff's first Newcastle goal and the team's first in the Premiership away from St James' Park.
The setback seemed to deflate Alan Pardew's side as only the away fans could be heard for long spells. Stephen Carr burst forward to see an effort deflected over following a one-two with Martins.
The situation was now becoming desperate for the home side and changes were inevitable, with Yossi Benayoun and Hayden Mullins, two stalwarts of last season's successes, replacing new boys Mears and Mascherano with 23 minutes remaining.
Newcastle replaced Ameobi not long after with new recruit Antoine Sibierski, who had been dropped despite netting a UEFA Cup winner in Estonia on his debut on Thursday night.
That night had also seen West Ham beaten 1-0 at home by Palermo in the same competition and a miserable week for the Londoners was complete when Martins found the net for the first time in a Newcastle shirt, accepting the invitation to canter forward unchallenged and slot past Carroll in the 75th minute.
The points were Newcastle's from that moment but there was still a setback in store for them late on however when Given suffered a head injury in a collision with Harewood's boot as the striker slid in and had to be replaced for the final few minutes by Stephen Harper.