Aston Villa 1–0 West Ham United – Reaction
Brian Jeeves reporting from Villa Park
Turning the clock back to May 9, 2015, and a frustrating afternoon for Sam Allardyce and his charges against FA Cup finalists, Aston Villa, themselves fighting for their Premier League lives…
SAM ALLARDYCE was left disappointed with his shot-shy Hammers after relegation-haunted Aston Villa comfortably kept the east Londoners at bay at a tense Villa Park.
West Ham have picked up just four away points since the turn of the year, and a frustrated Allardyce sighted his teams’ lack of potency in front of goal for this latest setback; “I think for a number of weeks now we’ve tried and tried to find the goals you need to win a game of football and we can’t find them, it’s as simple as that.
“Whatever we do in open play and however many chances we create, none of our players seem to be able to convert any of the chances into goals. Because of that life is extremely difficult for us, to have to keep a clean sheet every time we play a game because that’s the way it is at the moment.
“Our last two goals were an Aaron Cresswell free-kick and a penalty from Mark Noble. Again today we’ve failed in front of goal.
Commenting about the Hammers disallowed goal, Allardyce pointed an accusing finger at the assistant referee, stating: “I can’t control this because it’s an assistant referee’s decision, I think Enner Valencia’s header is a goal.
“The assistant referee is in no position to give a decision one way or the other by his position because he’s four yards in the wrong position, so he guesses. I find that rather difficult to take when you look at it as our player looks like he’s level.
Meanwhile, upbeat Villa boss Tim Sherwood said: “It was as comfortable as it could be at this stage of the season. First half we were more open, more expansive, but the second half we were professional. We killed the game off and limited West Ham to one headed at goal from Collins which you’d expect Shay (Given) to save. Even in the second period, we were creating the better chances.
On Tom Cleverley’s performance, Sherwood said: “He’s a good technician when he gets them chances in the box he will score. I’m pleased for him and delighted for the football club.