Saturday 30 March 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
West Ham United found their way past a Leeds United team that had recorded three clean sheets in a row with ease to record a first league success over their opponents in 16 years.
Martin Hiden, who was signed by Leeds manager George Graham from Rapid Vienna, replaced the suspended Lucas Radebe but struggled to cope with a West Ham forward line of John Hartson and Samassi Abou.
Hartson opened the scoring as an Eyal Berkovic corner was flicked across goal by Hiden for the Welshman to convert. The second goal, 13 minutes later, came as Hiden collided with Nigel Martyn, his goalkeeper, going for a long ball, to allow Abou the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net.
Berkovic was the creator for the third, sliding the ball to Ian Pearce, who had advanced from wing-back, to round Martyn and score.
It was the most successful season for Hartson in the top flight, scoring 15 times in 33 appearances, and 24 in all competitions. The latter is a mark no West Ham player has since matched when the club have been in the top flight.
Hartson talked to premierleague.com about the match and that West Ham side. “I was up against Rob Molenaar, a big lump, but a good centre-half," he said.
"We were a fine side at home but we never travelled great. We fancied ourselves against anybody when they came to the Boleyn. We beat some very, very good sides. We didn’t fear anybody at Upton Park under the lights. It was such a fantastic atmosphere. I used to love playing at the Boleyn."
Leeds would have gone fourth in the Barclays Premier League with a victory, but instead it was Harry Redknapp’s team whose hopes of Europe were raised. Leeds stayed in fifth to qualify for the UEFA Cup, while West Ham finished eighth, losing out on a place in Europe by a place and a goal difference of two.
Having survived stage-four cancer, John Hartson is now patron of the John Hartson Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.
For more information go to http://www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk.