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Saturday 30 March 2013

On this day: Hiden seeks comfort as West Ham win

In series on Premier League's history, we look at how a Leeds new boy suffered a bad start

  • John Hartson opens the scoring for West Ham after eight minutes

  • Martin Hiden collided with Nigel Martyn for West Ham's second goal

  • Samassi Abou had the easy task of scoring the second after a defensive mix-up by Leeds

  • Ian Pearce celebrates after his goal made it 3-0

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

30 March 1998: West Ham 3-0 Leeds United

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.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A piece of action from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember a comfortable West Ham win over Leeds United