THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

19 March ~ West Ham travel to Stamford Bridge today knowing that a win could move them into the top four with just eight games remaining. The Hammers are even within striking distance of Arsenal in third, meaning they could match their best-ever position, which they managed in 1986. Then, at the end of March, a 4-0 win at Chelsea was key to their late-season run.

Alan Devonshire opened the scoring for the visitors after 23 minutes with a spectacular shot from 25 yards into the top corner, but it wasn’t until a 15-minute period in the second half that West Ham excelled. On 54 minutes Tony Cottee finished a swift counter-attack, then nine minutes later tapped home after Frank McAvennie had run clear of the Chelsea defence. It was left to McAvennie himself to finish off the scoring, Cottee having returned the favour on 68 minutes.

The win moved West Ham up to sixth and they made their games in hand count, overhauling Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to finish third. They nearly finished second, but lost to eventual runners-up Everton in their final match of the season. Chelsea lost their last four games and finished sixth.

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