From the Terraces - Joe Difford

Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Monday's victory over Southampton

Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Monday's win over Southampton...

A disappointing draw with bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa was followed just two days later with an excellent victory over Southampton, ending a run of nine games without a win.

The festive period was always going to be a tough one in East London, as Slaven Bilic has had to deal with losing his best players to injury; Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, the list goes on.

Despite Villa being rock bottom when we travelled to them on Boxing Day, it was almost a case of ‘they have to win eventually,’ and the players were fired up to kick-start their survival hopes.

Aaron Cresswell fired in a wonderful shot from the edge of the penalty area on the stroke of half time, but the home side could and should have been ahead.

Cross after cross was sent in but Rudy Gestede was kept quiet by the brilliant Angelo Ogbonna and James Collins.

The target man got his way in the second half however, winning a penalty for his side that levelled the score, although there was more than an ounce of controversy about it.

As the Villa striker closed in on goal, he pulled Ogbonna back by his arm to get in front of him, before crashing to the ground under his presence, fooling the referee.

Jordan Ayew calmly slotted home, spoiling our Christmas.

28 December was a different story altogether however, and West Ham played with confidence and class in the second half, after a clumsy and scrappy showing from both sides in the first 45.

Ronald Koeman’s Southampton were coming off the back of a resounding 4-0 win over Arsenal on Boxing Day, so were expected to be a real force.

Both sides had their chances in the opening half, but it was a fortunate own goal that gave the visitors the lead.

After a long ball forward, Saido Mane flicked it on with a wonderful back heel volley, which was then crossed in and turned home by Carl Jenkinson, who was sliding in towards goal.

The equaliser wasn’t any less lucky, as Michail Antonio cut in before falling over and somehow looping the ball over the Saint’s goalkeeper and into the net.

Andy Carroll, back from injury and sporting a new hair style came off the bench and gave Hammers fans their first taste of victory since 24 October.

Antonio crashed a header off the bar, before Carroll leapt up and nodded home, making it two comeback goals against Chelsea and now Southampton.

Next up for Mark Noble and Co. is a visit of Liverpool, with the Hammers winning 3-0 at Anfield, not that we need any reminding of that day.

Dimitri Payet could be back in action and has a great chance to get a full 90 minutes the following week against Wolves in the FA Cup, and David Sullivan has already stated that he wants to win a trophy.

Things are starting to look up for Bilic’s claret and blue army, with players returning from injury and goals being scored again.

The last two months have been tough, but if the second half against Southampton is anything to go by, perhaps we can find the form we showed at the beginning of the season, once again.

For more West Ham fan views or to join the conversation visit

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United