2014/15 Season Review - April

An outstanding Aaron Cresswell free-kick and Reece Burke’s Premier League debut lit up an otherwise disappointing month
An outstanding Aaron Cresswell free-kick and Reece Burke’s Premier League debut lit up a month that was otherwise disappointing for the Hammers. 

West Ham began April with a trip to struggling Leicester City. The Foxes, who at the time were fighting for Premier League survival, got off to a bright start as their Player of the Year Esteban Cambiasso fired the hosts into a twelfth minute lead. 

Things almost went from bad to worse as Carl Jenkinson fouled Leonardo Ulloa inside the box. David Nugent lined the spot-kick up however Adrian pulled of a terrific save to keep his side in the game. 

In a deafening atmosphere at the King Power, the Hammers did well to pull themselves level via Cheikhou Kouyate’s rifled shot. 

With just minutes remaining, midfielder Andy King popped up in the six yard box to seal a win that would start a mesmerising run of result for the Foxes. 

Fired up by the defeat the previous weekend, the Hammers flew out of the traps against Stoke City. Their early pace and intent was soon rewarded as Aaron Cresswell curled a beauty of a free-kick into the top right-hand corner. He wheeled away in delight at scoring his second goal for West Ham, running away to celebrate in-front of the adoring faithful. 

The good start would not last however as the Potters equalised through Marko Arnautovic with virtually the last kick off the game. Mark Hughes’ men had impressed all game, most notably Mr. Arnautovic, who had had two earlier efforts chalked off for offside. 
The 95th minute equaliser was a bitter pill to swallow and the Hammers struggled to get it out of their system when they travelled to the Etihad. 

The Citizens were in rampant mood, as Sergio Aguero and David Silva were at their majestic best. Despite their creative brilliance, the deadlock was broken in freak circumstances as James Collins’ clearances skewed off his foot horribly, looped over a hapless Adrian before hitting the post and rolling over the line.

Things did not get much better in Manchester as City won back possession in their own half before breaking rapidly. A well worked move was finished off by Sergio Aguero, who would go on to be top goalscorer with 26 strikes. 

The Hammers were much improved in the second half – Enner Valencia went closest with a fierce shot following a mazy run yet in truth, City were comfortable winners. 

Entering the last game of the month, the Irons made the short journey across London to play relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers. 

The Hoops put in a valiant display and perhaps deserved more than a point. Adrian, not for the first time, was the Hammers hero as he made a brilliant save to keep out Charlie Austin’s penalty. The hosts went close again when Richard Dunne put the ball in the back of the net, yet it was chalked off for a foul. 

Perhaps the biggest positive for West Ham fans was Reece Burke who faced the daunting task of handling Bobby Zamora on his Premier League debut. However, the Newham-born eighteen year old more than rose to the occasion and almost got on the scoresheet. 

The Hammers ended April in tenth with just four games remaining.