Ricardo Vaz Te slammed home an 87th minute winner to win football’s richest prize. Vaz te’s late strike cancelled out Thomas Ince’s equalizer to see West Ham seal the Championship Play-Off’s and top flight promotion. Vaz Te, a January Winter acquisition from Barnsley, signed for £500,000 has been a bargain, finding the net 14 times in 21 games since his move, and ensuring West Ham earn an estimated £90 Million. Carlton Cole gave West Ham the lead in the first half, but Paul Ince’s son, Tom drew level just after the break. However, after an exciting end to end game, Vaz Te latched onto a Carlton Cole rebound ensuring the Play Off specialists would have to wait another year for Premier League promotion. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce vowed to take the club back to what he proclaims ” The promised land” following last seasons relegation. Allerdyce said:
“It was difficult for me to turn things around at the club but we’ve done it. I’m just delighted for everyone at West Ham because it means so much.”
Having completed the double over the Seasiders earlier this season, putting eight goals past Blackpool in the process, West Ham were deemed the favourites.
A lucky bounce fell kindly for Matt Taylor, who’s diagonal pass found Carlton Cole. Ian Evatt failed to track Cole’s run and the 6ft 3 striker managed to find enough space to fire past keeper Matt Gilks. West Ham would go to the break 1-0 to the good. However, just minutes after the break, that goal was cancelled out by a sweetly placed half volley into the corner of Green’s goal.
Very similar to West Ham’s opener, Phillips picked up the ball from the flank and pinged a great ball for Ince to latch onto. West Ham were on the back foot, and Blackpool were starting to look dominant. Baptiste had his shot cleared off the line and Dobbie scuffed his effort after the having the goal at his mercy. However, West Ham began to regain confidence and with 10 minutes of normal time, Captain Kevin Nolan’s strike was superbly saved by Gilks as his effort tipped onto the crossbar, and the rebound poked wide. The game seemed destined for extra time but Nolan whisked a ball into the box, Carlton Cole found the gap and managed to scramble the ball to his compatriot as Vaz Te smashed home the winner just 3 minutes from normal time. Wembly went wild. Blackpool desperately tried to claw their way back, pounding the West Ham box with long balls but West Ham held on to seal the final place on the Premier League roster.