Howarth's Way: Hammers clash will pit us against a great manager
WE'VE just had another highly eventful week.
Following on from our opening match against Burton Albion our difficult start to the season continued.
We entertained a very good Crawley Town in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
We knew that it was going to be a tough game after they had beaten Coventry in their opening game of the season and our record in this competition in recent years has not been great.
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However, we overcame an early goal scare to get back in the match but then we found ourselves 3-1 down against the run of play.
But even without Jamie Cureton we managed to overpower our opponents and Terry Gornell and Byron Harrison amongst others were outstanding in our extra-time 4-3 comeback.
Most people who I have spoken to at the match have said it was one of the best matches they had seen.
I certainly thought it was a very good performance against a high-quality opposition.
We got our victory on Tuesday night but it wasn't going to be until Thursday when the draw for the second round was to be made that we would find out what our reward for our comeback would be.
West Ham away is as big a match that we could have hoped for with the teams that were in the hat with us and I'm sure, as a part-time West Ham fan, our chairman (Paul Baker) is as happy anybody with draw.
It will be a very good experience for the players and the fans to travel down to East London and to take on one of the biggest clubs in the country on their home patch will be very exciting.
In Sam Allardyce they also have, in my biased opinion, one of the best English managers in the game.
Big Sam has proved himself to be an established Premier League manager and his record at the top level with the clubs he has been at is excellent.
To take my hometown club Bolton Wanderers into Europe by finishing sixth in the Premier league is incredibly impressive.
He also spent a long spell playing and living in Bolton and I can remember as a very young kid knocking on his front door with my brother asking for his autograph!
When the match comes around hopefully we can do ourselves justice which would certainly help us to enjoy the occasion.
The cup match will be different to the league campaign. West Ham will be played between long journeys to Accrington and Bury and they are matches that we will really be looking to win.
We also entertain Plymouth prior to those matches so we have a lot to play for.
Chesterfield last Saturday proved to be a difficult match and I'm sure that if anyone can finish above them this season they will win the league.
They have a large squad full of quality players and the backing to bring in more when needed.
The club looks as though it is set up for success with the new stadium and facilities on offer.
However, to achieve success it all comes down to the results on the pitch and in Paul Cook they appear to have the man who can get them.
Having said all that, for long spells during the second half I really felt as though it would be us who would go on to score. Chesterfield were better than us in the first half but even then we still had a couple of chances, with Harrison having a shot cleared off the line.
Unfortunately, we were unable to provide the killer touch and in the last minute our opponents broke away to score with their second deflected gal of the match.
We have to move on now and we can do so with an entertaining prospect against Plymouth Argyle to look forward to.
We will need you out in force again to get behind us as Plymouth I am sure will be backed by a very large following. See you on Saturday.