Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as newly crowned champions West Ham United took on League One's Hartlepool in the FA Cup Fourth Round.
After beating Fulham last week, West Ham were defending their UWCC title for the first time, while Hartlepool were bidding to become the lowest ranked team to hold the title, an unenviable title currently held by Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham were unbeaten in five matches going into this one, while Hartlepool had been inconsistent to say the least, a trait which had left them in 14th place in the third tier of English football.
There was to be no "cupset", however, as The Hammers lived up to their tag as favourites, running out 2-0 victors.
It wasn't all plain sailing, however, as Hartlepool—who beat Stoke in the previous round, battled away in the first half—with both goalkeepers having to make very good saves.
Towards the end of the first-half, West Ham broke the deadlock with a goal from Valon Behrami, while the second goal came in first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot courtesy of Mark Noble.
A spirited second-half performance from Hartlepool ensured that the score stayed at 2-0, and at times it looked like they may get back into it, but it wasn't to be.
Noble has now scored more penalties (two) in the two games he has been involved in than any other player in UWCC history. The result ensures that the title stays in the Premiership, and that West Ham don't become the first team to lost the title in their first defence.
Of the 251 voters in the poll, 93.2 percent said that West Ham would retain the title so congratulations to all of you and thanks for so many voters!
West Ham's run
West Ham 3-1 Fulham (West Ham become new champions)
Hartlepool 0-2 West Ham
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship.)
West Ham's next title defence comes this Wednesday as they host Hull City at Upton Park. Could Hull become the best team in the world?!
This edition comes to you from Los Angeles where I am currently on holiday!
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