Another away victory for battling West Ham

Championship: Hull City 0 West Ham 2

 

West Ham kept up the pressure on leaders Southampton with a superb second-half display to see off Hull City with a deadly double strike.

Having absorbed plenty of pressure in the opening 45 minutes, the arrival of Carlton Cole as a second-half substitute seemed to inspire the Hammers and before the hour mark they had taken total charge.

On 47 minutes, Mark Noble swung in a corner from the right and when Cole nodded it down, goal poacher Sam Baldock was there to smash it in from close range.


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Just 10 minutes later it was 2-0. This time Cole broke down the left and when he played a clever ball into the path of Jack Collison, the midfielder slid the ball under Peter Gulacsi in the Hull goal.

The goals forced the Tigers to all-out attack and almost immediately they twice came close to forcing their way back into the match.

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First Jack Hobbs' header was poked goalwards by Matt Fryatt only for Noble to clear off the line, then Aaron McLean forced a fine save from Robert Green with a 20-yard drive.

West Ham survived and from that point on they settled back into their stride and their tight formation to frustrate Hull.

Tempers almost boiled over when Hull refused to give West Ham the ball back after Abdoulaye Faye had been injured, but it merely summed up the frustration of the home side as they struggled to break down a well-organised West Ham.

Liam Rosenior headed wide, while Robbie Brady's free kick was blocked, but there seemed no way back for the Tigers.

That was confirmed in the closing stages as Green made two stunning saves to deny Fryatt and Hobbs and complete another impressive clean sheet for the Hammers.

It had been a very different story in the first half as Hull had the bulk of the possession and West Ham had to keep their formation tight as they withstood some pressure.

McLean headed straight at Rob Green, Robert Koren twice stung Green's fingers with long-range shots, while Fryatt came closest of all for the Tigers right on half time.

John Carew gifted possession to the home side and within seconds Fryatt was through on goal. His effort was parried by the West Ham keeper, but was still bobbling towards the goal, only for Julien Faubert to get back and clear off the line.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as Sam Baldock looked lively, while Kevin Nolan enjoyed things further up the field than normal.

And it was Nolan who came closest for the Hammers. James Tomkins and Carew both had headers that flew wide, but a promising move saw Baldock release Faubert down the right.

The Frenchman crossed to the far post where Nolan arrived late, but the midfielder, whose four goals this term have all come on West Ham’s travels, was over stretching and his close-range effort flew over the top.

It was a very different West Ham that came out after the break though and those two goals knocked the stuffing out of the Tigers, who had ended their nine-game unbeaten run by losing at Barnsley on Tuesday night.

West Ham only really carved out two clear-cut chances, but they scored from both and that proved the difference on the day.

 

West Ham: Green, Faubert, McCartney, Faye, Tomkins, Collison, Nolan, Noble, Diop, (Sears 84) Baldock (Piquionne 88), Carew (Cole h/t).

Unused subs: Kurucz, Potts.

 

Attendance: 21,756.

 

Referee: N Miller 7

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