Hammers Nail Lions
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 04 Feb 2012 21:37:00
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After losing heavily to Ipswich Town on Tuesday night, West Ham United wanted to avoid tasting back-to-back defeats for the second time this season and they did just that by defeating their fierce London rivals Millwall 2-1 at Upton Park this afternoon.

None of the club's transfer deadline day signings made the starting line-up but Sam Allardyce did make two changes to the team that featured at Portman Road in midweek. He replaced Matthew Taylor with Joey O'Brien and Abdoulaye Faye also started for the first time since the defeat at Reading on 10 December, as he replaced Henri Lansbury.

The game was an open affair in the early stages, however the first major incident occurred after just nine minutes when skipper Kevin Nolan was shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge.

Despite being reduced to ten men, the Hammers still had chances but the Lions were equal to their efforts until just before half-time, when the breakthrough was made and it was a goal for Carlton Cole. The striker was fouled and Mark Noble's superb freekick was headed on by Winston Reid. The ball found its way back to Cole who headed home to great roars of delight from the home faithful.

At half-time, the manager decided to make a change as Jack Collison was replaced with Taylor.

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The second half started and the home side were unlucky not to have increased their advantage on 50 minutes, when George McCartney's cross created an excellent chance for Julien Faubert, whose glancing header hit the underside of the bar.

Only a superb intervention from James Tomkins prevented Millwall from getting an equaliser as Andy Keogh's cross almost found Tottenham Hotspur loanee, Harry Kane, who seemed certain to equalise if the ball had found him.

Minutes later the Lions did equalise as Liam Trotter shot from distance and gave Robert Green no chance as the ball flew past him.

On 69 minutes, the Hammers once again took the lead when a corner from Taylor was headed on by Faye, only for his effort to be cleared off the line. The clearance was then knocked back into the danger area but Millwall keeper David Forde could only punch the effort out to Reid who thumped it home with the Northern Irishman claiming a foul by Faubert. The home fans once again went ballistic!!!

Nine minutes were left when changes were made for both sides. Big Sam brought on Gary O'Neil for Faubert and Millwall replaced Liam Feeney with Ryan Mason.

With a minute of normal time to play the Hammers made their final change, as new signing Ricardo Vaz Te came on to replace Cole.

Just after it was announced that five minutes of stoppage time were to be played, Vaz Te had the chance to score on his debut but instead dragged his shot wide.

The rest of stoppage time was negotiated successfully and the final whistle sparked jubilation amongst fans and players alike. The East Londoners will hope to build on this result when they head to London Road to face Peterborough United next Saturday.

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