Hammers Turn Tangerines Red Faced
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 22 Feb 2012 11:50:00
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went close after just three minutes and just two minutes later, Julien Faubert wasted a good opportunity after being put through on goal by Maynard.

West Ham continued to pile on the pressure as Maynard went close again but his effort was diverted out for a corner by Tangerines' defender Craig Cathcart.

On 28 minutes the visitors made their superiority count as James Tomkins headed home a Mark Noble freekick.

Four minutes later Maynard increased the advantage with his first goal for the East Londoners, as he raced ahead of the home defence and finished past Matthew Gilkes.

The Hammers had two more good chances to put the gloss on what was a dominant first half performance, but on the stroke of half-time, substitute Kevin Phillips gave Blackpool hope, heading home past Robert Green following a pinpoint cross from the right.

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The second half started with Blackpool showing more promise than they had in the first 45 minutes and when West Hams' third straight red in as many games was shown to goalkeeper Green on 54 minutes, Ian Holloway's side must have thought the game was turning their way.

With Allardyce choosing not to name a substitute keeper, he replaced Faubert with midfieder Henri Lansbury who took over the gloves.

On the hour mark, the Hammers were fortunate not to see a second red of the game given to Abdulaye Faye for deliberate handball. Eight minutes later however, Faye went down injured and was replaced by Gary O'Neill.

West Ham began to regain a degree of control and Maynard especially was playing well. On 71 minutes Vaz Te went close after latching onto a through ball from his strike partner.

Every time the Hammers went close the travelling support was heard chanting, "We're going to score in a minute" and on 74 minutes Noble's corner was only partially cleared by the home side and O'Neill was on hand to fire in the third goal past Gilkes. With that effort the midfielder had notched his first goal for the club.

After Maynard had once again beaten the Blackpool defence but just failed to finish, on 80 minutes Kevin Phillips' 25-yard chip crashed against the crossbar.

A minute later Big Sam brought on Cole to replace Maynard.

Just as the game was entering six minutes of stoppage time, Vaz Te capped an impressive performance with his first goal for the Club as he crashed the ball home.

Soon after the Hammers support were given a scare as Vaz Te went down in a crumpled heap, with what was thought to be a hamstring injury.

With almost the last kick of the game, Gilkes prevented Jack Collison putting the visitors further ahead as the referee blew the final whistle and West Ham had turned what looked like being a difficult game into a comfortable away success. They will now look to increase their lead at the top, when Crystal Palace visit Upton Park for a lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.

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