Hammers are record breakers
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 07 Apr 2012 12:53:00
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After the disappointing home defeat to Reading last Saturday, West Ham United broke a club record by achieving their twelfth win on the road by comprehensively beating Barnsley 4-0 at Oakwell on Friday.

Most reports previewing this game suggested that Mark Noble would be unavailable for selection after picking up a thigh strain in last weekend's 4-2 defeat, but Sam Allardyce was able to call on him in a side that showed three changes from the team that played six days earlier. Abdoulaye Faye and Julien Faubert made way for the returning Winston Reid and Guy Demel and Nicky Maynard was preferred to Carlton Cole upfront so Cole had to settle for a place on the bench.

West Ham started the game well and went ahead as early as the sixth minute when captain Kevin Nolan won a corner which Matthew Taylor took. The ball then bounced off Barnsley striker Craig Davies before being poked over the line by Nolan from a yard out.

It was all too easy for the Hammers, who scored again on 23 minutes when Maynard grabbed his second goal in Claret and Blue as he collected the ball from Nolan and was given time and space by the home defence to power a shot into the net from 35 yards. Tykes' goalkeeper David Button did get a hand on the shot but couldn't prevent it from nestling in the bottom corner.

The visitors should have increased their advantage through Ricardo Vaz Te after he beat three defendants but, instead of shooting, he tried to find Maynard and his pass was eventually cut out. Seconds later however, it was 3-0 as Button tried to beat Maynard to the ball but could only pass the ball to Noble who lifted it over the advancing goalkeeper to increase the East Londoners' lead.

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The second half started with the visitors again playing the better football as they went in search of a fourth goal and on 54 minutes the goal arrived as good play from George McCartney saw him beat a Barnsley defender and shoot on his right foot. Button again got a fingertip to it but the ball looped to former Barnsley striker Vaz Te who beat the keeper to send the large contingent of Hammers fans wild.

Four minutes later the Hammers could have added another goal, but Maynard's ferocious shot from 35 yards smacked against the crossbar. Seconds later Big Sam made his first change, as Demel was replaced by Danny Collins and on 70 minutes, Henri Lansbury was brought on to replace Gary O'Neil.

Ten minutes later Maynard had the ball in the Barnsley net again, but this time the effort was ruled out straight away by referee Tony Bates for offside. Moments later,Papa Bouba Diop came off the bench to replace Noble.

As the game entered three minutes of stoppage time, Vaz Te tried to score a fifth goal but got his shot horribly wrong and sent a ball sideways and out of play.

After the three minutes of additional time had passed, Bates blew the final whistle to keep the Hammers' promotion hopes alive. They will definitely want to build on this result when Birmingham City arrive in East London on Monday evening.

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