Hammers lose on the road
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 25 Aug 2012 17:13:00
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Compared to last campaign, when they had the best away record in the league, this season West Ham United's campaign on the road did not get off to the best of starts as they were defeated 3-0 by Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.

As expected, new signing Matt Jarvis went straight into the starting line-up as part of a front three which included skipper Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole, who this morning has been linked with a £5 million move to fellow newly promoted side Reading. The other change that Sam Allardyce made to the side that beat Aston Villa last week was James Tomkins, who filled the hole left in midfield.

The Hammers started the better of the two sides and could have gone ahead as early as the the second minute when Jarvis showed the Hammers fans' just why he has been brought to the club, but unfortunately his cross was just too high for the club captain to get any sort of touch on.

There was a scare for the visitors on 12 minutes as Mohamed Diame and Winston Reid collided when they both tried to head the same ball. After a few minutes of treatment, both players were able to continue.

Somewhat fortunately, the home side grabbed the first goal on 20 minutes as Angel Rangel sent a cross over the West Ham defence that looked as though it was going harmlessly out of play, until a terrible mistake was made by goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen as he allowed the ball to slip under his body and into the net. Two minutes later, West Ham had a great chance to equalise when Mark Noble's freekick was superbly saved by Michel Vorm.

Minutes later another defensive mistake, this time by James Collins, resulted in a second Swansea goal as the Welshman allowed Michu to slot the ball into an empty net. The home fans really enjoyed the moment as Collins used to be an ex-Cardiff city player!

Jarvis continued to be a threat and on 34 minutes, his volley from a Collins free-kick brought another superb one-handed save out of Vorm.

On 36 minutes Jaaskelainen made up for his earlier error when he tipped Neil Taylor's shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, Cole headed clear at the near post and then was harshly booked for putting his hand into Chico's face.

Just before the break West Ham had a succession of corners of their own, all of which could have seen them pull a goal back but the first was scrambled away, and the second was cleared off the line beofre referee Martin Atkinson blew the half-time whistle with the hosts going in with a two goal lead.

Before the second half got underway, Allardyce sent on Ricardo Vaz Te in place of James Tomkins, in the hope that his side could try and find a way back into the game.

On 51 minutes, good link-up play between Vaz Te and Nolan set up Cole, but unfortunately he couldn't finish and the chance was gone.

Minutes later, Michu was put through on goal following a pass by Nathan Dyer. The Spaniard had only the goalkeeper to beat, but this time he curled his effort wide of the post.

Just after the hour mark, Big Sam decided to make another change as Modibo Maiga came on to replace Cole.

Minutes after Maiga had entered the fray, Swansea scored their third goal , as Leon Britton passed to Wayne Routledge, who, in-turn, set up Danny Graham to clinch all three points for the home side.

On 69 minutes, Big Sam made a final change, as he introduced Alou Diarra in place of Diame.

With four minutes of normal time to play, a corner from Jarvis found its way onto the head of Maiga, but unfortunately nothing came of the chance.

Three minutes of stoppage time were signaled, but luck was not with West Ham on the day. They will hope for a better result when Crewe Alexandra come to Upton Park for the Capital One Cup tie on Tuesday night.

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