Electric start downs Cottagers
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 02 Sep 2012 16:51:00
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On their return to Barclays Premier League action following their progression to the Capital One Cup 3rd Round in midweek, West Ham United recorded another win at home as they beat Fulham 3-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Andy Carroll made his debut in place of Carlton Cole. Otherwise, Sam Allardyce made three changes from last weekend's defeat at the Liberty Stadium: Matt Jarvis was unable to make his home debut so in came Ricardo Vaz Te, Joey O'Brien replaced George McCartney, who failed a late fitness test, while Matthew Taylor was chosen ahead of James Tomkins, who had to settle for a place amongst the substitutes.

The Hammers made the perfect start, as they were ahead as early as 53 seconds, when a flick on from Carroll was controlled by Ricardo Vaz Te to set up Captain Kevin Nolan, who smashed the ball past Mark Schwarzer and the majority inside Upton Park were able to celebrate the opening goal of the match.

It was fair to say that Carroll was causing problems for the Fulham defence and on nine minutes, Vaz Te crossed into the box for the new signing from Liverpool to head down and set up Mohamed Diame, whose shot came back off the crossbar and went out for a corner, which Mark Noble took and Vaz Te dummied, but this time the danger was cleared.

Three minutes later, Vaz Te linked up well with O'Brien and Taylor before shooting low, but this time Fulham's Australian goalkeeper was equal to the effort.

On 28 minutes, West Ham's second goal arrived as Taylor whipped the ball into the area for Winston Reid to plant a powerful header past Schwarzer to increase the home sides advantage.

41 minutes of the game had elapsed and Taylor grabbed the the third goal, which turned out to be West Ham's winner. Fulham had conceded a freekick following a foul on Vaz Te. Noble sent the set piece in, and the Cottagers' defence were too preoccupied by Carroll's presence to deal with Taylor, as he smashed the ball into the net.

West Ham went close early in the second half, when Vaz Te was once again fouled. Taylor smashed the freekick into the Fulham defensive wall and Schwarzer just about prevented West Ham from scoring a fourth goal; instead the visitors saw the ball out for a throw. Vaz Te then collected possession from Demel's throw and won a corner. From the resulting kick, his shot went over the bar.

On 67 minutes, Big Sam made his first change of the afternoon, swapping the two James' (Collins and Tomkins) with each other, while seconds later Carroll fell awkwardly and was taken off with what was later confirmed as a hamstring injury. The striker will now miss England's two upcoming World Cup qualifiers next week, but he should however be okay for West Ham's away game at Norwich City on September 15. Cole came on to replace him.

Three minutes later, after the visitors had pushed forward and earnt themselves a corner, Steven Sidwell almost pulled one back, only for Jussi Jaaskelainen to make a superb save.

On 78 minutes, Demel picked up an injury and was replaced by Robert Hall who, after appearing on Tuesday night, came on to make his first League appearance.

With two minutes left to play, Alex Kacaniklic tested Jaaskelainen with a speculative curling effort. A minute later, Hugo  Rodallega tested the the Hammers' stopper, but he was able to divert his shot onto the base of the post.

After four minutes of stoppage time had been played, referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle to keep West Ham's 100% home record alive. Next time out they will hope to pick up their first away win of the season when they travel to Carrow Road after the international break.

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