Hammers suffer first away defeat as Tigers roar on
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 29 Sep 2013 15:47:00
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West Ham United suffered their first away defeat of the season, which means they  haven't won since the opening day. This time they lost by a solitary goal to Hull City on Saturday afternoon.

Only one change was made to the side that were defeated by Everton last weekend, as James Tomkins replaced James Collins in defence. Stewart Downing was back in the squad but Sam Allardyce named him on the bench.

Looking to atone for the defeat last time out, the Hammers controlled the early stages at the KC Stadium but couldn't make their attempts count.

Club captain Kevin Nolan was perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch  as he went in two-footed on Liam Rosenior on eight minutes. Fortunately for the away side, though, Kevin Friend only brandished a yellow card.

Three minutes later the Tigers were fortunate to be awarded a penalty, after the referee had spotted a push by Joey O'Brien on Robert Brady. Brady took responsibility himself and sent Jussi Jaaskelainen the wrong way and the East Londoners strong start came to an abrupt end.

West Ham went close to grabbing an equaliser on 22 minutes when a freekick was awarded their way for a foul by Curtis Davies on Ravel Morrison. Mark Noble sent the resulting freekick into the box but Tomkins'header was deflected, giving the visitors a corner. The delivery was once again met by the defender and, when he headed the ball again, it was cleared off the line.

The Irons wasted another good opportunity when Mohamed Diame's cross was headed away by former Hammer Abdulaye Faye but only as far as Noble, who tried his luck, but the effort went just wide of the post.

Steve Bruce's side could have easily gone further in front on 34  minutes, but Sone Aluko's freekick forced a superb diving save from Jaaskelainen.

The home side were piling on the pressure, as they earned a number of corner kicks in quick succession, but the the danger was averted on both occasions, although Modibo Maiga hit his own crossbar in helping to clear Davies' header off the line. When another corner was given, Jaaskelainen diverted the ball onto the post and a third flag kick was awarded. Thankfully for the Hammers, the set-piece didn't cause them any further problems.

Although West Ham had chances to equalise, Hull's lead remained intact as the teams went off for half-time.

Five minutes into the second half, Hull thought they had doubled their lead but the visitors survived as Aluko had his strike ruled out for offside.

The Hammers were lucky again on 57 minutes, when Aluko received the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a venomous shot which hit the angle of post and crossbar before rebounding to safety.

Just before the hour mark, Allardyce made a change as he replaced Maiga with Mladen Petric.

On 67 minutes, Hull were even closer to increasing their lead when Danny Graham set up Jake Livermore but the effort from the Tottenham Hotspur loanee hit the base of the left-hand post and West Ham were able to clear.

Big Sam made a double change three minutes later, as Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te were brought on for Diame and Matt Jarvis. Hull then followed suit by replacing Graham with Yannick Sagbo.

West Ham thought they should have been awarded a spot kick themselves after Livermore clearly handballed inside the area, but nothing was given. The West Ham players were incensed and so was Allardyce.

The visitors nearly grabbed a deserved point to take back to East London in the final minute of the game, but Vaz Te's overhead kick went over instead of testing home goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Four  minutes of stoppage time were signalled but West Ham couldn't find that elusive goal and back-to-back League defeats were confirmed. Next up for the Hammers is another away trip to face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in their first Derby of the season at white Hart Lane next Sunday.

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