Hammers collapse in second-half
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 10 Nov 2013 13:20:00
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West Ham United lost only their second away game of the season, as despite going in front, it all went wrong as individual mistakes cost them and Norwich City won 3-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday evening.

Sam Allardyce made two changes from the team that faced Aston Villa at Upton Park last weekend, as James Collins came in for the injured Winston Reid and Joe Cole was preferred to Matt Jarvis who was dropped to the bench. George McCartney was also fit enough to take his place amongst the substitutes.

The Canaries had a great chance in the very first minute of the game, when Anthony Pilkington created space and fired in a cross-shot which Jussi Jaaskelainen could only parry but luckily for the visitors, Collins was able to clear the danger.

West Ham were starting to get a hold on the game on eight  minutes, when James Tomkins won a freekick and Rasvan Rat sent it into the box. a great team move then followed but it was unfortunately ended when Jack Collison hit the ball straight at Martin Olsson. The swede definitely felt the full force of it as the Welshman's aim hit him where it hurts. The referee had to stop the game so that he could receive treatment.

The visitors should have gone ahead on 12 minutes, when Ravel Morrison set up club captain Kevin Nolan who only had the keeper to beat, but John Ruddy made a tremendous block to save the home side.

From the resulting corner, Mark Noble found Guy Demel, whose header hit the bar. Had it been a couple of inches lower the travelling support would have been cheering.

West Ham were applying pressure but couldn't make it count until 32 minutes, when this time they were celebrating, as Morrison scored, thanks to some superb play by the skipper. Another great team move resulted in the experienced midfielder cutting the ball back for the youngster, who slotted it into the net.

The Hammers continued to dominate proceedings and when the whistle blew for half-time, it was met by a chorus of boos from the majority inside the ground who weren't getting the response they wanted after last week's hammering by Manchester City.

The second half started and although it seemed like West Ham were in no danger of surrendering their advantage, on 54 minutes, a uncharacteristic error from Jaaskelainen resulted in Norwich being given a penalty after the Finn had dropped the ball and in trying to rescue it, committed a foul on Gary Hooper. The striker stepped up and sent the former Bolton Wanderers stopper the wrong way to bring the match level.

Chris Hughton's side went very close to turning the game on its head on 70 minutes, the but the Hammers survived when Jonathan Howson's shot came back off the crossbar. Then, Collins needlessly conceded a freekick for a foul on Howson. Before the set-piece could be taken, Allerdyce replaced Cole with Mohamed Diame.

Robert Snodgrass sent the freekick over the West Ham wall and Jaaskelainen was beaten for a second time.

Minutes later, both teams made changes with Big Sam bringing on Carlton Cole in place of Collison, while Norwich replaced Hooper with Bradley Johnson.

With three minutes of normal time to play, Jarvis was called upon to replace Noble.

In the last minute of the three added on for stoppages Norwich made it worse for West Ham, as Leroy Fer collected the loose ball and evaded the challenge of Tomkins before putting the ball past Jaaskelainen to claim all the points for the home side and cap off a brilliant second-half for the hosts.

The Hammers are back on home soil after the international break but it is Chelsea who come to the Boleyn Ground on November 23 for a Saturday evening London Derby.

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