Hammers knock Cottagers down
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 01 Dec 2013 14:34:00
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After losing 3-0 at home to Chelsea last weekend it was second time lucky for West Ham United on Saturday afternoon. This week's London Derby ended in a 3-0 home win for the Hammers.

Sam Allardyce made four changes to his team selection for this game, as George McCartney made his first start since last season's 3-2 home defeat by Liverpool. Matt Jarvis and Mohamed Diame also came in .

Joey O'Brien, Joe Cole and Ravel Morrison were the men to make way and were all dropped to the bench.

For the first time in five games, the manager included a striker in the starting line-up as Modibo Maiga also came in.

The East Londoners made a bright start to the match and had a great chance as early as the ninth minute after Kieren Richardson had slid in on Stewart Downing. The former West Ham trainee was given a yellow card for his troubles.

From the resulting freekick taken by Mark Noble the Hammers were unable to take advantage as Maiga's header hit the post.

Seconds later, James Tomkins was booked for a late tackle on Pajtim Kasami.

The hosts went close again on 18 minutes, when Downing combined with Guy Demel to set up Diame, whose cross went out of play and another corner was given. From the set-piece Downing's cross found James Collins in space but his effort went just wide.

On 27 minutes, Downing tested Maarten Stekelenburg but the keeper saved his effort but then West Ham couldn't get a touch on the ball to follow up.

As two minutes were added at the end of the first-half, club captain Kevin Nolan had a great chance to give his team the lead going into the break after Jarvis and Downing had played him in. The chance wasn't taken however, as his acrobatic effort was straight at Stekelenburg.

The half-time whistle was blown and it was the same old story, as West Ham dominated but it was goalless as the teams headed off the pitch and into the dressing rooms.

Having said that, the hosts were soon in front at the start of the second-half, when former Hammer Scott Parker and Steven Sidwell managed to give possession back to the home side and Diame ran into the box and produced a shot, which took a huge deflection off Fernando Amorebieta
and rolled past Stekelenburg to spark jubilation from three sides of the ground.

On 64 minutes, the Hammers went ever so close to scoring again when Tomkins headed towards goal but, unfortunately for the home support, the ball was cleared off the line.

Another four minutes had passed when Kasami had Fulham's first effort on goal but it was not enough to test Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Hammers' goal, instead it bounced a yard wide of the left-hand post. During the break in play, Allardyce replaced Jarvis with Joe Cole.

A minute later, the home side nearly added to their lead when Nolan picked up the loose ball and found Downing, whose curling shot hit the bar and dropped for Maiga, who tried to pick out Cole but couldn't find him and the chance was gone.

Both teams made changes with 13 minutes to play, as Big Sam replaced the skipper with Morrison, while Fulham brought on Giorgos Karagounis in place of Sidwell.

On 81 minutes, West Ham made their final change of the afternoon, when Carlton Cole made his first appearance in front of the home fans since rejoining the club in October, as he was introduced for Maiga.

The striker was to make an immediate impact, as just 67 seconds after he had entered the fray the points were made safe for the Irons when the striker was on the end of Downing's pinpoint cross.

The East Londoners quickly added a third, when Morrison was able to beat two defenders before finding Joe Cole, who finished off what was a great afternoon for the hosts.

As the game entered three minutes of stoppage time, Morrison was in the thick of the action again, as he set up Carlton Cole but he couldn't get his shot past Stekelenburg for a second time but it didn't matter, as the final whistle blew to confirm West Ham's first home win since the opening day of the season.

The Hammers have the chance to pick up another three points when they face their third London Derby within the space of two weeks, as they travel to Selhurst Park to take on newly promoted Crystal Palace on Tuesday night.

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