Hammers denied back-to-back wins by Magpies
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 19 Jan 2014 14:03:00
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West Ham United are back in the bottom three and were unable to record back-to-back wins, as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon, which meant that Sam Allardyce had lost to his former club for the first time since leaving the North East in 2008.

Two changes were made to the side that picked up a win at the Cardiff City Stadium, as James Collins recovered from a calf injury to replace the suspended James Tomkins and Mohamed Diame was drafted in to replace the injured Guy Demel. George McCartney was also missing due to injury, so Matthew Taylor filled in at right-back.

West Ham made a bright start to the game with a number of opportunities falling their way inside the opening stages but the Newcastle defence stood firm.

The Hammers' fans thought they should have been awarded a freekick when Carlton Cole went down under the challenge of Mike Williamson with just five minutes gone but referee Andre Marriner wasn't interested in the appeals.

From that point on, the visitors started to control possession and went ahead in the 16th minute, when a great run from Yoan Gouffran set up Yohan Cabaye, who slotted past Irons' goalkeeper Adrian.

The Magpies almost doubled their lead in quick succession, when Gouffran raced into the box but his shot was charged down and Razvan Rat cleared away but only for a corner. The East Londoners struggled to clear the danger and stand-in captain Mark Noble eventually prevented the ball from crossing the line and the home side survived. Seconds later Loic Remy collected possession and sent over a cross for Cabaye whose volley hit Roger Johnson and another corner was given. The set-piece was eventually cleared by Carlton Cole.

Alan Pardew's side went close again on 23 minutes, after a freekick for the home side was wasted by Jack Collison and the visitors were able to set up a counter attack but Taylor won the ball back and passed back to the goalkeeper. The Spaniard's clearance only found Cabaye, who was able to set his side away on the counter-attack. Mohamed Sissoko picked up possession and the Frenchman was through on goal but Adrian blocked well with his legs. However, the danger was still not averted and the ball spun back towards the goal before the stopper finally cleared the ball off the line.

The Magpies extended their lead on 33 minutes when Sissoko ran past Rat into space; Collins failed to get the block in and this time Remy beat Adrian to make the scoreline comfortable.

The men from the north-east almost added a third three minutes later when Cabaye tried his luck from 25-yards but Adrian was alert and made a diving save to keep him out.

Just before the break, Remy went close to putting the home side out of sight when he was set up by Gouffran but the loanee from Queens Park Rangers saw the moment pass him by when he took a loose touch.

As the half went into two minutes of stoppage time the home side reduced the deficit, as Matt Jarvis controlled possession and picked out Rat who crossed for Cole. The striker's initial effort was blocked by Tim Krul but the ball hit him again and rolled across the line with a little help from Williamson. The Hammers now had real hope of a second-half comeback.

During the break, Big Sam took the opportunity to make a change, as he replaced Collison with Ravel Morrison.

Three minutes after the interval, Newcastle nearly scored again as Remy got in behind the West Ham defence but Adrian made a good save as he clawed the ball away from danger.

West Ham had the chance to equalise on 52 minutes when a freekick was awarded after Stuart Downing was brought down by Davide Santon and a freekick was awarded to the Hammers. Noble sent it in but Collins headed across goal and wide.

The home side really should have made the scores level four minutes later, when a flowing move involving Taylor and Downing set up Cole, but the striker had the goal at his mercy but got his body shape all wrong and failed to hit the target.

Just after the hour mark, Allardyce made his second change of the afternoon, as he replaced Diame with Andy Carroll, allowing the striker to make his first appearance in front of the home faithful since making his loan move permanent in the summer.

The striker almost inflicted immediate pain on his former club as he won a header, the ball then dropped to Cole, who then found Downing. The former Liverpool man's cross found Carroll who contested a challenge with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa but the Newcastle born front man couldn't get a connection on the ball and the chance was gone.

On 73 minutes, Allardyce made his final change as Joe Cole replaced Jarvis.

Three minutes after the substitution had been brought on, Carroll wasted a golden chance as he volleyed over the bar, following great play from both Carlton Cole and Downing.

West Ham had played well in the second half but had not managed to find an equaliser. Unfortunately for the hosts, five minutes of stoppage time was added and deep into this, Newcastle made the points safe when a freekick was awarded to them for a foul by Carroll. Cabaye took the set-piece and although Adrian got a hand to it, he couldn't prevent it from landing in the back of the net.

That was the last kick of the game and the wait for a home win since the end of November continues. The games don't get any easier for the Hammers as, next up, attention refocuses on their Capital One Cup campaign when Manchester City arrive in East London for the second-leg of their semi-final tie on Tuesday.

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