Hornets Provide Sting As Away Record Ends
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 31 Oct 2015 21:28:00
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West Ham United's terrific unbeaten run on the road has finally come to an end. It is also the first time they have failed to score this season as they were beaten 2-0 by newly-promoted Watford at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

Slaven Bilic made two changes from the Chelsea game, as Victor Moses returned to the midfield, replacing Mauro Zarate, who dropped to the bench and Andy Carroll was given his first league start of the season in place of Diafra Sakho, who had picked up a thigh injury in training in the week. The bench also included a surprise name, as Joey O'Brien was named in the matchday squad.

After beating Chelsea last weekend, the Hammers nearly made the perfect start again here when Dimitri Payet found himself in space but couldn't find a way past Heurelho Gomes who made a superb diving save.

The home side then went close to a breakthrough on ten minutes when Nathan Ake saw his close range header terrifically saved by Adrian, then Carroll blocked captain Troy Deeney's effort on the line. The majority inside the ground wanted a penalty, but referee Keith Stroud saw little wrong with the incident.

On 23 minutes, a great passage of play between Carroll and Moses saw the Chelsea loanee race clear of the Watford defence. It was a promising run but at the end of it, his effort failed to worry Gomes, as it went well wide.

Five minutes later, the Hornets had another great chance but Adrian was alert to the danger and prevented Ikechi Anya from grabbing the advantage for the hosts.

Another five minutes had passed before Adrian was forced to make another great save from Odion Ighalo.

The Spaniard was powerless to stop Ighalo just six minutes later, as he converted Ake's cross past Adrian, after Carroll had made a glaring error and although Aaron Cresswell appeared to apply the final touch, it was still given as Ighalo's goal.

The Irons could have levelled just before the break when Payet's freekick found Cheikou Kouyate but the midfielder headed straight at Gomes.

One minute of added time was played at the end of the first-half but the visitors were unable to find a goal before the half-time whistle blew.

Not happy with what he had seen in
the opening period, Bilic made a double change at the break, as he introduced Zarate and Enner Valencia for Manuel Lanzini and Moses.

The changes didn't make a great deal of difference as just three minutes after the restart, Quique Sánchez Flores' men went further in front, as Ighalo claimed his second goal of the afternoon, when Anya's cross fell invitingly for him after another defensive error, this time by James Tomkins and the striker kept his head and unleashed a rocket past Adrian.

A minute later, and the Nigerian almost claimed a hat-trick as he raced onto Deeney's ball, only for Adrian to make the save.

On the hour mark, Caroll had the chance to pull one back for the East Londoners but he sent his effort wide of the post.

Two minutes later and the Hammers thought they should have been given a penalty when Craig Cathcart bought down Valencia but Stroud ignored the appeals and nothing was given.

Cathcart was in the thick of the action again on 68 minutes, when a lapse in concentration allowed Valencia to race through and shoot but unfortunately his effort hit the post.

On 75 minutes both teams made a change, Watford brought on ex-Hammer Valon Behrami, then Bilic followed suit and replaced captain Mark Noble with Nikica Jelavic.

With six minutes of normal time still to play and the Hammers not looking likely to get back into the contest, they were dealt a further blow when James Collins was given a straight red card for kicking out at Ighalo.

Bilic's men were unable to find a consolation goal in stoppage time, meaning their run of three London derbies ended on a sour note. They remain in the capital next Saturday as Everton visit Upton Park.

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