Bel's ringing for Hammers at Christmas
By Steve Turner
Friday 26 Dec 2008 19:08:00
Browse all Match Reports articles

West Ham are up to 12th after a terrific come-from-behind win at fellow 'crisis club' Pompey.

Up against another club whose financial future is uncertain to say the least, the Hammers were behind on eight minutes as Glen Little’s cross reached Peter Crouch at the far post and he controlled it and laid it back for Nadir Belhadj to crash home a low shot from 10 yards.

It was all-square when Herita Ilunga crossed from the left – after a hint of offside as the Hammers attacked – and Jack Collison shot low past an unsighted James.

Pompey had the best of the rest of the half and after having one penalty shout turned down when Crouch was challenged by Calum Davenport, they got a chance from the spot in first half injury time when Crouch was fouled by Lucas Neill.

But ex-Hammer Jermain Defoe delighted his former fans behind the goal as he put the kick wide – at the same end where Rob Green saved a late Benjani Mwaruwari spot kick in last season’s fixture.

Craig Bellamy skewed a shot wide just before the break and Crouch and Defoe both forced Green into second-half saves before the Hammers took the lead.

Bellamy’s influence on the game was growing and he crossed for Collison to hit the post. The rebound fell to Carlton Cole who scored from close range.

Three minutes later, the game was pretty much up for Pompey as Bellamy got the wrong side of Belhadj on the south stand touchline, then raced away to draw a save from James and take his time to curl home the loose ball.

At this point, hundreds of home fans got up and left – while a section of those who didn’t, let Tony Adams and his troops know what they thought of their efforts.

With seven minutes later, Luis Boa Morte got away down the left and when he crossed, Bellamy arrived to sidefoot his second into the corner beyond James.

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