Derby day success at last for Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 26 Sep 2010 14:26:00
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A good week ended on a high as West Ham United recorded their first home win and their first win over Tottenham Hotspur in four years on Saturday afternoon, it was also their first win in a London derby since beating Fulham 3-1 in January 2009.

It was a game in which the Hammers played well in throughout and it started with just 30 seconds played, when Manuel Da Costa and Frederic Piquionne combined to set up Victor Obinna, but unfortunately his scuffed shot went wide of the far post.

Kieron Dyer returned to the starting line-up after being named on the bench on Tuesday night for the Carling Cup third round tie at Sunderland and also missing out alltogether on the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium seven days earlier. And on eight minutes, a Spurs clearance fell invitingly for him, but his shot flicked off a Tottenham boot and a corner was given which Noble took only for the ball to go out of play off Da Costa's head for another corner, which came to nothing.

A minute later, Danny Gabbidon passed to Piquionne who tried a shot, only for it to be blocked and another Hammers' corner was rewarded.

Two minutes later, with Harry Redknapp's side looking shaky and giving possession away cheaply, Piquionne again tried his luck by cutting in from the left wing only to see his low shot punched to safety by the visitors' goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

It took until the 15 minute mark for Spurs to test Robert Green when he punched clear from Jermaine Jenas. Gabbidon then headed the ball clear.

West Ham then played a passing game on 17 minutes and cries of "Ole" could be heared from the crowd.

On 28 minutes, a Spurs corner set up West Ham's next counter attack. Obinna headed Luca Modric's kick clear and Dyer was set clear down the left. He chased Alan Hutton down to win a corner.

From that corner, the Hammers took the lead for the third time in three games as Mark Noble sent his delivery to the edge of the box and Piquionne outjumped Sebastian Bassong to claim his second goal in four days to head past Cudicini, then everyone inside Upton Park, except the travelling suport, erupted.

Six minutes later, Scott Parker picked up the ball in midfield and went on a terrific run and bulldozed his way past two challenges before reaching the byline, where Vedran Corluka conceded a corner.The initial kick was cleared before good link-up play between Noble and Dyer set up Obinna, whose left-foot shot was deflected behind for a corner.

On 38 minutes a free-kick to the visitors was headed clear by Piquionne only for Obinna to lose possession, from which Aaron Lennon benefited to cross to Modric, only for Green to produce the save of the match. It looked like Spurs were going to equalise, but his shot was superbly tipped onto the underside of the bar, the ball then hit Green on its way down and went out for a corner. Modric regained possession and crossed for Rafael Van der Vaart who headed the ball goalwards, only for Green to save well with his legs.

Three minutes before half time, Kieron Dyer had to be replaced by Pablo Barrera.

With half time approaching and one minute of first-half stoppage time signaled, the Hammers went on the attack again. Good work by Piquionne and Obinna set up Noble for a first-time shot after the ball had been crossed into the box following good link-up play from Parker and Barrera.

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The second half started and the high tempo from both sides continued, but no real clear-cut chances were created until the hour mark, when Piquionne who seemed to have a problem with his calf won a header, then Obinna put Corluka under pressure only for him to concede the corner. Obinna took the corner and Piquionne tried to head but it was eventualy headed clear by Hutton.

Four minutes later, Piquionne was finally replaced by Carlton Cole after Green hacked the ball clear. Cole was unusually starting a Barclays Premier League match on the bench for the first time this season.

A minute later, Spurs took a throw-in and thumped the ball back to Green. That set up another Hammers' counter attack, which eventualy ended up with Luis Boa Morte setting up Obinna, who forced Cudicini into a superb save low to his right.

One minute had passed when a corner was given to the hosts which was hit low to Cole, Boa Morte then tried a shot only to see it go wide.

Soon after, Gabbidon picked out Obinna who in turn found Cole but his shot flashed just wide of the near post.

On 73 minutes, Gareth Bale's attempted corner was cleared under pressure from Cole, a corner was then given to the Hammers which Obinna took, but it was a poor one and it was cleared to Noble who skipped past the Spurs substitute Robbie Keane (who was introduced in place of Aaron Lennon) only for Cudicini to make a spectacular save.

On 79 minutes, the Hammers had a great chance to increase their advantage, when both Cole and Obinna had efforts blocked, only for Cudicini to finally pounce on the ball and the danger was averted.

On 89 minutes, manager Avram Grant made his final change when he introduced Radoslav Kovac for the excellent Obinna.

Three minutes of added time were signaled and after they havd passed, the final whistle blew to confirm the Hammers' first win of the season. They will hope to continue this good run when Fulham visit Upton Park next Saturday.

 

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