Hammers Generate Christmas Cheer at the Cottage
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 26 Dec 2010 17:23:00
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It was a long time in coming but West Ham United finally achieved their first away win in the Barclays Premier League since August 2009 when they came from behind to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Five changes were made to the team that grabbed a point at Blackburn last weekend. Robert Green regained his place in goal, Radoslav Kovac and Junior Stanislas came into midfield, Freddie Sears and Carlton Cole were brought in to add extra firepower to the attack.

In a game that started with chances at both ends of which, the best fell to the Hammers. Just seven minutes in, Cole's low shot from Frederic Piquionne's cross flashed across the face of goal.

However, four minutes later it was first blood to Fulham. Some slack marking from the Hammers' defence was punished by Aaron Hughes powerful header that left Green helpless.

From this point on Fulham began to take control and could have increased their advantage on several occasions. On 37 minutes they were made to pay for their woeful finishing when a stroke of luck put West Ham back in the game. Dickson Etuhu deflected a harmless cross into the path of Cole, who slid the ball into the far corner of the net.

Fulham were stunned and on the stroke of half-time went behind when Scott Parker found Piquionne at the far post to volley home.

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The second half started with West Ham determined not to give their opponents any time on the ball. Parker and Sears worked tirelessly to the close the space.

Just past the hour mark, Sears came close to extending the visitors' advantage. He spun past the defender and his snapshot fizzed just past the near post.

On 73 minutes West Ham did extend their lead when Cole finished well to claim his first career two-goal haul in a League match.

Fulham tried again and again to get past Green but he was always equal to their efforts.

When the final whistle blew the Hammers' fans started to reflect on a sight they don't see that often, as three points on the road were confirmed. The good news for the players is they don't have to wait too long to build on this result as Everton arrive in East London on Tuesday evening.

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