Irons Sail On At Cardiff

The Irons sailed on to a nice win on Sunday against Cardiff City and boost their chances of returning to top flight football in the process.

The Hammers closed the gap to just one point on Sunday after coasting to a win over Cardiff City. The hammers won a convincing 2-0 and now sit just one point behind leaders Southampton.

The irons started out four points behind Southampton and just a point in front of Reading, who are third in the table, in the race for promotion to the Prem.

The Hammers left Cardiff with their heads held high with a comfortable win over a team that put the willies up Liverpool in the League Cup final last week.

Kevin Nolan, who has just come back from a three match ban slipped the ball coolly past Cardiff keeper David Marshall to give the visitors the lead just two minutes before the break.

The Boyos had problems in producing the gutsy display that gave them a draw against Liverpool, only to be defeated on penalties. Marshall also had to save from Nicky Maynard to keep the sore from soaring, too.

Peter Whittingham managed to hit the inside of a post from a free kick and that effort gave the Bluebirds some hope but in the end it never came.

In the end it was Allardyce’s team, who still have a game in hand over The Saints who took the 3 points in the 77th minute when irons defender George McCartney beat David Marshall from a tight angle to seal the deal.

Palace Frustrates The Irons

Crystal Palace not only frustrated promotion prospects West Ham with a goalless draw but the Upton Park crowd also voiced their opinions at each half of the game after a mediocre performance from their side.

According to West Ham’s manager, Sam Allardyce, his stars were upset about being booed off the field after their poor display against Crystal Palace which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Although the Hammers managed to keep all 11 players on the pitch against Palace 馃檪 , they just could not find a way past their guard as Palace were so resolute. Keeper, Green kept the hammers in the game and then some poor finishing after the break put the tin lid on a rather poor afternoon for the home side.

Allardyce said:

“As a manager you have to take it but one or two of the players in the dressing room were a little disappointed to get booed because we are at the top of the league”. “You build up the expectation as we have done recently having done so well, and we didn’t deliver today. But the fans have to stay with us and have to be patient, and then we’ll all benefit in the end.”

The only person who felt like he’d won something was Palace manager Dougie Freedman, who said:

“I’m pleased we could come to a big club like West Ham and force them to change shape and personnel,” he said. “West Ham will always cause you problems but we stuck to our game plan and I felt a draw was pretty much a fair result.”

The hammers next match is on 4th March against Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium and kick-off is at 12:45. Cardiff will be smarting from their loss against Liverpool in the Carling Cup on penalties and will be “up for it”, make no mistake lads!

Hooiveld Nabs Late Equalizer To Save Saints

It looked like the match was in the bag but Jos Hooiveld’s late equaliser earned a point for Southampton as the Championship’s top two clubs had to share the points at Upton Park.

Mark Noble stepped up for the irons and put them in front from the penalty spot before the break after being fouled by Southampton’s Billy Sharp.

The Southampton frontman was also involved in an incident that saw Matt Taylor sent off just before West Ham’s goal.

Saint’s striker Sharp was later denied by keeper Rob Green but equalised when Hooiveld tapped in from close range.

The result saw leaders West Ham united maintain their one-point advantage over Southampton, but both clubs missed out on a golden opportunity to inflict a significant blow on their nearest rival in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League – a place where the Hammers are destined to go back to 馃檪

Millwall Sick As Parrots

Millwall are sick as parrots after being defeated by the Hammers on Saturday. And after the hammer’s captain聽Kevin Nolan being sent off after just nine minutes after a rather crude tackle聽on Jack Smith, Millwall must be even sicker.

They basically had the hammers at their mercy with West Ham down to ten men. But it wasn’t to be, was it? Millwall desperately needed the points and West Ham needed them too for an extra cushion at the top of the table.

People thought that Millwall would have stepped up to the plate and brought the game to the irons but West Ham managed to stretch the dockers wide and bring the game to them via the flanks.

It may be true that the winning goal that sealed the deal for the irons should have been disallowed for a foul on Millwall’s keeper Forde, but hey, i’m not complaining and that’s football, isn’t it? You win some and you lose some!

Sam Allardyce, who claimed Nolan鈥檚 dismissal was harsh, said: 鈥淚 think this may be a defining moment. It was a result we deserved and we managed the disappointment of Kevin going off the field.聽“I am upset because it could have spoiled the game. It’s not the worst tackle in the game and if they are going to keep doing that, we will see 10 versus 11 and nobody wants that.

 

All we can say is that a great game was had by all and there was no bloodshed either, not even off the pitch.

Check out the video below showing the Hammer’s reaction to the second goal.

West Ham 3 Derby County 1

Today West Ham won again, but it was another game where a strong second-half showing was needed, as the Hammers made it five wins from six to cut the gap on leaders Southampton to just two points.

Carlton Cole, one of two changes in the starting eleven, headed in superbly after a right-wing cross from Joey O’Brien, the other alteration from the week before.

Kevin Nolan then lashed in a stunning volley for his first goal in the claret and blue at Upton Park. Mark Noble’s penalty made the game safe, meaning the only low note was a hamstring injury for Sam Baldock. On the plus side, Matt Taylor returned off the bench for a late cameo after his calf injury.

Match Report from WHUFC.com:

For Big Sam, there was much to savour about his team’s 3-1 success which made it 16 points out of a possible 18. “We have become the second-half team,” he said. “At the start of the season we were the first-half team, scoring within 15 minutes of nearly every game.

“I have to say it was tough going today in the first half. It was probably down to the system we played, the 4-4-2. We weren’t controlling midfield enough and we weren’t really at the races compared to our normal form.

“The second half performance was more like we know we can be. We saw the best of our players,聽better movement, better options and more fluent football.

“It is always difficult to recover when you go down one nil. We have done that twice on the trot now, not that I want to carry on like that mind. It was a great win in the end, a great second-half performance and off we go to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.”

Baldock’s loss was also keenly felt, with the striker having been the most potent threat in the opening stages. “Sam got in a couple of times,” said the manager. “His injury was another reason for our first-half performance.

“One we weren’t playing very well and two, Sam had been our strongest player for sneaking behind their back four. We had him in a couple of times in the first 15 minutes but Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan couldn’t get a grip of the game.

“So we put Jack Collison into midfield, changed to a 4-3-3 and those three talented players got us control of the match. It worked an absolute treat and they never got out of their half in the second half.”

With Julien Faubert turning in a man of the match display., the manager聽was asked to describe the transformation in the Frenchman’s form. “It is about the atmosphere we have, and the culture we are building at the training ground. It is about being comfortable with each other and looking forward to training. Working hard and enjoying all the benefits together by producing results.

“Julien has felt comfortable in the environment for the first time. I appreciate his ability and of course someone like Julien, we had to get the best out of if we could because it was big money when he came here. Now we are seeing the benefit of him playing consistently and consistently well.

“He was well deserving of the man of the match award and long may it continue. The bottom line is he is working hard. He is creating so many opportunities to receive the ball and hurt the opposition, that is the real benefit for Julien.”

The manager聽also reserved special praise for Freddie Piquionne, with another star turn off the bench after his goal at the Ricoh Arena last week. He聽was fouled in the聽area for the聽penalty,聽after tremendous build-up play by Faubert and then聽Collison to set him free

“For the second time, Freddie Piquionne has come on and done a really good job. The only disappointing thing is he should have scored again. He needs to crown a good performance off with a goal.

“He had two headers and one he ran into with his touch. We know he is getting the chances which is the pleasing thing.”

The manager was delighted with Nolan’s “absolutely brilliant” goal, and he was keen to remind that the skipper was not聽signed for his creative play, good as it can be,聽but as a match-winner and goalscorer from midfield who operates in the final third and in and around the penalty area.

“It was the goal of the game, and his first one here which is really pleasing. The fans saw his outstanding quality. To get one at home, I hope he can kick on from there.”

It remains to be seen what changes the manager may make at the Riverside on Tuesday, with Carlton Cole suffering from cramp in the closing stages and as Baldock is set to be out for a period of time. The likes of Papa Bouba Diop and Freddie Sears will be desperate to make the 16 as will Guy Demel, who was an unused substitute.

“It is just a disappointing loss with Sam. That is why you have to go with four strikers. At least we have Freddie, John Carew and Carlton Cole still to choose from. Bearing in mind where we came from today, I thought it was an outstanding recovery and an outstanding performance in the second half.”

So good news with The Hammers maintaining their fine form, Southampton we’re coming to get you!