Allardyce talks up Hammers' chances
West Ham United 2 Hull City 1
Sunday 29 April 2012
It has been more of a maze thana road, but Sam Allardyce still believes it will end in the Premier League. "We have three more games to win," the West Ham manager said after confirmation that his team would contest the play-offs, initially at Cardiff on Thursday, "and we'll do it".
Victory over Hull, though narrow, can have done his confidence no harm. Since trailing Birmingham 3-1 three weeks ago, they have scored 10 goals in two-and-a-bit home matches, conceding just one, which suggests that a tendency to be held at Upton Park may have been overcome in time to salvage the promotion campaign. Away performances, as Allardyce stressed, have been "the backbone of a very good season" so far. But Hull, whose manager, Nicky Barmby, was disappointed not to be in the play-offs, were forced back for the best part of an hour, sorely tested by the power of Carlton Cole, guile of Kevin Nolan and touches of Henri Lansbury.
West Ham had hoped for anearly goal to pressure Southampton and should have had one when Lansbury crossed only for Ricardo Vaz Te, his view obscured by Cole, to head wide from three yards. Lansbury was off target before Cole put West Ham ahead with a header from Matt Taylor's corner.
A slanting cross from Lansbury that bisected the visiting central defenders let Cole chest and volley his second before being taken off to rest, along with Vaz Te, for the City of Cardiff Stadium. Corry Evans put the result briefly in doubt, but Allardyce's men survived.
West Ham (4-3-1-2): Green; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Taylor; Lansbury, Noble, O'Neil; Nolan (McCartney, 73); Cole (Baldock, 51), Vaz Te (Maynard, 60).
Hull (4-5-1): Mannone; Rosenior, Chester, Cooper, Dawson; King (Stewart, h-t), McKenna, Cairney (Brady, 73), Evans, Garcia; Fryatt.
Referee Nigel Miller.
Man of the match Lansbury (West Ham).
Match rating 5/10.
Latest in Sport
Leicester vs Arsenal match preview: Calm Calum can be an Arsenal star for years to come, says Per Mertesacker
Tottenham vs Liverpool preview: Spurs ready to press their case for Reds revenge
Burnley vs Manchester United match report: Louis van Gaal still winless after goalless draw at Turf Moor
Tottenham vs Liverpool match preview: I can get the best out of Mario Balotelli, says Brendan Rodgers
Everton vs Chelsea player ratings: Who was best in the nine-goal thriller at Goodison?
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward