Nolan pounces on defence error to put Hammers second
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 West Ham United 1
Tuesday 25 October 2011
Sam Allardyce felt West Ham put a marker down for their automatic promotion bid last night with a 1-0 win at Brighton. The Hammers moved up to second in the Championship after they held on to the lead given to them by Kevin Nolan's 17th-minute goal.
It was by no means a classic in front of the television cameras as Allardyce's side served up a masterclass in winning ugly. But the Upton Park manager is making no apologies for putting substance before style as he attempts to guide West Ham back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
"Our task was to capitalise on the opposition and the way they play, and if we got the first goal to defend it properly," he said. "It was very difficult towards the end as Brighton pushed us hard but our defensive unity was so good, in the end what chances did they have? It's an outstanding victory for us at a very difficult place to come and play.
"It's a great three points and it determines automatic promotion, generally, how many 1-0 wins you can get. That's what takes you where you want to go."
Brighton, by contrast, are intent on playing the sort of beautiful game West Ham were once renowned for. But, ironically, it was Gus Poyet's insistence on sticking to their patient passing, even on the edge of their own penalty area, that ultimately proved their downfall. Liam Bridcutt's touch was too heavy, allowing Nolan to nick the ball and lash his fourth goal of the season past his old Newcastle team-mate Steve Harper, making his Albion debut. But manager Poyet took responsibility for imposing his style on his players, and vowed never to resort to the long-ball game.
"Don't blame the players," he said. "I set them up to play that way. Of course I don't tell them to lose it or to give it to them. But when you play from the back you've got risk. If you kick it long, there's no risk."
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-4-2): Harper; Greer, Dunk, Painter, Jara Reyes; Sparrow (Buckley, 71), Dicker (Harley, 82), Bridcutt, Noone; Mackail-Smith, Barnes (Hoskins, 59). Substitutes not used: Ankergren (gk), Calderon.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Almunia; O'Brien, Reid, Faye, McCartney; Faubert (Baldock, 90), Diop (Sears, 54), Noble, Collison; Nolan, Carew (Piquionne, 65). Substitutes not used: Boffin (gk), Moncur.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga