Nolan pounces on defence error to put Hammers second

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 West Ham United 1

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).

Suggested Topics
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star