West Ham 2 Hull City 1 match report: Sam Allardyce booed by fans at Upton Park despite vital victory over 10-man Hull

Hammers targeted by home fans despite moving closer to safety on a night of more refereeing controversy

upton park

At this time of year, in this type of match, nothing should matter except the result. West Ham United beat Hull City 2-1 to clamber above them to 11th in the table, probably just one league win away from safety.

But this performance from West Ham was so poor, so lacking in everything fans want from their team, that its towering badness managed to overshadow the fact of the three vital points. The West Ham fans booed at half-time - at 1-0 up - and with far more intensity at full-time.

Sam Allardyce responded by cupping his hand to his ear as he walked down the tunnel. In his post-match press conference he laughed and said that he had “not experienced that before in my time in the game” and that he “could not quite believe it”.

It was unusual but it was not surprising. Some West Ham fans have never been convinced by Allardyce and it does not take much for them to turn on him. This performance was certainly bad enough to do that. For 70 minutes West Ham played against 10 men and yet they were out-manoeuvred by a far more imaginative and enterprising Hull City team.

West Ham went ahead with a Mark Noble penalty that should never have been given and won the game thanks to a farcical James Chesters own-goal. But they created very little of any merit themselves, never showing any confidence, imagination or skill on the ball. Adrian had to do far more work than he would have anticipated when he saw opposite number Allan McGregor sent off.

Allardyce, to the surprise of no-one, said that the result was all that mattered. “Obviously for us, today was all about coming off with three points whether we played brilliantly or indifferently,” he said. “I have to remind everybody about the situation playing against 10 men, we are brilliant at playing with 10 men, we beat Cardiff and Swansea and that proves how good we are.”

Steve Bruce said that Hull were “absolutely terrific” and he was absolutely right. Had Mike Dean given a hand-ball against Mohamed Diame after 20 minutes, they would surely have won. Diame controlled a loose ball with his right hand as he burst into the box before being tripped up by Allan McGregor.

Mohamed Diamé is fouled by Hull keeper Allan McGregor, who was sent off (Reuters) Mohamed Diamé is fouled by Hull keeper Allan McGregor, who was sent off (Reuters)
It was a nasty collision and McGregor was sent to hospital with kidney damage. Dean took a while to assess the situation before awarding a penalty and sending off McGregor, forcing Bruce to sacrifice his own son Alex for Steve Harper. Mark Noble scored the penalty.

“It was a blatant handball,” said Bruce afterwards, who wanted to know why Dean took so long to award the penalty and on whose advice he was acting. “So it is a calamity of errors. With the big stakes, we have got to improve the standard. It is happening week after week.”

But West Ham failed to take any advantage and Hull finished the first half stronger. James Chester misdirected a header from a Tom Huddlestone free-kick, and Adrian had to scramble to save from Maynor Figueroa in added time. West Ham knew that had more to do.

After their own fortunate goal, West Ham could have no complaints about the equaliser, just three minutes after the restart. Tom Huddlestone arrowed a 30-yard free-kick towards goal but it caught Nikica Jelavic on the shoulder and flew past Adrian and in.

Allardyce responds to West ham fans booing at the final whistle Allardyce responds to West ham fans booing at the final whistle  

The home fans were anxious and not very impressed when good fortune intervened again. Guy Demel curled in fairly a harmless cross from the right, but it bounced in front of James Chesters and he sliced the ball over Harper's head and into the net.

Back in front, West Ham still did nothing to assert themselves. Hull, the better team, continued to create the better openings in the final minutes. Adrian was called on twice at the end, tipping Huddlestone's shot over the bar and dashing off his line to gather from Yannick Sagbo.

But West Ham hung on and climbed up the table, probably now just one win away from safety. “When we look at the table tomorrow when we get up,” Allardyce said, “the performance hardly really matters.” The fans may not agree with him.

Man of the match Noble.

Match rating 2/10.

Referee M Dean (Wirral).

Attendance 31,033.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada