London - West Ham United have eased their English Premiership relegation
fears by snapping a run of three consecutive defeats with a 2-1 victory
at home to Hull City on Wednesday.
Hull were reduced to 10 men mid-way through the first
half when goalkeeper Allan McGregor was sent off for a foul on Mohamed
Diame, with Mark Noble putting West Ham ahead from the resulting
Nikica Jelavic equalised early in the second half, only
for an unfortunate own goal by Hull defender James Chester in the 54th
minute to gift West Ham all three points.
Victory saw West Ham leapfrog their opponents in the
table, leaving the east London club nine points clear of the relegation
zone in 11th place.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce kept faith with the team
that had started Saturday's 2-0 loss at home to Manchester United and
he saw his side make a positive start at Upton Park.
The hosts lost James Collins to an apparent muscular
injury in the ninth minute, Roger Johnson coming on, but it did not
disturb their momentum and in the 26th minute they took the lead in
Diame appeared to use his hand to control Noble's pass
as he bore down on goal, but after he was brought down by McGregor,
referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot and showed the Hull goalkeeper a
straight red card.
Hull defender Alex Bruce made way for Steve Harper and
the substitute goalkeeper was promptly sent the wrong way by Noble from
The visitors initially seemed shellshocked, but they
roused themselves in first-half injury time, with Chester heading over
and West Ham goalkeeper Adrian obliged to parry a long-range Maynor
Hull equalised just three minutes into the second half,
Tom Huddlestone's 30-yard free-kick taking a wicked deflection off
Jelavic's back that left Adrian flatfooted, but the hosts restored their
lead almost immediately.
West Ham right-back Guy Demel played a low cross into
the box that appeared to be drifting harmlessly wide, only for Chester
to poke out a leg and inadvertently send the ball looping past Harper.
Stewart Downing shot over and Kevin Nolan saw a meaty
volley parried by Harper as West Ham pushed for a third goal, but it
took a fine save from Adrian to prevent Huddlestone from equalising in
the dying stages.