London - Captain Mark Noble scored two
penalties as West Ham United defeated FA Cup semi-finalists Watford 3-1 on
Wednesday to keep pace in the Premier League's scramble for European places.
Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes saved two
penalties in his side's 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, but
Noble beat him twice from 12 yards at the Boleyn Ground as West Ham set a new
club top-flight record of 15 home games without defeat.
Andy Carroll had kick-started proceedings
with his sixth goal in five league games. The result kept Slaven Bilic's side
in sixth place, which stands to yield a Europa League berth at the season's
Watford, whose manager Quique Sanchez
Flores made seven changes ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal
Palace, replied through defender Sebastian Prodl's slick 64th-minute finish.
But Watford substitute Troy Deeney saw a
stoppage-time penalty saved by West Ham goalkeeper Adrian and Nordin Amrabat was
then sent off for a second yellow card.
Carroll returned to West Ham's starting XI
after coming on to score a penalty in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Leicester City and
he made a rapid impact, kneeing home Dimitri Payet's cross to open the scoring
in the 11th minute.
The hosts doubled their lead shortly before
half-time. Jose Holebas was adjudged to have fouled Cheikhou Kouyate and Noble
coolly swept his spot-kick past Gomes.
Bilic's side could have gone in at
half-time with an even more comfortable lead, but Manuel Lanzini side-footed
wide in stoppage time.
They did not have to wait long to extend
their advantage in the second half, however, courtesy of a minute of madness
from Watford's Almen Abdi.
The Swiss midfielder squandered a glorious
chance from Jose Manuel Jurado's cross and in his haste to atone he raced down
the other end and fouled Michail Antonio, affording Noble the opportunity to
beat Gomes from the spot for a second time.
Sanchez Flores turned to substitutes Ikechi
Anya and Steven Berghuis, and the latter was quick to make his presence felt as
he teed up Prodl to reduce the arrears with a fine half-volley.
Prodl won a stoppage-time penalty, but
Adrian repelled Deeney's spot-kick and Amrabat's dismissal compounded the