May 24 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Hammers’ excellent start to the season hit the bufferws at the DW Stadium as they were outplayed by Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic 2 West Ham United 1
The Hammers had made their second best start in the Premier League following last week’s win over Southampton, Wigan hadn’t won a home game all season, but football can change in one afternoon and it was the Latics who deservedly grabbed the points.
Such was the confidence of Sam Allardyce in his team, he retained the same starting eleven that had thumped the Saints, but away from home the luxury of Yossi Benayoun as well as playing centre half James Tomkins at right back did not work as well.
It was Wigan who seemed to want this more and after Andy Carroll had a couple of tussles with home skipper Gary Caldwell, it was at the other end where the real fireworks were.
After just eight minutes Wigan won a corner and when Jean Beausejour lofted the ball into the middle, Ivan Ramis appeared unmarked to slam home an unstoppable volley.
It was Ramis’ second goal against the Hammers this season having scored another long-ranger at Upton Park in the Capital One Cup win and in a first half this time that they dominated, Wigan looked to emulate the four goals they scored that night.
James McCarthy’s drilled shot was excellently palmed away by Jussi Jaaskelainen, before Shaun Maloney had a shot deflected wide and Beausejour then saw his thumping effort blocked by the head of Carroll.
At the other end, Carroll put in Kevin Nolan for a curling shot that was comfortably saved, while Matt Jarvis forced a decent save from Ali Al Habsi after his cross beat everyone and was set to sneak in at the far post.
Jaaskelainen was by far the busier keeper though and he was forced to parry away again when Franco Di Santo burst into the box shortly before half time.
Allardyce brought on Modibo Maiga for Benayoun at the break, but it took Wigan just two minutes to double their lead.
This time Di Santo’s cross was not cleared properly and when it fell to McCarthy on the edge of the box, he fired it past Jaaskelainen and into the net.
The Hammers brought on Carlton Cole for Mark Noble on 64 minutes as they tried to haul themselves back into the game, but the striker’s header from Gary O’Neil’s cross that slipped just over the bar was the nearest they came to managing it, all Maiga could mamage was a yellow card for diving.
Wigan darted about the field, harassing West Ham all over the field with Beausejour, Maloney and Arouna Kone with their pace, a constant thorn in their side.
Right at the death, West Ham almost grabbed a consolation goal when O’Neil found Tomkins on the far post, but his shot was deflected by Caldwell on to the crossbar and away to safety, then in injury time they managed it.
George McCartney’s cross picked out Tomkins and he headed it into the corner.
It was too little, too late though for the Hammers and indeed Jaaskelainen had to make a great late save to prevent Wigan making it three.
After such a great start this will certainly be a wake up call for Allardyce and his team and with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea coming up in the next few weeks, they will face much harder tests than this one at the DW Stadium that they failed so badly.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, McCartney, Reid, Collins, Diame (O’Neil 73), Noble (Cole 64), Nolan, Benayoun (Maiga h/t), Jarvis, Carroll.
Unused subs: Spiegel, Hall, Chambers.
Booked: Noble, Maiga, Nolan.