December 5 2013 Latest news:
Steve Blowers, Recorder Reporter
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Premier League: Hull City 1 West Ham United 0
West Ham slumped to their first away defeat of the season at the KC Stadium, where Robbie Brady’s 12th-minute penalty proved enough to give Hull City a slender victory.
Although Sam Allardyce’s team played well enough to justify a share of the points, the telling and continued absence of the injured Andy Carroll left the visitors short of firepower and, following their stalemates at both Newcastle United and Southampton, the Hammers now head to Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday still looking for their first away-day goal.
Both sides had tasted Capital One Cup success in midweek and, having made it into the last 16, both managers shuffled their packs for the return to Premier League action.
With the Hammers in 15th-spot, kicking off four places and two points behind the newly-promoted Tigers, only James Tomkins, Ravel Morrison, Matt Jarvis and lone-striker Modibo Maiga continued in the starting eleven as Big Sam made seven changes from the side that had seen off Cardiff City.
And as West Ham looked to carry on from where there had left off against the Red Dragons on Tuesday night, Maiga soon saw an early effort blocked before Tomkins headed the first corner of the afternoon into Allan McGregor’s clutches.
In the opposing dug-out, Steve Bruce had made no fewer than nine changes from the team that had beaten Huddersfield Town, with only ex-Hammer Abdoulaye Faye and Liam Rosenior – son of former Upton Park striker, Leroy – surviving their manager’s sweeping cull.
Certainly, it was a painful start for Rosenior, who saw visiting skipper Kevin Nolan booked for scything through him on the halfway line with just eight minutes on referee Kevin Friend’s watch.
But the pain of the Tigers’ defender was soon eased, when Joey O’Brien nudged over Republic of Ireland team-mate Robbie Brady as the two leapt for Ahmed Elmohamady’s deep right-wing cross.
The Hammers defender could not disguise his disgust at his compatriot’s theatrical tumble and his frustration was compounded, when the Hull wide-boy picked himself and fired the resulting, 12th-minute spot-kick into the bottom right-hand corner as Jussi Jaaskelainen headed in the other direction.
In reply, Jarvis released Maiga from half-way but his low 20-yarder was saved by McGregor as two retreating defenders hunted down the Hammers striker and, shortly afterwards, goal-line technology came to Hull’s rescue when Elmohamady chested Tomkins’ header away with just a fraction of the ball to spare.
West Ham were desperately trying to get back on terms and Mohamed Diame – playing in a wider right-wing role - impatiently missed his kick at the vital moment before Mark Noble sent a powerful low 20-yarder just a foot or so wide.
By the time the half-time whistle blew, though, it was the strong-finishing Tigers, who were left wondering how they had not gone off at the break with more than that Brady penalty to show for their efforts.
After all, Sone Aluko had seen his 25-yard free-kick pawed away by the flying Jaaskelainen, while the defending Maiga deflected Curtis Davies’ header onto his own bar and, from the resulting corner, the Hammers keeper had produced another brilliant save to claw out Elmohamady’s close-range header.
Just after the restart, Aluko netted but an offside flag had already been raised, while at the other end, Maiga patiently waited for Diame, whose scorching 18-yarder was beaten high into the Humberside sunshine by McGregor.
As the hour-mark approached, Mladen Petric came on for Maiga and, after Danny Graham scuffed over at the far post and Jake Livermore rattled the base of Jaaskelainen’s right-hand upright, Ricardo Vaz Te and the fit-again Stewart Downing stepped from the bench to replace Jarvis and Diame.
Yannick Sagbo also replaced Graham and, after Morrison was cautioned for dissent, Vaz Te’s left-wing centre clearly hit Livermore’s arm only for referee Friend turned foe as he waved away the furious East End appeals for a penalty from the claret and blue players and their vociferous 2,700 travelling fans, alike.
With a quarter-hour remaining Downing picked out fellow substitute Vaz Te with a slide-rule pass but McGregor got down to hold the weak, first-time shot and, shortly afterwards, Razvan Rat arrived in the box to volley just wide of the angle.
Vaz Te also curled a free-kick over the top before he met the marauding Morrison’s cross with a late overhead kick that McGregor gratefully gathered, to leave the defeated Hammers still looking for that elusive first away goal of the campaign.
TIGERS: McGregor, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, Faye, Elmohamady, Brady (Meyler 80), Huddlestone, Livermore, Aluko (Boyd 88), Graham (Sagbo 71). Unused subs: Harper, Bruce, McShane, Quinn.
HAMMERS: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Rat, Tomkins, Reid, Diame (Downing 71), Jarvis (Vaz Te 71), Noble, Morrison, Nolan, Maiga (Petric 59). Unused subs: Adrian, Taylor, Collins, Demel.
Bookings: Nolan (8), Graham (45+1), Morrison (73)
Referee: Kevin Friend