May 23 2013 Latest news:
Steve Blowers, Recorder Reporter
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Premier League: West Ham 4 Southampton 1
A scintillating second half performance saw West Ham send the Saints marching home well and truly beaten.
After an dull and uninspiring first-half in which both Premier League new boys struggled to make any impression, Big Sam’s side finally found their shooting boots after the break as Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan put them into a quick fire two-goal lead.
And although Adam Lallana gave Southampton a glimmer of hope, Noble’s penalty put them back in the driving seat before substitute Modibo Maiga confirmed the victory that keeps West Ham handily in seventh spot and the Saints just one place out of the drop-zone.
Returning from the international break, the Hammers made two changes from the side that had lost to Arsenal a fortnight earlier as James Tomkins and Yossi Benayoun replaced Guy Demel (leg) and Ricardo Vaz Te (dislocated shoulder). With Stephen Henderson now on-loan at Ipswich Town there were also places on the bench for Swiss U-20 keeper Raphael Spiegel and England U-18 defender Leo Chambers.
And after seeing17th-placed Southampton force three early corners, it was the recalled Tomkins, who had West Ham’s only meaningful chance of a slow-burning first period, when he saw his far post header cleared off the line by Jos Hooiveld on the quarter-hour mark.
Ironically the Saints last away-day to the capital just over a month ago had seen them lose 1-6 to Arsenal and, following his side’s 2-2 draw with Fulham last time out, Nigel Adkins made a quartet of switches with debutant Polish keeper Artur Boruc, Hooiveld, Nathaniel Clyne and Guly Do Prado coming in for Paulo Gazzaniga, Daniel Fox, Frazer Richardson and substitute Rickie Lambert.
On 20 minutes, Southampton produced their first serious attempt of the afternoon when Jay Rodriguez prodded a low 18-yarder across Jussi Jaaskelianen’s outstretched left glove and beyond the far post.
Shortly afterwards, the Saints striker then tried an ambitious, rising 35-yard free kick and then Yoshida also fired spacewards from similar range.
With Hooiveld and Fonte shackling Andy Carroll by means both foul and fair, West Ham had posed little threat in an opening 45 minutes that was marginally edged by the visitors, whose cautious counter-attacking lacked sufficient thrust to produce a goal.
But within three minutes of the restart, the contest was turned on its head as the Hammers produced a killer one-two to leave the Saints flat out on the canvas.
Just 60 seconds into the second period, Noble floated in a direct free-kick from midway inside the Southampton half and, as James Collins and Jose Fonte jostled for position on the six-yard line, the pitch of the ball eluded both men to leave the bamboozled Boruc picking it out of his net.
Then on 48 minutes, Do Prado’s attempted juggled clearance put Yoshida under pressure and the alert Benayoun robbed the Japanese defender on the right flank before sprinting into area and curling in a low cross to the far post, where Nolan ghosted in behind the luckless Fonte to double the lead from all of a foot.
Boruc then produced a brilliant one-handed stop to deny Nolan an instant second as West Ham suddenly looked s different team to the one that had kicked off an hour or so earlier.
But on 63 minutes, Southampton looked to have launched a lifeboat, when Rodriguez charged down the left flank before crossing into Lallana, who expertly turned Tomkins before firing an unstoppable shot beyond the exposed Jaaskelainen.
Adkins immediately introduced Lambert and the substitute wasted no time in depositing an 18-yard free-kick onto the roof of the net to send a feeling of nervousness through the chilly East End air.
However, having been at the scene of the crime for West Ham’s opening two goals, that man Fonte was to prove the villain again, when he punched Noble’s free-kick off of the head of the soaring Carroll.
And cool as you like, Noble sent the resultant 72nd-minute penalty into the bottom right-hand corner as Boruc dived in the opposite direction, to ease any Hammers jitters.
Both Hooiveld and Morgan Schneiderlin were finally cautioned for man-handling Carroll, who subsequently departed to a chorus of cheers and, with four minutes remaining, his replacement Maiga strode onto Nolan’s nod forward.Leaving Yoshida, Hooiveld and Fonte all looking at the soles of his boots, the Mali international netted the goal of day with a sublime 18-yarder that sizzled across the flying Boruc and into the far corner to round off what turned out to be a comfortable victory.
Hammers: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins (Spence 88), McCartney, Reid, Collins, Noble, Nolan, Diame (O’Neil 68), Benayoun, Jarvis, Carroll (Maiga 82). Unused subs: Spiegel, Chambers, Cole, Hall.
Saints: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte, S. Davis (Ward-Prowse 89),, Puncheon (Mayuka 64), Schneiderlin, Lallana, Do Prado, Rodriguez (Lambert 64). Unused subs: K. Davis, Seaborne, Reeves, Chaplow.
Bookings: Hooiveld (77), Schneiderlin (80).
Referee: Neil Swarbrick