Premier League
West Ham United 3 Stoke City 0

Saturday, 5th March 2011
by Gordon Thrower

And lo it came to pass that life was suddenly a bit more fun again at the Boleyn, and smiles aboundeth and we looked us at the table of league and saw that it was, well if not actually good, a whole lot better than it had been a few weeks previously.



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Player Ratings

Robert Green
One iffy punch aside he wasn?EUR(TM)t found wanting on the few occasions he was required.


James Tomkins
I?EUR(TM)ve never felt he has been comfortable out of position in the past. However, a few early wobbles aside, he looked happier as the game went on and even found time to get forward in the second half.


Wayne Bridge
Probably his best game for us ?EUR" going some way to banish the memory of that nightmare debut.


Manuel Da Costa
Fine game in defence. Fine goal up front.


Matthew Upson
Was it the same medic who said who said he was out for the season that did Ba?EUR(TM)s up at Stoke? Kept the forward line quiet and one tackle in the second half was so well-timed they re-adjusted Big Ben as a result.


Scott Parker
Yet again the pick of the bunch. Hope he has a decent space to use as a wine cellar at home!


Mark Noble
Continues to improve. Looks like he?EUR(TM)s enjoying his football as well.


Thomas Hitzlsperger
A few wayward passes at the start but yet again proved what a fine signing he was. Lots of 'if onlys' about the player, not least 'if only he?EUR(TM)d caught that shot cleanly'!


Carlton Cole
Unfortunate not to go on the scorer?EUR(TM)s list. Was a handful throughout for the Stoke defence and was seen to pop up in defence on the few occasions Delap?EUR(TM)s throws looked as if they might be bothersome.


Frederic Piquionne
Pushes out wide when we go with three up ?EUR" a position I suspect is not one that he enjoys quite as much as his usual role. However, he gave Pugh a rotten time throughout. Should have scored though.


Demba Ba
Another excellent run out and did well to pick up the goal. Not bad for someone unfit for Premier League football.



Substitutes

Gary O'Neil
(Replaced Ba, 82 mins) On for the last 7 minutes and had a part, albeit a minor one, for the goal.


Victor Obinna
(Replaced Cole, 86 mins) I can?EUR(TM)t really give him a mark as he came on and he barely had a chance to touch the ball. I bet the boss sticks a mark in to make the database work though.


Danny Gabbidon
(Replaced Parker, 90+2 mins) Didn?EUR(TM)t put a foot wrong in the, er, 20 seconds or so between his arrival and the final whistle.


Ruud Boffin
Did not play.


Lars Jacobsen
Did not play.


Jonathan Spector
Did not play.


Zavon Hines
Did not play.



Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, James Tomkins, Wayne Bridge, Manuel Da Costa, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Carlton Cole, Frederic Piquionne, Demba Ba.

Goals: Demba Ba 21 Manuel Da Costa 29 Thomas Hitzlsperger 83              .

Booked: None booked.           .

Sent off: None.

Stoke City: Begovic, Huth, Wilson, Shawcross, Whelan, Pugh, Delap, Pennant, Whitehead, Walters, Carew.

Subs not used: Sorensen, Collins, Diao, Wilkinson .

Goals: None.

Booked: Wilson (27), Shawcross (29), Pugh (44).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Attendance: 33,066.

Man of the Match: Scott Parker.