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Premier League
Sunday, 18th January 2015

West Ham United 3
Hull City 0

by Staff Writer


West Ham United recorded their first win of 2015 inside 90 minutes thanks to a spirited second half performance at the Boleyn this afternoon.

It took the Hammers some considerable time to get going against a resilient (and under-strength) Hull City side and the comprehensive win eventually recorded was more than a little harsh on Steve Bruce's relegation contenders, who were the stronger team in a disappointing opening 45.

However the second half was virtually one-way traffic, with the Hammers going on to achieve a three-goal winning margin for the first time since beating Fulham at the Boleyn by the same score back in November 2013.

After the visitors had enjoyed the better of a frankly dreadful opening half - one which led to muted booing from sections of the home support at half time - the deadlock was finally broken four minutes after the restart, when Andy Carroll was first to react to a 25-yard Enner Valencia shot that had been spilled by goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

The big striker, despite being under intense pressure from former Hammers target Curtis Davies managed to force the loose ball over the line to give Sam Allardyce's team a rather undeserved lead, on balance of play.

Undeserved or not, West Ham were to double their advantage a minute or so after Morgan Amalfitano replaced a tiring Mark Noble on 65 minutes.

Alex Song's quick thinking released Valencia, who found the French substitute with a second slick pass. Amalfitano, clean through on goal simply waited for McGregor to commit himself before lifting the ball over the 'keeper into an empty net to record his third strike of the campaign.

At 2-0 there was little chance of the visitors staging a comeback so when Stewart Downing added a third goal with 72 played, a first league win since the pre-Christmas victory over Leicester was all but confirmed.

Bearing remarkable similarities to Amalfitano's effort moments earlier, sponsors' Man of the Match Song once again began the move with a carefully weighted pass ahead of Downing. The England international, like his French team mate waited for McGregor to move before passing the ball into the right-hand corner of the net.



In the end the win could have been even more comprehensive for West Ham, who hit the woodwork twice through Enner Valencia (a looping, first half header) and Kevin Nolan (shot onto the crossbar), who'll have to wait a little longer for his 100th Premier League goal.

Though that will be of little concern to Nolan, who like the majority of the crowd will be returning home tonight satisfied with a job well done, a win that arrests West Ham's descent and takes them back above Liverpool into seventh spot in the Premier League.

The only sour note on a good day for West Ham was the loss of both central defenders, James Collins and James Tomkins, to slight hamstrings during the second half - leaving Winston Reid as the club's only fully fit centre half ahead of next week's trip to Bristol City.


West Ham Utd 3-0 Hull City: Match Facts

West Ham Utd: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins (Reid 49), Tomkins (O'Brien 76), Cresswell, Song, Nolan, Noble (Amalfitano 66), Downing, Carroll, Valencia.

Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, Poyet, Cole.

Goals: Carroll (49), Amalfitano (69), Downing (72).

Booked: Noble (21).

Possession: 55%.

Shots (On/Off Target/Blocked): 17 (6/7/4).

Hull City: McGregor, Bruce (Maguire 46), Dawson, Davies (Sagbo 72), Chester, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn, Aluko.

Subs not used: Harper, McShane, Figueroa, Ramirez, Ince.

Booked: Elmohamady (34), Quinn (75), Meyler (87).

Possession: 45%.

Shots (On/Off Target/Blocked): 9 (3/3/3).


KUMB Readers' Man of the Match
As voted for by followers of our Twitter account (@kumbdotcom)








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Player Ratings

Adrian San Miguel del Castillo
Barely had a save to make. Which was fine, after his heroics of Tuesday night.


Carl Jenkinson
Given license to roam, especially in the second half. Minor concerns over his defensive awareness remain.


Aaron Cresswell
Not as influencial as he has been in recent outings.


James Tomkins
Had a torrid opening 15 minutes but slowly grew in confidence. Removed with a quarter-of-an-hour to play as a precautionary measure having felt a slight twinge in his hamstring.


James Collins
Took a knee to the back shortly before half time and despite coming out for the second period, was replaced within four minutes.


Mark Noble
Not at the races at all today - no doubt feeling the effects of the Everton game.


Alex Song
Was mostly ineffective - but still at the heart of our second and third goals.


Stewart Downing
Quiet as a mouse out wide before the break, a different player in the second at the top of the diamond. Lovely finish for his goal.


Kevin Nolan
His best performance for a while. Hit the post from an acute angle in the second half.


Andy Carroll
Alert enough to react first to McGregor's spill to score than all-important opening goal. Fairly quiet otherwise.


Enner Valencia
Scored his first goal at the Boleyn in midweek and was a complete nuisance today. Good to see him getting back to form.


Substitutes


Winston Reid
(replaced Collins) Another very assured performance, despite starting on the bench. One lovely drag-back had the entire crowd applauding.


Morgan Amalfitano
(replaced Noble) He's proving to be a very capable alternative and must be close to a first team spot. The goal was sublimely finished.


Joey O Brien
(replaced Tomkins) Filled in at centre half and coped ably enough.


Jussi Jaaskelainen
Did not play.


Diego Poyet
Did not play.


Matt Jarvis
Did not play.


Carlton Cole
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Attendance: 34,914.

Man of the Match: Enner Valencia.

West Ham United

Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, James Tomkins, James Collins, Mark Noble, Alex Song, Stewart Downing, Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia.

Goals: Andy Carroll 49 Morgan Amalfitano 69 Stewart Downing 72              .

Booked: Mark Noble 21          .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Hull City

.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: None.

Sent Off: None.

 
Staff Writer's Man of the Match: Enner Valencia