Sunday, 21st February 2010
It took the boys in claret and blue just three minutes to give the fans the start they wanted as Guillermo Franco bustled through the penalty area before the loose ball fell to Valon Behrami, who didnít think twice before side footing it past the outstretched Boaz Myhill.
It was Behrami again who had the chance to give the home team an added cushion as a pinpoint cross from playmaker Alessandro Diamanti found the Swiss talisman at the back post and only a superb save from the sprawling Myhill kept Hull in the game.
The vistorsí best chance provoked England keeper Rob Green into a top save as a George Boateng left foot power-drive left him sprawling towards the top right hand corner and finger-tipping the ball over the bar and away for a corner.
West Ham kept pressing as Hull showed little in way of attacks except long balls and clumsy dives in a vain chance of getting a set piece, as a resilient defensive display left them running out of ideas. In the end the West Ham faithful had to wait until the second half to get the all important clincher.
Hull winger Craig Fagan was sent off for a second booking-worthy lunge after the impressive Diamanti picked his pocket; this subsequently left Hull shellshocked before a cheeky Diamanti tried a 40 yard-plus shot which would have no doubt been the greatest West Ham goal seen at the Boleyn Ground since Paolo Di Canioís against Wimbledon. But it wasnít to be as a back-pedalling Myhill managed to tip the ball over the bar and save not only his team, but also his blushes.
But Gianfranco Zola and the fans didnít have to wait much longer as for the second time in consecutive weeks, Faubert and Carlton Cole linked up to give West Ham a two goal lead. A perfectly weighted through pass from the right back was picked up by the galloping giant who crafted a beautifully placed finish, one-on-one, and put the game to bed.
Phil Brownís attempt to enhance his teamís chances by refreshing three of his attacking players may have at first seemed like the right tactical decision but was soon to add salt into Hullís wounds.
Confusion in the box led to Hull and ex-Spurs centre back Anthony Gardner falling awkwardly and after a five minute delay it was clear for everyone to see that he could no longer continue. Gardner was taken away on a stretcher leaving the away team not only two goals down, but also two men down and with everything to do.
West Ham continued to work hard nonetheless and superb performances from Upson and Tomkins saw every high ball pumped into the Hull forwards won by the duo. Jonathan Spector and Faubert cleaned up any loose balls down each wing, and it was Faubert who, in the end, got his just desserts.
A splendid cross-field ball from Diamanti left the former Bordeaux winger galloping down the right wing. But this time there was no other thought on the playerís mind but to go it alone; a shimmy to the left and a right foot thunderbolt left Myhill yet again stranded.
Faubertís goal capped a great showing of unity and belief and helped move the team up to 13th in the table Ė and hopefully on to better things. A chorus of ĎJulien, Julien, Juliení filled the Boleyn Ground; the goal was clearly moving for the speedy Frenchman who raised his hands to the heavens towards his mother, who passed away earlier this month.
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Top save from Boateng. Not a lot to do today but effective when asked upon.
Not too many problems defensively, which brought out the natural winger in him. Great pass for Carlton wrapped up in a goal.
A quiet day for the left back with Hull's long ball antics.
Solid display from the England centre back who is starting to find some form again after a few sloppy displays.
Has a tendancy to always play back to the keeper, but was tight at the back with Upson and West Ham never looked like conceding.
Bustling as always, quiet but effective. Gave the usual 100 per cent effort.
Great goal, could have had two if not for an amazing save from Myhill.
At the heart of nearly everything. Is starting to think as a team member rather than just shooting at every opportunity.
First game back, gave the Hull defence some problems with his touches - especially Paul McShane who was consistantly committed by the Mexican.
Great goal for the clincher, kept a cool head and slotted past Myhill with quality.
(Replaced Franco, 63 mins) A couple of touches but didnít really get into the game much.
(Replaced Cole, 79 mins) Came on with the game won. Will get a goal sooner rather than later.
(Replaced Diamanti, 85 mins) Not enough time to cause any problems for the Hull defence. But always a welcome face at the Boleyn.
Did not play.
Manuel Da Costa
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Man of the Match: Julien Faubert.
West Ham United
Robert Green, Julien Faubert, Jonathan Spector, Matthew Upson, James Tomkins, Scott Parker, Radoslav Kovac, Valon Behrami, Alessandro Diamanti, Guillermo Franco, Carlton Cole.
Goals: Valon Behrami 3 Carlton Cole 59 Julien Faubert 90 .
Booked: Scott Parker 55 .
Sent Off: None sent off .
Myhill, Gardner, McShane, Dawson, Mouyokolo, Fagan, Boateng, Hunt, Cairney, Zaki, Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Substitutes: Barmby (Hunt 65), Altidore (Cairney 65), Olofinjana (Zaki 66).
Subs not used: Duke, Kilbane, Zayatte, Garcia.
Booked: Fagan (26).
Sent Off: Fagan (51).