Filed: Saturday, 19th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
Two goals in the space of seven second half minutes saw West Ham grab a vital win in the race for promotion at the Rocoh Arena this afternoon.
Half time substitute Carlton Cole and fellow striker Freddie Piquionne - with a strong contender for comedy goal of the season - saw Sam Allardyce's side grab a sixth away win of the season, despite having been a goal behind at the break.
Although far from a vintage performance, West Ham had just about enough in their tank to dispose of a gutsy, yet ultimately short-of-quality Coventry side.
However it was a far different affair at the half-way stage when the hosts led courtesy of an opportunistic 33rd minute effort by Clive Platt.
The veteran striker was allowed to turn and shoot inside the box after being fed from the right by full back Christie to score the only goal of a fairly bitty half, in which neither side managed to take a stranglehold on the game.
In recent weeks Sam Allardyce has had to earn his money at half time on more than one occasion - and so it proved again today.
Having failed to produce a single shot on target during the opening 45 minutes a blast from the boss was the least his side deserved - and once again it worked as his side turned a deficit into three highly valuable points.
Carlton Cole, on as a half time replacement for the disappointing John Carew put West Ham back on level terms with 21 minutes of normal time remaining. Rob Green's long ball over the top of Coventry's retreating defence found Cole, who latched on to the through/long ball before firing past Murphy.
With West Ham's 6,000+ travelling support in full voice the Hammers pressed on for the goal that would turn one point into three - and they had to wait just seven minutes for it to arrive.
Julien Faubert's deep cross was meant for the advancing Piquionne, but it was a yard too quick for the aging Frenchman who stumbled over in front of the far post as he leant forward in an attempt to make contact with the delivery.
At that point the ball cannoned off the shin of Piquionne's marker, rolled back towards the centre of goal before hitting the prone striker on the shoulder and rolling over the line much to the surprise and delight of Piquionne - and despair of 'keeper Joe Murphy, who had no chance of preventing what amounted to a quite ridiculous goal.
Ridiculous or otherwise, Piquionne's goal was enough to secure the win for West Ham and keep them in second place in the Championship, albeit still five points behind the seemingly-unstoppable Southampton who kept up their 100 per cent home record with a 3-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at St Mary's.
Next up for West Ham is the visit of Derby County for next Saturday's early evening kick-off at the Boleyn.
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