Filed: Sunday, 4th December 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham blew the chance to go top of the Championship by going down 2-1 at home to a resurgent Burnley.
The Clarets arrived at the Boleyn having enjoyed back to back wins against Hull and Ipswich - and just like the latter, they left Upton Park with three points despite barely threatening Rob Green's goal all afternoon.
West Ham, who were well in command for the first hour of the game had already hit the woodwork before Kevin Nolan - who squandered an absolute sitter in the first half when misssing the target from five yards out - put Sam Allardyce's side ahead with a well-taken lob.
However the loss of Matt Taylor to injury swung the game in the visitors' favour - and they were level within a minute of his (enforced) substition, just five minutes after Nolan had opened the scoring.
Junior Stanislas, making his first appearance at the Boleyn since leaving West Ham in the summer sent over a probing cross which was nodded home by a totally unmarked Chris McCann.
Proving that they hadn't learnt anything from that error, United conceded an almost identical goal - albeit from a corner instead of a cross - with just 15 minutes left on the clock, leaving themselves precious little time in which to fashion an equaliser.
West Ham will be wondering just how they lost this game, for whilst it was far from a vintage performance they created enough chances to have comfortably won it.
At least twice the Irons hit the woodwork; Jack Collison, whose shot was deflected on to the post in the first half saw his effort followed in the closing stages by Carlton Cole's thunderous drive.
The only good news of the day came at Doncaster where Rovers enjoyed an unexpected 1-0 win against league leaders Southampton, ensuring the Hammers remain two points behind the Saints. Middlesbrough's win at Bristol City lifts them to within five opints of United in third place.
Awaiting West Ham next are Reading, whose Madejski Stadium is the venue for next Saturday's Championship fixture. You may read our full, in depth match report here.
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by g portugal
08:44AM 4th Dec 2011
''Difficult to accept losing a match that we dominated for large periods, and in which we passed the ball better than at an time at Upton Park this season. The poor nature of the goals conceded is a concern. Once you could almost accept, as mistakes can happen. But the same type of error twice in 20 minutes is not acceptable.
Nolan's goal was good but, not for the first time, his missing an absolute sitter has cost us. We simply cannot afford to miss sitters, yet we do so all too often. Piquionne also had several one-on-one's with defenders that came to nothing, without even a serious shot on goal which is unacceptable. We clearly need to get a finisher in the window as we really only have two, in Cole and Baldock - if one of those is out, we are in trouble.
Although O'Brien had a reasonable game, too often he fails to provide the required width down the right side of the pitch which makes us too predictable. ''