Filed: Sunday, 11th November 2012
By: Staff Writer
Former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan has given West Ham a priceless lead at the break in this afternoon's Premier League clash at St James' Park.
Nolan, who spent two-and-a-half years in the North East between 2009 and 2011 popped up at the far post to covert Joey O'Brien's cross-cum-shot just seven mintes ahead of the half time break.
The lead weas no less than West Ham deserved after taking the game to their hosts. Rather than defending deep Sam Allardyce's side pressed their opponents high up the pitch affording them little time on the ball.
Despite being second best for much of the half Newcastle did manage to fashion one or two chances - most notably in the final few minutes of the half.
Firstly Shane Ferguson failed to find the net from eight yards out with the goal at his mercy; his goalbound effort being blocked by James Tomkins. Then, Mike WIlliamson forced a smart save out of Jussi Jaaskelainen as the half entered injury time.
Both sides have already been forced into a substitution; Newcastle replaced Jonas Gutierrez, who failed to recover from a knock to the knee Vurnon Anita whilst the Hammers introduced Modibo Maiga for Matt Jarvis (hip) moments before the opening goal.
All in all, Sam Allardyce will no doubt be delighted by his team's opening 45 minutes and will be asking for more of the same in the second period. We'll have a full match report for you at the final whistle.
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