Premier League
Birmingham City 1-0 West Ham United 

Saturday, 12th December 2009
by Staff Writer

A second half striker by former Hammer Lee Bowyer was enough to send the Irons tumbling to yet another defeat.

Bowyer, given a free transfer at the end of last season scored the game's only goal seven minutes after the break to condemn United to their eighth defeat of the season, and one which leaves them in the bottom three of the Premier League once again.

To Bowyer's credit, he refused to openly celebrate the goal - though given that he comes from a household of Hammers, that is hardly surprising.

In all fairness, it was a win that the home side fully deserved for West Ham, despite having their fair share of possession were lacklustre in attack and only Kieron Dyer - who struck the post after a superb 40-yard run moments after entering the fray midway through the second half - really tested Joe Hart.

Not that that was any great surprise, given Gianfranco Zola's limited attacking options; Both Carlton Cole and Zavon Hines were ruled out of today's encounter, which comes 48 hours after Dean Ashton finally announced his retirement.

But if the Irons are to avoid relegation this season results like this simply won't do. Birmingham join the likes of Wigan, Bolton and Stoke as teams to have beaten West Ham this season - and it is results against these teams, along with other strugglers that will determine United's fate come May 2010. They simply have to improve.

As West Ham nosedive towards relegation the club's ownership situation shows no signs of being resolved - something, again, that needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later. With the January transfer window rapidly approaching the bottom line is that the squad simply is not good enough at present and desperately needs a boost.

Of course, that is extremely unlikely to happen whilst CB Holdings hold the keys to the Boleyn Ground; one can only hope that a replacement is found soon.

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Player Ratings

Robert Green
Comments to follow.

Julien Faubert
Comments to follow.

Herita Ilunga
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James Tomkins
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Danny Gabbidon
Comments to follow.

Scott Parker
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Radoslav Kovac
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Mark Noble
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Junior Stanislas
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Alessandro Diamanti
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Guillermo Franco
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Kieron Dyer
(Replaced Kovac, 68 minutes) Comments to follow.

Jack Collison
(Replaced Stanislas, 69 minutes) Comments to follow.

Frank Nouble
(Replaced Ilunga, 83 minutes) Comments to follow.

Peter Kurucz
Did not play.

Jonathan Spector
Did not play.

Manuel Da Costa
Did not play.

Josh Payne
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Julien Faubert, Herita Ilunga, James Tomkins, Danny Gabbidon, Scott Parker, Radoslav Kovac, Mark Noble, Junior Stanislas, Alessandro Diamanti, Guillermo Franco.

Goals: None                   .

Booked: Radoslav Kovac  Alessandro Diamanti  Mark Noble  Jack Collison     .

Sent Off: Mark Noble 78    .

Birmingham City: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: None.

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: Lee Mason.

Attendance: 28,203.

Man of the Match: tbc.