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West Ham Utd 3-0 Hull City

Filed: Sunday, 18th January 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United recorded their first win of 2015 inside 90 minutes thanks to a spirited second half performance at the Boleyn this afternoon.

It took the Hammers some considerable time to get going against a resilient (and under-strength) Hull City side and the comprehensive win eventually recorded was more than a little harsh on Steve Bruce's relegation contenders, who were the stronger team in a disappointing opening 45.

However the second half was virtually one-way traffic, with the Hammers going on to achieve a three-goal winning margin for the first time since beating Fulham at the Boleyn by the same score back in November 2013.

After the visitors had enjoyed the better of a frankly dreadful opening half - one which led to muted booing from sections of the home support at half time - the deadlock was finally broken four minutes after the restart, when Andy Carroll was first to react to a 25-yard Enner Valencia shot that had been spilled by goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

The big striker, despite being under intense pressure from former Hammers target Curtis Davies managed to force the loose ball over the line to give Sam Allardyce's team a rather undeserved lead, on balance of play.

Undeserved or not, West Ham were to double their advantage a minute or so after Morgan Amalfitano replaced a tiring Mark Noble on 65 minutes.

Alex Song's quick thinking released Valencia, who found the French substitute with a second slick pass. Amalfitano, clean through on goal simply waited for McGregor to commit himself before lifting the ball over the 'keeper into an empty net to record his third strike of the campaign.

At 2-0 there was little chance of the visitors staging a comeback so when Stewart Downing added a third goal with 72 played, a first league win since the pre-Christmas victory over Leicester was all but confirmed.

Bearing remarkable similarities to Amalfitano's effort moments earlier, sponsors' Man of the Match Song once again began the move with a carefully weighted pass ahead of Downing. The England international, like his French team mate waited for McGregor to move before passing the ball into the right-hand corner of the net.

In the end the win could have been even more comprehensive for West Ham, who hit the woodwork twice through Enner Valencia (a looping, first half header) and Kevin Nolan (shot onto the crossbar), who'll have to wait a little longer for his 100th Premier League goal.

Though that will be of little concern to Nolan, who like the majority of the crowd will be returning home tonight satisfied with a job well done, a win that arrests West Ham's descent and takes them back above Liverpool into seventh spot in the Premier League.

The only sour note on a good day for West Ham was the loss of both central defenders, James Collins and James Tomkins, to slight hamstrings during the second half - leaving Winston Reid as the club's only fully fit centre half ahead of next week's trip to Bristol City.

West Ham Utd 3-0 Hull City: Match Facts

West Ham Utd: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins (Reid 49), Tomkins (O'Brien 76), Cresswell, Song, Nolan, Noble (Amalfitano 66), Downing, Carroll, Valencia.

Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, Poyet, Cole.

Goals: Carroll (49), Amalfitano (69), Downing (72).

Booked: Noble (21).

Possession: 55%.

Shots (On/Off Target/Blocked): 17 (6/7/4).

Hull City: McGregor, Bruce (Maguire 46), Dawson, Davies (Sagbo 72), Chester, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn, Aluko.

Subs not used: Harper, McShane, Figueroa, Ramirez, Ince.

Booked: Elmohamady (34), Quinn (75), Meyler (87).

Possession: 45%.

Shots (On/Off Target/Blocked): 9 (3/3/3).

KUMB Readers' Man of the Match
As voted for by followers of our Twitter account (@kumbdotcom)

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