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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
26 March 2014
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 31033
West Ham United
M. Noble 26'
J. Chester 54' (own goal)
N. Jelavić 49'
Thank you for joining us for the live text commentary of tonight's game. My name is Ben Cullimore and it's been an absolute pleasure describing all of the action to you. Have a great evening, and make sure you tune in again this weekend!
As for Hull, they will undoubtedly be heartbroken. After such a wonderful performance, particularly from Huddlestone, they leave Upton Park empty handed. They drop to 13th place, still seven points clear of the relegation zone but with two games in hand over Sunderland, who lost 2-1 to Liverpool this evening.
There were a few boos at full-time from the home fans but, despite their grievances, all will be extremely relieved to have seen their side end their three-game winless streak and pick up a much-needed victory. The three points sends them above Hull - as well as Norwich and Aston Villa - and into 11th place, three points behind Stoke City ahead of next Monday's game away to Sunderland, which Sam Allardyce will be desperate to win to move them one step closer to Premier League safety.
The win wasn't at all pretty, but, my word, it was important! Two heavy doses of luck have gifted West Ham with three points that, if truth be told, they don't deserve. After starting the first half so positively, they struggled in the wake of McGregor's dismissal and were lucky to go ahead after Jelavic's equaliser by a fluke own-goal by Chester. The error would prove to be the winning goal, despite Hull's best efforts to find an equaliser in the dying moments of the game.
FT: WEST HAM UNITED 2-1 HULL CITY
90' + 4'
Chance for Hull! Rosenior is entrusted with what might be the last chance on goal for his side, but he scythes his attempted shot and the ball flies high up in the air before finding it's way into Adrian's hands after a scuffle in the six-yard box.
90' + 2'
A wonderful lofted ball forward almost meets Sagbo's outstretched foot in front of the West Ham goal, but Adrian rushes out and smothers the ball before the Ivorian is able to make contact.
90' + 1'
Long is set up with a great chance to equalise for Hull after patient build-up play, but the Irishman's headed effort goes just wide of the right post.
There will be four minutes of added time.
West Ham are camped so deep in their own half that they are failing to put any sort of pressure on Hull's forwards, allowing them plenty of time and space. Just one slip up from the hosts and Hull could find the equaliser that they so desperately want.
Time is running out for Hull. They are trying their hardest to push forward and steal an equaliser in the dying moments, but West Ham are sitting as deep as they possibly can.
Chance for Hull! Huddlestone unleashes a rocket of a shot from 25 yards out but Adrian gets the slightest of touches on the ball to tip it over the crossbar and out for a corner.
Taylor is in acres of space on the left flank and has a plethora of West Ham shirts to aim for in the box, but instead he decides to shoot from a difficult angle and it fails to test Harper, much to the annoyance of his teammates who were screaming for the ball in the middle of the penalty area.
Hull fail to deal with a bouncing ball on the edge of their penalty area, allowing Nolan to fire it towards goal. The attempt forces Harper into his first save since coming on in the first half, but it's still an impressive one.
Hull make their third and final substitution, bringing on Demel's half-brother Sagbo to replace Jelavic.
Nolan breaks through the Hull back line with one of West Ham's only impressive attacking movements this half, but the ball gets caught under his feet and rolls safely into his former teammate Harper's hands.
West Ham are sitting incredibly deep right now. They try and attempt to embark on a counterattack before quickly realising that every player is camped firmly in their own half, causing the movement to break down without causing Hull too many problems.
Free kick for West Ham on the halfway line. Demel lofts it into the Hull penalty area and it bounces around before ending up at the feet of Carroll on the edge of the box. He pulls the trigger with so much force that he completely misses the ball. Normally, you'd expect the West Ham fans to laugh, but their fear and nervousness is too great at the moment for them to find any missed chances funny.
Hull break away once again through Meyler and Long and win a corner. Huddlestone sends it in but fails to beat the first line of defence, and the ball is headed away from danger. The Englishman has had a wonderful game so far, but that attempt was uncharacteristically poor.
Chance for Hull! Long chests the ball down into the path of Jelavic on the edge of the West Ham penalty area. The Croatian spins around and launches a half-volley towards Adrian, forcing the Spaniard to dive dramatically to his left to save it. However, the linesman's flag had already been raised.
Hull break away and embark on a dangerous counter attack, but Meyler holds on to the ball for far too long and is dispossessed at the final moment. He should have set up Long a few paces earlier, but he decided to go it alone and pays for his indecision.
Joe Cole is warming up and looks set to enter the field of play in the coming moments. West Ham desperately need somebody with his attacking talents to help put this game to bed.
Carroll wins the ball in the middle of the pitch and darts forward, before laying the ball off to Downing on the left wing. His teammate then attempts to set him up in the centre of the penalty area with a lofted ball across goal, but the delivery is poor and it clears everyone in the box.
After a period of slight pressure in the wake of Chester's own goal, West Ham are looking increasingly frustrated when pushing forward. They need a spark, but nobody on the pitch at the moment looks like they are able to provide it.
Chance for West Ham! The Hammers patiently push forward, allowing Nolan to hold up on the ball on the edge of the penalty area before setting up Downing behind him, but the resulting shot on goal flies wide of the goal.
Figueroa wants to continue and tries to sneak his way back onto the pitch, but Steve Bruce has other ideas and sends Rosenior on in his place.
Figueroa is walking around rather gingerly and it seems as if Steve Bruce is going to be forced to bring him off. But, for now, Hull are battling on with nine men.
Further problems for Hull, as Figueroa is now down on the floor injured. It looks like the Honduran has a problem with his ankle. When it rains, it pours...
Own GoalJames Chester
Goal! Out of nowhere, West Ham are back in the lead, and it's through an own goal! Diame sends in a cross that is, quite frankly, extremely poor, but the unexpected bounce takes Chester by surprise and the defender's panicked clearance bounces off his knee and into the back of his own net. Steve Bruce looks distraught. 2-1!
The frustration is growing around Upton Park as Jelavic almost breaks through one-on-one with Adrian, put the linesman's flag immediately goes up, much to the relief of the home fans.
The momentum is with Hull now as they push forward in the hope of going into the lead. West Ham are struggling and Carroll is looking extremely isolated up front.
Goal! Hull are back in the game! What a great start to the second half for the visitors! They win a free kick 25 yards out, which Huddlestone decides to drill towards goal. It takes a wicked deflection off Jelavic and flies past Adrian, who remains rooted to the spot and with no chance of saving it. Game on! 1-1!
Figueroa launches a long ball forward from a free kick near the halfway line, which causes all kinds of trouble in the West Ham penalty area. The ball ends up buried under a sea of Hammers shirts before it finally emerges again and is blasted away up the pitch, kickstarting a West Ham counterattack that eventually comes to nothing.
And we're off once again!
The players are making their way back onto the pitch ahead of the second half. It will be interesting to see if Hull can build on the momentum that they established towards the end of the first period, or if West Ham can finally make the one-man advantage count after struggling against Hull's determined ten men.
West Ham are a goal up at half time, but that hasn't stopped the home fans from booing them off the field. They have played poorly since Hull went down to 10 men, allowing the under-pressure visitors to push forward and get close to making it 1-1. It should have been West Ham in control in the final moments of the first half, but they are spending far too much time on the ball and look to be lacking ideas in the final third, which is a stark contrast to their performance in the opening moments.
HT: WEST HAM UNITED 1-0 HULL CITY
45' + 6'
Nolan tries to meet Downing's cross with his boot but it misses the ball and strikes Figueroa on the head instead. The Honduran defender goes down injured for a moment but is quickly back to his feet, much to the relief of Steve Bruce and the Hull fans.
45' + 4'
Chance for Hull! Figueroa finds himself in plenty of space with the ball 25 yards out, so he decides to fire a great shot towards goal that forces Adrian into a low diving save. Despite being a man down, the visitors are certainly playing the better football of the two sides at the moment.
45' + 2'
A clumsy challenge on Jelavic by Diame gives Hull a free kick in a dangerous position on the left wing. It's delivered wonderfully again by Huddlestone and Chester meets it with his head, sending it over just over the goal. Replays show that it was deflected over by a West Ham player, but a goal kick is given.
There will be six minutes of added time.
It's been a bright end to a difficult half for Hull. After knocking the ball around in the centre of the field patiently, Elmohamady sets up Meyler down the right flank, and the Irishman knocks the ball over the head of Nolan before darting into the box, but his boot is dangerously high and West Ham win a free kick.
Chance for Carroll! Nolan sends a great cross into the Hull penalty area and Carroll once again jumps high to meet it with his head. He sends his attempt down into the ground and it bounces up and over Harper, but it also clears the crossbar and lands on the top of the goal net.
Taylor is brought down 30 yards out and Mike Dean awards a free kick to the hosts. Downing whips it in but it's headed away and towards the halfway line, where Demel gives away a free-kick himself and allows Hull time to breathe.
If Hull can hold on and go into the break just one goal down, Steve Bruce will no doubt be delighted. West Ham are trying their hardest to double their lead but, much to the frustration of the home crowd, they are failing to find a way past a resolute Hull defence.
Chance for Hull! After taking their time, they put together an impressive move that takes West Ham by surprise. The ball ends up with Elmohamady on the right wing and the Egyptian pulls it back to Huddlestone on the edge of the box, but his effort clears the crossbar.
It's all West Ham at the moment, as expected. Hull have put as many men as possible behind the ball, with only Long positioned anywhere near the halfway line. After another West Ham attack ends, the visitors try to break away themselves, but they lack any sort of options up front and are forced to pass the ball amongst themselves in the middle of the pitch.
Diame and Collins pass the ball between themselves on the left flank before the former unleashes a cross into the Hull penalty area, but it's too close to Harper and the veteran goalkeeper is easily able to claim the ball for himself, bringing an end to the latest wave of West Ham pressure.
Diame has been instrumental for the hosts since winning the penalty. Again he darts forward, but Elmohamady is there on the edge of the box to dispossess him at the last moment.
West Ham smell blood and they're looking to kill off the game as early as possible. They push forward once again and, thanks to a poor piece of defending by Figueroa, win a corner. It's whipped in and meets the head of Carroll, but his attempt clears the bar by a couple of feet.
Despite the circumstances under which the goal was scored, West Ham certainly do deserve to be ahead. They have looked the most dangerous going forward and have kept Jelavic and Long extremely quiet in the final third of their half.
Penalty GoalMark Noble
Goal! Noble sends Harper the wrong way and calmly puts West Ham into the lead with just 25 minutes played. What a mad five minutes! 1-0!
Red CardAllan McGregor
Harper has to come on for the visitors, and Bruce is the one that makes way for the substitute goalkeeper, who immediately is required to save Noble's penalty.
Red card for McGregor! After a lengthy period of treatment for the goalkeeper, the Scotsman has been shown a straight red card for his challenge on Diame, despite the fact that the West Ham midfielder seemed to handle the ball just moments before the two collided.
Confusion at Upton Park! Noble charges through a hole in the middle of Hull defence before unleashing Diame, who clatters into McGregor in front of goal. Both are lying on the floor injured and it looks as if Mike Dean has given a penalty. The Hull players are surrounding him and protesting the possible decision, although nobody is quite sure what decision has been given...
Finally, the poor challenges have stopped (for the time being at least) and both sides have returned to playing football.
Yellow CardJake Livermore
And now it's Hull's turn to be reckless. Livermore flies into Noble and receives the first yellow card of the game.
The heat is rising, and Nolan is now guilty of bringing down Huddlestone, resulting in referee Mike Dean giving the Hammers captain a talking to.
McCartney is all over the back of Jelavic and gives away a free kick 30 yards out. Huddlestone curls the resulting set-piece into the heart of the West Ham penalty area and after bobbing around off the heads of two Hull players, Adrian rises high to grab the ball and cut out the danger.
After a nervy opening 10 minutes, Hull have pushed forward and strung together a half-promising attacking movement, but the West Ham defence prove to be too much for them and the attack down the right flank breaks down without causing the hosts too much trouble.
West Ham are forced into an early substitution after Collins goes down injured. Johnson enters the field of play to make his first appearance since mid-January.
Another chance for West Ham! Carroll jumps high again to meet a cross on the edge of the six-yard box and heads the ball towards goal. It's a tame attempt that's cleared easily but the ball falls to Taylor, who unleashes a screamer of a shot, but it's deflected just a few over the crossbar and out for another corner. The hosts are all over the visitors at the moment.
Downing darts around a static Hull defence before unleashing a low shot from the edge of the box towards McGregor, who dives low to push the ball around the post and out for a corner, which the visitors just about manage to deal with.
West Ham have picked up the pace somewhat, stringing together several good passes in the middle of the pitch and pushing forward into Hull's half of the field. A lofted ball from McCartney meets Carroll on the edge of the penalty area and the big Englishman uses his frame to win the ball, but he's unable to control it to the best of his ability and the attack eventually comes to an end.
It's been a slow start to the game so far, with a lot of long, lofted balls that have been as high as they have been unpretty.
And we're off! The hosts get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The bubbles are blowing, both sets of fans are singing at the top of their lungs, and the two teams are making their way onto the pitch. We're only a few minutes away from kick-off now.
As for West Ham, after embarking on a five-game unbeaten run - with four of those games ending in two-goal-margin victories - they have failed to pick up a single point in March, losing their last three consecutive clashes and dropping to 14th place in the table. However, victory here today will lift them up to 11th and extend the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to nine points.
Hull come into today's game in better form than their East London opponents, with Saturday's 2-0 win, their third in their last six league games, moving them above West Ham and into into 12th place in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
In contrast to his managerial counterpart, Steve Bruce has made two changes to the side that beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on the weekend. Maynor Figueroa comes in for Liam Rosenior, whilst Alex Bruce replaces Sone Aluko.
Sam Allardyce has opted to field the same starting 11 that lost 2-0 to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, with the only new faces on today's team sheet coming in the form of Roger Johnson, who replaces the injured Matt Jarvis, and Ricardo Vaz Te, who is involved for the first time since October of last year when he dislocated his shoulder against Swansea City.
Hull City substitutes: Harper, Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, Sagbo, Aluko, Quinn
Hull City starting line-up: McGregor; Elmohamady, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Figueroa; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore; Jelavic, Long
West Ham United substitutes: Jaaskelainen, Armero, C. Cole, J. Cole, Vaz Te, Johnson, Nocerino
West Ham United starting line-up: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Downing, Taylor, Noble, Diame; Nolan; Carroll
First, let's have have a look at how the two teams will line up, starting with the hosts...
Good evening and welcome to the live text commentary of today's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Hull City. My name is Ben Cullimore and I will be keep you up-to-date with all of the action from Upton Park.
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