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Match Report


Posted Sat 21 Aug 10 at 18:13 PM

West Ham 1 Wanderers 3

Wanderers made it a magnificent seven successive victories against West Ham as they recorded their first three points of the season at Upton Park.

After surviving an onslaught in the first 45 minutes - which included Jussi Jaaskelainen denying Carlton Cole from the penalty spot - Owen Coyle's side ran out deserved winners with a stunning second-half performance.

An own goal from Matthew Upson moments after half-time set Bolton on their way before Johan Elmander produced a clinical brace to get his tally for the season up and running with another man of the match performance.

Mark Noble had given the Hammers hope with another penalty in between Elmander's double, but there was little doubt over the where the points headed given Bolton's determined display at both ends of the field.

West Ham 1 Bolton 3

Wanderers, who went with an unchanged line-up, were quick out of the blocks and were inches away from taking the lead with just two minutes played.

After catching West Ham cold in the middle of the pitch, Martin Petrov shrugged off the challenge of Julien Faubert before laying the ball perfectly into the path of Johan Elmander. The Sweden international's shot across goal looked destined for the far corner, however it skidded agonisingly wide of the far post.

That opportunity certainly set the tempo as Wanderers carved out a further two good chances within the opening ten minutes.

Firstly Chung-Yong Lee ghosted in behind the Hammers' defence only to side-foot wide from 12 yards out, while Stuart Holden's perfectly weighted ball for Gretar Steinsson helped set up another opening for Elmander, who had a goal bound shot bravely changed down by Upson.

After the visitors' bright start, West Ham began to offer a little more and bossed the remainder of the first-half.

A Gary Cahill block took the pace out of a Pablo Barrera shot, Mark Noble blazed over after a half-cleared a corner and Stuart Holden was perfectly placed inside his own six yard box to cut out Kieron Dyer's dangerous cross.

Mexican World Cup star Barrera was the real stand-out performer in the Hammers' midfield, and if he wasn't trying his luck with shots at every opportunity, he was helping forge out openings for others, most notably when Cahill had to make a last ditch headed clearance on 25 minutes.

West Ham continued to pour forward, but they couldn't take advantage of a glorious opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot just after the half hour mark.

Steinsson was adjudged to have nudged Carlton Cole in the back just inside the area, but when the England international picked himself up off the floor, Jaaskelainen guessed right to add yet another penalty save to his impressive tally during his Wanderers career.

From that moment the first-half became the Jaaskelainen show as the big Finn made two more excellent stops to preserve Wanderers' clean sheet at the break.

When Cole escaped away from Knight, Jaaskelainen made an excellent full stretched save and just minutes before referee Andre Marriner blew for half time, he glanced Dyer's effort from 12 yards on to the outside of the post.

Having survived the first-half onslaught, Wanderers came out after half-time and started the second-half in the best possible manner by taking the lead on 48 minutes.

Kevin Davies had haunted West Ham on so many occasions in the past and although he wasn't the man who put the ball into the back of the net this time around, he certainly played a part.

When Elmander out jumped Gabbidon to win a flicked header on the edge of the box, the captain put Upson under so much pressure that the England defender inadvertently put the ball into his own net from just four yards out.

It actually proved to be Upson's last involvement in the game as he suffered a blow to the head in the same incident and had to be replaced by New Zealand international Winston Reid.

The second-half then began to follow a similar pattern to the first with West Ham bossing possession as they went in search of an equaliser, but on the counter-attacker Bolton were dangerous and deadly.

Manager Owen Coyle was up off his feet in protest when Andre Marriner failed to award a penalty when Chung-Yong Lee was clearly upended by Henry Ilunga inside the area.

And Coyle was once again up off the bench in Wanderers next attack - this time in celebration as Elmander doubled his team's lead with a fine headed goal on 67 minutes.

Chung-Yong found space down the right, looked up and floated a perfect ball to the near post where the number nine towered to plant a brilliant low header into the back of the net.

It was the striker's just rewards for another tireless performance, just like the previous week against Fulham.

Avram Grant's side reduced arrears ten minutes from time as this time they capitalised from another penalty decision in their favour.

There was some confusion over whether it was Gary Cahill or Paul Robinson who had been deemed to have fouled Scott Parker inside the box, nevertheless Mark Noble stepped up find the net from 12 yards.

But the two-goal margin was restored seven minutes from time as Elmander seized upon some poor defending from West Ham to lash in his second of the game with his left foot.

That strike sealed the three points as Wanderers moved into the top-half of the table for the first time in over a year.

West Ham: Green, Gabbidon, Dyer (McCarthy 77), Parker, Cole (Sear 85), Barrera, Upson (Reid 53), Noble, Faubert, Ilunga, Piquionne (Subs: Stech, Tomkins, Boa Morte, Kovac)

Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Taylor 81), Muamba, Holden, Petrov (Blake 88), Elmander (Mark Davies 86), Kevin Davies (Subs: Bogdan, Andy O'Brien, Ricketts, Klasnic)

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