Noble spot on to boost West Ham’s sur­vival bid

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Mark Noble boosted West Ham’s bid for Premier League sur­vival as the mid­fielder’s late penalty sealed a 1-0 win over fel­low strug­glers Hull yes­ter­day.

Noble struck from the spot with 14 min­utes left to give Slaven Bilic’s side suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries at the Lon­don Sta­dium for the first time since mov­ing into their new home in the close-sea­son.

Al­though they were out-played by lowly Hull for long pe­ri­ods, West Ham have pulled five points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone with a solid run of one de­feat in their last five league matches.

Hull slumped to the bot­tom of the table af­ter set­ting a club record with seven con­sec­u­tive away de­feats in the topflight. The Tigers have gone six league games with­out a win and head into the busy Christ­mas pe­riod fac­ing a tough fight to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

Dieumerci Mbokani was back in Hull’s at­tack af­ter re­turn­ing from sus­pen­sion and the Con­golese for­ward had the visi­tors’ first chance when a nim­ble step-over opened space for a shot that flashed just wide. Mbokani went even closer mo­ments later, pounc­ing on Aaron Cress­well’s un­der-hit back pass to Ham­mers goal­keeper Darren Ran­dolph be­fore smash­ing his strike against a post. Hull had failed to score in any of their past four away matches, but Mike Phe­lan’s team were well on top and when Ran­dolph made a fine save to keep out Harry Maguire’s header from a Robert Sn­od­grass cor­ner, rum­bles of dis­con­tent could be heard all around the Lon­don Sta­dium.

It was no sur­prise the na­tives were rest­less given West Ham’s mis­er­able start to life in their new home this sea­son and their com­plaints grew more vo­cal af­ter Maguire brought Ran­dolph into ac­tion again just be­fore the in­ter­val. Bilic sent on An­dre Ayew and Edim­il­son Fer­nan­des for Manuel Lanzini and Pe­dro Obiang at half­time, but West Ham al­most shot them­selves in the foot when Noble headed against his own post in a pan­icked at­tempt to clear.

Re­mark­ably, Hull struck the wood­work yet again, this time through An­drew Robert­son, who lashed a su­perb ef­fort be­yond Ran­dolph only to see it re­bound back off a post. West Ham mounted a rare in­ci­sive at­tack of their own as Ayew’s header was cleared off the line by An­drew Dawson, but Hull were im­me­di­ately back on the at­tack and Maguire saw his header scram­bled off the line by Fer­nan­des.

Hull’s profli­gacy fi­nally came back to haunt them in the 76th minute when Tom Hud­dle­stone con­ceded a penalty with the slight­est con­tact on Michail An­to­nio. Noble had seen his spot-kick saved be­fore he con­verted the re­bound in mid­week, but this time he net­ted at the first at­tempt, send­ing his penalty racing past Mar­shall.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.