Report: West Ham out of bottom three after Wolves triumph.
West Ham move up to 15th after win
West Ham moved out of the bottom three for the first time this season after a 3-0 victory over Wolves at Upton Park.
A Ronald Zubar own goal and a first goal in 28 league games from Freddie Sears sealed the win at the Hammers moved up to 15th in the table.
West Ham started the same XI who beat Fulham on Boxing Day, but it was Wolves who started strongly and Carlton Cole was forced into a desperate clearance from a corner to prevent the onrushing Christophe Berra giving the visitors an eighth minute lead.
The Hammers’ first opportunity came minutes later but Frederic Piquionne shot high and wide from the edge of the area.
Wolves had some joy down their right with Matthew Jarvis and Ronald Zubar combining well, while West Ham had to be content with weak long-range shots from Freddie Sears and Danny Gabbidon.
Carlton Cole had the half’s best opportunity after played through by an excellent Scott Parker pass, but with just Wayne Hennessey to beat, the striker fluffed his shot wide.
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It was a chance which in a game of this magnitude had to be taken and a type of opportunity Cole has missed too often this season.
Sears almost made amends for his team-mates miss, but his powerful effort five minutes before the break was cleared off the line by Richard Stearman, as the hosts started to control the game.
Much like the first half, Wolves started the stronger and Robert Green was forced into two early saves.
West Ham were in disarray at the back as Stephen Ward forced another save from Green, while the same player headed over when well placed eight yards out.
Amazingly Hammers took the lead when Piquionne broke and while his ball into the area was completely missed by Cole, it deflected off Zubar and into the net.
The game exploded into life and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was rightfully furious after Richard Stearman clattered into Scott Parker, beating the Hammers player to the ball.
Referee Lee Probert strangely booked Stearman for getting there first, while West Ham wished for tougher action against the defender.
The Hammers almost extended their lead when Matthew Upson leapt brilliantly from a Parker corner, with his header forcing Hennessey to tip his effort onto the cross bar.
Mark Noble made a welcome return to the first team, coming on for Junior Stanislas mid-way through the second half.
Wolves increased their tempo taking control of the game and once again found joy down the flanks.
The visitors hit the bar after Matthew Upson sloppily gave the ball away and Steve Fletcher crossed with Sylan Ebanks-Blake smashing his header against the woodwork with 15 minutes left, when he should have scored.
Moments later Piquionne almost doubled his sides tally, but his neat side-footed effort crept past Hennessey’s left post.
The second did come when Tal Ben Haim brilliantly played in Sears who smashed in from eight yards to score his first goal since 2008.
The goal killed off the Wolves challenge as the Hammers made it eight points from a possible 12 over Christmas and New Year.
West Ham: Green, Ben Haim, Upson, Tomkins, Gabbidon, Parker, Kovac, Stanislas (Noble 70), Sears, Piquionne, Cole.