West Ham United catapulted themselves to 15th and sent Wolves back to the bottom of the Premiership yesterday with a 2-0 win at Upton Park.
Freddie Sears sealed the deal with a 79th minute strike after Ronald Zubar had already steered into his own net 6 minutes into the second half.
Whilst Scott Parker pulled the strings in midfield, the star of the show was goal keeper Robert Green who pulled off a string of outstanding saves to deny Wolves.
In the first half, the most noteable chances came from a Sylvan Ebanks Blake header, a scuffed shot from Carlton Cole, who had been sent clear by Parker and a Sears scorcher that Richard Stearman somehow managed to hack off the line.
It was the second half however when the game really came alight. The game itself produced no less that 15 efforts on target (West Ham 5 Wolves 10) 10 off target (5 each) and 15 corners (10 for Wolves). Considering the number of chances created by Wolves they can wonder how they failed to score but Green proved the answer.
Wolves created four chances in as many minutes, with Green pulling off outstanding saves from Berra and Ward. Nenad Milijias wasted a great opportunity sending a free header harmlessly over the bar, and Wolves were duly punished.
A Piquioone cross was poorly missed by Cole, but Zubar, caught on the wrong side of the striker, was racing back in to the six yard box when the ball bounced off his knee and past Hennesey.
Both sides continued to create chances but Green proved a match for whatever Wolves had to throw at him, but for an Ebanks-Blake header that crashed off the bar when he really should have scored.
Once again Wolves were punished when Scott Parker launched a counter attack, freeing Haim who’s cross was smartly finished by Sears in the 79th minute.
There was hope for Wolves when Marcus Bent was unleashed from the bench in the 87th minute but the three minute hat trick Mick had hoped for proved elusive.
Wayne Hennessey (6(
Some important saves but still doesn’t convince when it comes to crosses and commnading his area.
Ronald Zubar (5)
A stinker against Wigan and let’s just say this won’t rank amongst his all time best. Thankfully it’s rare he has a bad game but it doesn’t half effect us when he does.
George Elokobi (5)
When both you’re full backs are poor, you’ve got problems and this was not a good performance from George either. Gets caught out of position and his distribution was poor.
Christophe Berra (6)
Made some timely tackles and got on the end of some set pieces.
Richard Stearman (7)
Brilliant anticipation to get himself on the line for Sears’ effort, better still that he managed to clear it. Stunning tackle in the second half which somehow earned him a booking.
Kevin Foley (5)
Play him anywhere down the right and Foley will bring you balance, stability, crosses, goals. In the middle? I don’t think he can play the role and at times yesterday he was MIA. Can’t blame the player but we paid once again from our shortcomings in the middle.
Nenad Milijias (6)
He’s got the creativity and ability to cut teams open and has improved the tracking and tackling but yesterday was not one of his better games, fairly ineffective.
Stephen Hunt (5)
Was beginning to show signs of finding his true form recently but has been a bit hit and miss of the festive programme. Gave the ball away too often again and nothing to show for all his running.
Matt Jarvis (6)
Not even Jarvo could find a way through for us.
Stephen Ward (5)
Anfield hero- did little for us yesterday and the second goal came from the right wing three minutes after he had been switched to left back.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (6)
Similar story. Brilliant at Liverpool but should have had a couple yesterday.
David Edwards 76 mins
Custom industry and running, great cross for Ebanks-Blake so did fairly well for us
Stephen Fletcher 76 mins
Must wonder what he has to do to get a start. Came off the bench and scored against Wigan but how often can we expect him to repeat considering he get’s fifteen minutes here and there?
Possibly the most pointless substitution in history.