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  • Westham United 2-0 Wolves: Zubar own-goal, Sears scored

    West Ham United took a massive step towards Premier League survival with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers at Upton Park.
    The three points moves Avram Grant's team up to a lofty 15th place while Wolves will now prop up the rest of the table.

    Ronald Zubar's own goal six minutes into the second half and Freddie Sears goal with 12 minutes left lifted West Ham out of the relegation places and plunged Wolves deeper into trouble.

    Frederic Piquionne's cross from the right was completely misjudged by Carlton Cole and the ball struck the luckless Zubar and bounced into the far corner from six yards.

    Then, with Wolves chasing the game, Tal Ben-Haim raided down the right wing and cut the ball back to the penalty spot.

    Freddie Sears, who last scored two years ago, side-footed into the net to calm east London nerves.

    West Ham had the first shot in anger when Frederic Piquionne shot over from 25 yards. The French striker looked to play in his forward partner Carlton Cole but the pass was blocked.

    When it rebounded to him, he took a touch before firing off target.

    Wolves first attempt at goal fell to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. West Ham failed to clear a corner and Stephen Ward hooked the ball over his shoulder.

    Ebanks-Blake was lurking six yards out but could not get any power on the header and Robert Green saved with ease.

    Carlton Cole almost broke the deadlock midway through the half.

    Scott Parker's through ball was half-blocked by George Elokobi just inside the penalty area.

    It fell invitingly at the feet of Cole eight yards out but he could only turn and send a left-footed shot wide of the far post.

    The best chance of the half came to Freddie Sears with five minutes remaining in the first half.

    A cross from the right was not cleared properly and fell to the young striker on the corner of the goal area.

    His right-footed effort beat Wayne Hennessey but not Richard Stearman who kicked the ball off the line with a last-ditch clearance.

    Wolves had two great chances within moments of the re-start.

    First Robert Green had to save well from Stearman's header from six yards out then Green parried Stephen Ward's drive from the angle.

    West Ham nearly doubled their advantage when Matthew Upson headed Scott Parker's corner towards goal from six yards.

    Hennessey stuck out a hand to divert the ball onto the crossbar and then grabbed the ball to complete a fine save.

    Ebanks-Blake had a wonderful opportunity to equalise with 14 minutes to go.

    Steven Fletcher's cross from the right was met by the striker but he could only head against the crossbar from six yards out with Green beaten.

    The game then drifted to its conclusion as Wolves ran out of ideas and West Ham ran down the clock.

    West Ham travel to the north-east to face Newcastle United on January 5 while Wolves entertain Chelsea at Molineux.
    Mark Applin / Eurosport

    Source :

    Team Line-up:

    West Ham: Green, Ben-Haim, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon, Sears, Parker, Kovac, Stanislas, Cole, Piquionne Subs: Boffin, Reid, Barrera, Boa Morte, Noble, Hines, Obinna
    Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Elokobi, Jarvis, Foley, Milijas, Hunt, Ward, Ebanks-Blake Subs: Hahnemann, Edwards, Fletcher, David Jones, Bent, Mujangi Bia, Batth


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