It was truly a wild one at the London Olympic Stadium Saturday afternoon, as West Ham United secured a fortunate 1-0 victory over Hull City thanks to another Mark Noble winner.
The captain scored his second decisive goal this week, a 76th minute penalty past David Marshall to continue the Hammers rise away from the drop zone.
Noble’s penalty came when Tom Huddlestone was ruled to have fouled Michail Antonio in the box. It was a soft penalty indicative of how fortunate West Ham were to get any point from this contest, let alone all three points.
In the middle stages of the second half, Hull City eclipsed the eight hour mark of being goalless on the road. That’s hard to believe based on how expansive the Tigers were with their offense and desire to score throughout the contest. The visitors had the best two chances in the first half, due in part to horrific defending by the Hammers.
Normally reliable left back Aaron Cresswell delivered a terrible back pass that put Dieumerci Mbokani clear on goal, only to somehow miss with a shot off the post. The Congolese forward would also have another chance, albeit a much more difficult one, with a nice take off his chest and volley effort well high of Darren Randolph’s goal.
Hull City’s control of the game would only increase in an action packed, back and forth frenetic second half. Noble almost gave Mike Phelan’s side the lead with an own goal, when his attempted clearance hit off the side of Randolph’s bar. And with plenty of space to run and shoot, Hull City left back Andrew Roberston released a great hit that again ripped the woodwork. But the visitors didn’t get another chance close, as they were a little dejected after the game defining penalty decision that went against them.
West Ham now enter the holiday period with back to back wins and cushion away from the relegation zone. They will hope they can start the busy festive period with another victory, when they go up north to take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium for a Boxing Day contest.