Newcastle 0 West Ham 1: Nolan refuses to celebrate after sinking former club
17:29 GMT, 11 November 2012
Former skipper Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his old club as West Ham condemned Newcastle to a first defeat in six games.
Nolan's 39th-minute strike, so typical of the goals he once scored for the Magpies, was enough to edge a tight encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half but had to survive a stern examination after the break.
Newcastle were once again far from their best, but did create more than enough chances to get something out of the game and would have done but for some poor finishing and the resilience of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Is that it Kevin Nolan refused to celebrate after scoring for West Ham
Newcastle: Krul, Santon, Simpson (Obertan 79), Williamson, S Taylor, Ferguson, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez (Anita 24), Cisse (Sh Ameobi 45), Ba
Subs not used: Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux
Booked: Ben Arfa
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Reid, McCartney (Demel 66), Tomkins, O'Brien, Nolan, Jarvis (Maiga 34), Benayoun (O'Neil 52), Noble, Diame, Carroll
Subs not used: Spiegel, Collins, Cole, Hall
Booked: Noble, O'Brien
Goal: Nolan 37
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Opposite number Tim Krul prevented Andy
Carroll from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with
the visitors threatening on the counter-attack.
But ultimately it was Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Newcastle after
just eight months at the helm, who was smiling as Alan Pardew was left
to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his
former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.
There were too many familiar faces for comfort as the two sides took to
the pitch, with Nolan and Carroll key members of the Newcastle side
which fought its way back from relegation back into the top flight.
But it was perhaps the Magpies who had the greater cause for concern as
they went into the game without suspended duo Fabricio Coloccini and
Cheick Tiote, two of the men they rely most on in a scrap.
And that is exactly what it turned out to be as the Hammers launched a
series of direct balls towards Carroll and then looked to pick up the
There was little to choose between the sides and even less to recommend
the game for much of the opening period, with both teams struggling to
find a telling final ball.
Matt Jarvis fired high and wide at one end and Papiss Cisse was
similarly wasteful at the other during the opening skirmishes, and
although Frenchman Ben Arfa lit up St James' Park with a series of
enterprising runs which left claret and blue shirts trailing in his
wake, neither goalkeeper was called upon to make a save until 25 minutes
Cheer up! Nolan's team-mates were delighted with his contribution at his old club
Even then, Jaaskelainen had little difficulty in collecting Yohan
Cabaye's dipping long-range effort and the game looked to be heading
into the break in stalemate until an explosive final few minutes.
The visitors forced their way ahead with six minutes of the half left to
play when full-back Davide Santon could only head Mark Noble's
left-wing cross out to full-back Joey O'Brien, who looked to have
dragged his right-foot shot harmlessly across the face of goal.
However, as he had done so many times at the Gallowgate End while
wearing a black and white shirt, Nolan turned up in exactly the right
place to divert it past Krul.
Remember me Andy Carroll received a mixed reception from Newcastle fans
Nip and tuck: Shane Ferguson (left) tries to steal the ball in the first half
The 30-year-old really should have doubled the lead within two minutes
when he was played in by midfielder Mohamed Diame, but guided his
left-foot shot wide of the post.
Newcastle finally responded to mount a sustained assault on the West Ham
goal as time ran down and Shane Ferguson was desperately unfortunate to
see his goalbound shot hit George McCartney on the back and drop safe.
Ben Arfa saw an injury-time effort deflected into the side-netting and
Jaaskelainen got down well to parry Cabaye's well-struck effort as the
Hammers survived until the whistle.
Mixing it up: Carroll challenges former team-mate Steven Taylor
The Finn came to his side's rescue once again within two minutes of the
restart when he somehow managed to claw Ba's header away after O'Brien's
attempted clearance had dropped nicely for him.
Jaaskelainen fielded another long-range effort from Cabaye four minutes
later, but was grateful to see Ba's effort from similar range fly past
his far post seconds later.
The home side might have fallen further behind had substitute Gary
O'Neil made more of the free header with which he was presented from
Nolan's 59th-minute cross.
Glad to be back Andy Carroll returned to his former club
Ben Arfa left McCartney for dead five minutes later, only to drift his
cross over Ba's head as he dived in, and the Senegal international and
Cabaye both forced saves from Jaaskelainen in quick succession.
Half-time substitute Shola Ameobi headed just wide from Cabaye's
69th-minute corner and Jaaskelainen pulled off a fine stop to keep out
Ben Arfa's drive two minutes later.
Krul blocked bravely to deny Carroll a first goal for his latest club as
the Londoners staged a breakaway with Nolan providing a tailor-made