West Ham 2 Hull 1: Cole's goals not enough to prevent Hammers going into play-offs
14:45 GMT, 28 April 2012
West Ham missed out on automatic promotion back to the Barclays Premier League despite victory over Hull.
Two goals from Carlton Cole were not enough to overhaul Southampton, whose 4-0 win against Coventry ensured they held onto second spot in the npower Championship.
Instead, the play-offs beckon for Sam Allardyce and his side, who will face Cardiff in the first leg on Thursday.
In the goals: Carlton Cole scored twice
West Ham: Green, Demel, Reid, Tomkins, Taylor, O'Neil, Noble, Nolan (McCartney 74), Lansbury, Cole (Baldock 52), Vaz Te (Maynard 60).
Subs Not Used: Collison, Faubert.
Goals: Cole 36, 49.
Hull: Mannone, Rosenior, Chester, Cooper, Dawson, Cairney (Brady 73), McKenna,Evans,Garcia,Fryatt,King (Stewart 46).
Subs Not Used: Oxley, Bradley, Cullen.
Goal: Evans 81.
Referee: Nigel Miller
Allardyce had planned to be in Las
Vegas on May 19 watching Amir Khan's next fight, but now he hopes to be
at Wembley instead as the Hammers attempt to secure promotion the hard
It is their home form which has
proved costly – West Ham have won a club record 13 games on the road but
dropped 28 points on their own turf to slip out of the top two.
Unfortunately for them, a
third-placed finish means they will have the dubious 'advantage' of
being back at home for the second leg a week on Monday.
The Hammers were desperate for an
early goal to set the nerves jangling down at St Mary's, and they should
have grabbed one in the fourth minute only for Ricardo Vaz Te to
somehow head wide from all of three yards out.
And any scrap of pre-match optimism
around Upton Park quickly evaporated as the news Saints were making
short work of the Sky Blues filtered through.
Doing their bit West Ham manager Sam Allardyce sees his side go ahead as coach Wally Downes celebrates
The atmosphere suddenly went flat but
the hosts continued to attack and Henri Lansbury blew another chance to
put them in front when he blazed a volley over from 12 yards.
Matt Taylor then clipped the crossbar with a curling cross which left Hull goalkeeper Vito Mannone bewildered.
And in the 35th minute West Ham did
get their noses in front when Cole met Mark Noble's corner with a
downward header which Paul McKenna could not keep out on the goal-line.
A few more games to go: Ricardo Vaz Te knows the season will go on for at least two more games
They should have gone further ahead
before half-time but Vaz Te fired across goal, Kevin Nolan made a mess
of a header and Noble's fierce shot was blocked.
But three minutes after the break the
lead was doubled when Cole controlled Lansbury's cross on his chest and
expertly dinked the ball over advancing Mannone.
At the double: Carlton Cole netted twice for the Hammers
Hull had barely threatened Rob
Green's goal, but they were gifted a consolation with 10 minutes left
when Guy Demel's ludicrous header let in Corry Evans to nod the ball
For West Ham, their consolation is the play-offs as they attempt to bounce straight back from last season's relegation.
Going close: The West Ham players do a lap of honour at the end of the game