West Ham 2 Millwall 1: Reid seals victory as 10-man Hammers return to winning ways
Winston Reid was West Ham's unlikely hero as the npower Championship leaders sank derby rivals Millwall despite playing almost the entire match with 10 men.
The New Zealand defender hit only his second goal for the Hammers moments after Liam Trotter had cancelled out Carlton Cole's first-half header.
The drama came after Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan was shown a straight red card for a nasty two-footed lunge on Jack Smith with just nine minutes on the clock.
Match-winner: Winston Reid wheels away after nodding West Ham to a precious three points
West Ham: Green, Faye, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, O'Brien, Noble, Collison (Taylor 46), Faubert (O'Neil 80), Cole (Vaz Te 89), Nolan. Subs not used: Baldock, Maynard.
Sent off: Nolan.
Scorers: Cole 45, Reid 69.
Millwall: Forde, Smith, Dunne, Ward, Barron (Kane 56), Feeney (Mason 81), Trotter, Abdou, Lowry, Henderson, Keogh. Subs not used: Allsop, N'Guessan, Wright.
Booked: Henderson, Lowry, Ward, Forde.
Scorer: Trotter 66.
Referee: Mike Jones.
Happily there was no repeat of the
crowd trouble which marred the last meeting between these old foes at
Upton Park, in the Carling Cup in August 2009.
Nevertheless, the derby-day
atmosphere clearly got to Nolan as his rush of blood left his team-mates
to play more than 80 minutes a man down.
The Hammers shipped five goals in a
shock defeat at Ipswich on Tuesday night and were desperate to get back
to winning ways to cement their place at the top.
So the last thing they needed was to
see their captain and most experienced player given his marching orders
after just nine minutes..
Nolan may have got some of the ball,
but he also got a lot of Smith and both his feet were off the ground as
he slid in, giving referee Mick Jones no choice but to brandish the red
On target: Carlton Cole celebrates his goal on the stroke of half-time
The home side had looked jittery even
before Nolan trudged off, with Rob Green fumbling a deflected shot for a
corner which Alan Dunne headed narrowly wide in the opening 25 seconds.
Green also had to save bravely at the
feet of Darius Henderson, but the 10 men improved as the first half
wore on and took the lead in stoppage time with Cole's ninth goal of the
Mark Noble floated in a free-kick,
Reid's back-header looped high into the air and Cole rose above his
marker to nod past David Forde.
They were inches away from going 2-0
up four minutes into the second half when Julien Faubert's header from
George McCartney's cross beat Forde but came back off the crossbar.
Heavy police presence: West Ham fans are escorted towards Upton Park
Instead, they were pegged back in the
65th minute when Abdoulaye Faye tried to let the ball roll out for a
goal-kick and was robbed by Henderson, who chipped it back for Trotter
to lash home a fine volley from 15 yards.
But Millwall were level for just two minutes before Reid popped up to grab the winner.
Forde felt he was fouled by Faubert
as he punched Joey O'Brien's up and under, but play continued and when
the ball fell to Reid 20 yards out, the centre-half finished like a
striker with a superb first-time shot past the floored Lions keeper and
into the net.