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Barclays Premier League

St Andrews Stadium (ATT 28,203) 12th December 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Mason

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs West Ham United West Ham

Birm'ham 1

L Bowyer (52)

ft

West Ham 0

M Noble (S/O 78)

Blues end Hammers hoodoo

Bowyer strike against former club sends City eighth

By Elliot Ball.   Last Updated: 13/12/09 9:21am

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McLeish: Ended Hammers hoodoo with fourth successive win

McLeish: Ended Hammers hoodoo with fourth successive win

Birmingham City continue their surge up the Premier League table after they finally ended a torrid record against West Ham United to win 1-0 at St Andrews.

Man of the match: Lee Bowyer. The 32-year-old scored his sixth goal of the season and along with Barry Ferguson, ran the midfield for the hosts. Miss of the match: Liam Ridgewell needs to find his shooting boots, or not bother going up for attacks, as the defender glaring miss from a yard out could have cost City dear had they not been so resolute in defence. Shot of the match:Kieran Dyer came within a whisker of equalising for West Ham as he skinned Stephen Carr before curling a beauty past Hart only to see his shot cannon off the post. Talking point: Can the promoted Blues begin to think about Europe while where do the cash-strapped Hammers go after sinking back into the relegation zone?

The Blues had failed to beat the Hammers in their own backyard for over 24 years but entered Saturday's contest six games unbeaten, whereas their opponents travelled to the West Midlands after a 4-0 drubbing to Manchester United.

And it went with the form book as former West Ham favourite Lee Bowyer, enjoying an Indian summer with City, popped up with the second-half winner.

Gianfranco Zola's side had chances to get back on level terms - substitute Kieran Dyer hit the post - but the visitors return to East London with nothing to show for their efforts as they saw Mark Noble sent-off late on.

The result sees West Ham drop into the relegation places after Wolves beat Tottenham but the day belonged to Bowyer, who saw his side go eighth in the table to allow City supporters to dream of European football.

Blue start

Bowyer won the game's first corner and, from Sebastian Larsson's cross, the home side came close to taking the lead.

Roger Johnson got on the end of Larsson's near-post ball and his first time flick forced an excellent close-range save out of Robert Green. Liam Ridgewell was first to react to the rebound but his shot was blocked.

Radoslav Kovac became the first player to be yellow carded after a challenge on James McFadden. Then Ferguson was booked after 16 minutes for kicking the ball away after West Ham had been awarded a free-kick.

Bowyer got on the end of a low cross from Cameron Jerome after starting the move himself but he failed to make proper contact on his shot which flew wide of the far post.

West Ham came more into the game after the half-hour mark and Alessandro Diamanti twice went close in the space of 30 seconds.

First he drilled a powerful shot into the side netting and then was only just wide with a swerving effort from the edge of the box.

Midfield maestro

Ferguson, who saw only Bowyer outshine him, was again impressing in the centre of the park for Blues and a superb pass picked out the run of Benitez.

But Green was alert to the situation and came out to block his shot and also the rebound attempt from the Ecuador international.

Junior Stanislas was adopting a shoot-on-sight policy and Joe Hart went down to his right to keep out a long-range effort which took a slight deflection.

But Jerome should have done better in first-half injury-time when heading over from a Ridgewell centre.

Stanislas was booked with seconds remaining of the half for hauling back Benitez.

Benitez had the ball in the net after a minute of the second period but he had strayed a yard offside.

After 52 minutes Bowyer broke the deadlock.

Goal

Jerome and Benitez combined before the ball was threaded through to Bowyer and he drilled the ball past Hart from 10 yards out.

The 32-year-old was mobbed by his team-mates but only indulged in only the minimum of celebrations after scoring against his former club.

Birmingham came close to doubling their lead when Benitez released Jerome in space inside the box and his rising shot was turned aside for a corner by Green.

Ridgewell then turned the ball wide at the far post after Jerome had flicked on another dangerous inswinging free-kick from Larsson.

Hart diverted a low shot from Diamanti around the post before the visitors made a double change, bringing on Dyer and Jack Collison in place of Kovac and Stanislas.

Dyer almost made an instant impact, cutting in from the left flank and seeing his shot crash against the far post.

Noble was booked for a push in the back on Bowyer and Johnson followed him into the referee's notebook for a challenge on Dyer.

The Hammers were reduced to ten men after 79 minutes when Noble brought down Benitez and was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Hart denied Guillermo Franco after he had been put clear by Scott Parker and at the other end Jerome found himself one on one with Green but shot wide.

Birmingham had to survive a late onslaught and were indebted again to some rock solid defending from Johnson and Scott Dann before claiming the points.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsWest Ham United
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
9Shots on Target3
4Shots off Target8
3Blocked Shots4
11Corners7
12Fouls15
3Offsides3
3Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards1
68.9Passing Success77.7
21Tackles8
85.7Tackles Success75
47.5Possession52.5
55.6Territorial Advantage44.4

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 19 46
2 Manchester City 19 43
3 Manchester United 19 36
4 Southampton 19 33
5 Arsenal 19 33
6 West Ham United 19 31
7 Tottenham Hotspur 19 31
8 Swansea City 18 28
9 Newcastle United 19 26
10 Liverpool 18 25
11 Stoke City 19 25
12 Everton 19 21
13 Aston Villa 19 21
14 Sunderland 19 20
15 Queens Park Rangers 19 18
16 West Bromwich Albion 19 17
17 Hull City 19 16
18 Crystal Palace 19 16
19 Burnley 19 16
20 Leicester City 19 13

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