Turner clinches it for Tigers
Hull down West Ham 1-0 to climb back into third
Last Updated: October 19, 2008 9:45pm
Hull rejoice Turner's header
Hull City's remarkable beginning to the new Premier League season continued as they claimed a 1-0 victory over West Ham United to rise back into third place in the table.
Michael Turner struck the only goal of the game in the second period as the newly-promoted Tigers made it three consecutive league triumphs and four over London opposition in the 2008/09 campaign.
The Hammers enjoyed the better of the first half but lacked killer instinct in the final third, with striker Craig Bellamy - making his first league start of the term - posing the greatest threat.
But Phil Brown's side began to push their opponents back into their own half after the interval and they made their pressure pay on 51 minutes as Turner rose powerfully to head home Andy Dawson's whipped corner and secure the win.
Recent defeats to Bolton, plus fresh financial concerns, had hardly sent the Hammers bounding North in the best of moods, but boss Gianfranco Zola had the bonus of handing Bellamy his first league start of the season.
The Welshman had his moments in the opening period but the Hammers laboured early on and the home side started brightly, exuding the confidence which had swept them to such lofty heights.
Daniel Cousin posed a constant danger down the right channel while Marlon King, returning from the back injury which ruled him out of midweek international duty, saw a low shot grasped by Hammers keeper Robert Green.
King headed straight at Green from a Paul McShane cross in the 11th minute as the Tigers continued to dominate and Zola's men struggled to find a route out of their own half.
But the momentum began to change after a quarter of an hour when Bellamy, in his first contribution, raced across the halfway line and teed up Cole to side-foot the simplest of chances straight at Boaz Myhill.
Then Herita Ilunga found himself in the book of referee Chris Foy after charging down an attempted Myhill goal-kick, and overhead-kicking the loose ball into the net.
Dean Marney volleyed just wide from King's cross but the Hammers continued to get into the game and Ilunga came even closer when he headed Scott Parker's corner just the wrong side of the post from point-blank range.
The visitors were starting to enjoy far more possession in dangerous areas with Bellamy's low cross almost catching out a hesitant Hull defence, and Valon Behrami firing wide from long range.
The already-booked Ilunga looked lucky to escape a second yellow card after scything down Marney on the Tigers right as the lively action continued with goals still looking likely.
The opener almost came from Bellamy, who blazed high and wide from a tight angle after Cole's clever knock-down in first-half injury time.
But in the end it came for the home side six minutes into the second half, when Turner out-jumped Matthew Upson to head home Dawson's impressive corner from the right.
The Hammers had a golden chance to equalise two minutes later when Valon Behrami got round the back of the Hull defence and set up Cole on the edge of the six-yard box, but the striker scythed his shot against the underside of the bar.
Having survived that scare, the home side grew in confidence and Kamil Zayette came close in the 56th minute when he steamrollered out of defence before lashing a long-range effort just over the bar.
The home side were continuing to knock the ball around with aplomb, although Cole remained a threat and his cross in the 68th minute resulted in Matthew Etherington volleying into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Zola's men were left looking short of ideas and summoned little by way of threat in the closing stages, with the home side hanging on with ease to claim their fifth top-flight victory.
|Hull City||Team Statistics||West Ham United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||1|
|8||Shots off Target||8|
Barclays Premier League
|13||West Bromwich Albion||14||15|
|17||West Ham United||14||13|