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Barclays Premier League

St Andrew's (ATT 24,961) 18th August 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs West Ham United West Ham

Noble on the spot for Hammers

West Ham scrap for victory against Blues

By Lewis Rutledge.   Last Updated: 19/08/07 3:03pm

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Dyer: Debut win

Dyer: Debut win

A Mark Noble penalty was enough to separate the teams as West Ham claimed their first points of the season with a 1-0 victory at Birmingham.

Kieron Dyer, on his West Ham debut, could have been awarded a penalty after just a few minutes when he was tugged down by Stephen Kelly, but the rest of the first half was a largely forgettable, scrappy affair.

The Hammers produced a much better performance in the second half and took the lead in the 70th minute when Noble tucked away his spot-kick after Craig Bellamy had been brought down by goalkeeper Colin Doyle.

Robert Green was forced to make a number of fine saves in the closing stages as Birmingham battled valiantly for an equaliser, but to no avail.

Noble cause

Noble impressed in the centre of the park - the only survivor in that department from the side which faced Manchester City - and the margin of victory would have been greater had Bobby Zamora showed more clinical finishing.

Dyer appealed in vain for a penalty after being challenged by Kelly following a typical surge into the home area.

Garry O'Connor, who scored his first goal for City in the mid-week draw with Sunderland, tried his luck from 25 yards out but screwed his shot across the face of the goal.

In the 25th minute Rahdi Jaidi handled some 35 yards from the Birmingham goal and Noble's fierce skidding drive beat the dive of Doyle but thumped against the post.

Blues retaliated and Mikael Forssell would have been disappointed to have sliced his shot well wide when he bore down on the Hammers goal.

Birmingham's best attempt of the opening half came in injury-time when Robert Green parried Jaidi's shot after Forssell's initial attempt had been blocked following a Larsson free-kick.

Dangerous Hammers

West Ham looked more dangerous after the break and Zamora twice should have done better in the space of three minutes.

The ex Brighton player should have at least hit the target after controlling a deep Ferdinand cross but lofted over the bar. Then Zamora volleyed over from close range after another good run by Etherington.

The Hammers finally went ahead after 68 minutes when Doyle was adjudged to have brought down Bellamy.

Up stepped Noble to make no mistake from the penalty spot and seal the win.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsWest Ham United
0Goals1
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target4
4Shots off Target10
3Blocked Shots3
10Corners5
19Fouls16
1Offsides6
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
63.2Passing Success67.2
24Tackles27
79.2Tackles Success85.2
52.9Possession47.1
51Territorial Advantage49

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 12 32
2 Southampton 12 26
3 Manchester City 12 24
4 Manchester United 12 19
5 Newcastle United 12 19
6 West Ham United 12 18
7 Swansea City 12 18
8 Arsenal 12 17
9 Everton 12 17
10 Tottenham Hotspur 12 17
11 Stoke City 12 15
12 Liverpool 12 14
13 West Bromwich Albion 12 13
14 Sunderland 12 13
15 Crystal Palace 12 12
16 Aston Villa 12 12
17 Hull City 12 11
18 Leicester City 12 10
19 Burnley 12 10
20 Queens Park Rangers 12 8

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