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Boleyn Ground (ATT 34,351) 15th September 2007 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Bennett

West Ham West Ham United vs Middlesbrough Middlesbro'

Clinical Hammers down Boro

West Ham grab first home win

Last Updated: 15/09/07 5:36pm

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West Ham secured their first home win of the season with a 3-0 success over Middlesbrough at Upton Park.

After a goalless first half, The Hammers went ahead within a minute of the re-start as Lee Bowyer fired home from the edge of the box.

Boro battled throughout and produced some excellent football and should have been level before West Ham doubled their lead as Luke Young put through his own net trying to intercept a Carlton Cole cross.

The icing on the cake for The Hammers came just after the hour when Dean Ashton fired home from close range to grab his first goal since the 2006 FA Cup final.

Matthew Etherington, the two-goal hero at the Madjeski Stadium a fortnight ago, was quickly into the action with an early cross which was cleared by George Boateng, before Bowyer burst through the midfield only to be halted by his ex-Leeds team-mate Jonathan Woodgate on the edge of the area.

James Collins then headed harmlessly wide from Etherington's corner, and Mark Noble linked well with Ashton before hitting a 20-yard shot which was deflected the wrong side of the post.

Ashton had the ball in the net after 12 minutes, only to be denied by a linesman's flag after he had latched on to Craig Bellamy's through-ball.

Reshuffle

Boro almost broke the deadlock with their first attack in the 18th minute when Mido skilfully turned and sent Jeremie Aliadiere racing clean through, but the Frenchman's shot hit Robert Green's left-hand post.

Bellamy's afternoon came to a premature end in the 26th minute when the in-form Wales striker pulled up sharply and was replaced by Cole.

Boro also had to reshuffle their strike-force when former Hammers loan player Aliadiere limped off, with Tuncay coming on.

He almost had an instant impact when he sprung West Ham's offside trap and crossed towards the unmarked Stewart Downing, but Green dived forward to clear the danger.

The Hammers had to wait just 25 seconds after the break to find the net, when Bowyer started and finished a swift move.

The midfielder headed the ball infield to Hayden Mullins and sprinted forward to get on to Cole's one-touch pass and dispatch the ball confidently past Schwarzer for his second goal of the season.

And five minutes later the hosts doubled their advantage when Cole shrugged off the attentions of Downing and aimed a precise angled pass towards Mullins, only for Young to steer the ball past Schwarzer with his out-stretched right boot.

Boro should have pulled one back just before the hour when Julio Arca's long ball sent Tuncay clear.

Green came charging out to narrow the angle and Tuncay lobbed the ball over the Hammers keeper only to see it bounce off the top of the crossbar.

Tuncay was then put through by Mido, but Green pulled off a fine save at his near post.

Celebrations

And Ashton's big moment came two minutes later, again courtesy of another superb flowing move.

Mullins swept the ball out left to Etherington, who skipped past Young and crossed for Ashton to tuck home at the far post to prompt rapturous celebrations from fans and players.

Tuncay was left red-faced when put clean through again, this time opting to shoot low past Green only to see his effort roll tamely wide of a gaping net.

And his afternoon was summed up when his shot from 16 yards was cleared off the line by Lucas Neill.

Cole should have capped his rare appearance with a goal at the death after being played in by substitute Freddie Ljungberg, but got stage fright in front of goal and shot horribly wide, before Schwarzer saved well from Bowyer in stoppage time.

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West Ham UnitedTeam StatisticsMiddlesbrough
3Goals0
01st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target3
5Shots off Target7
5Blocked Shots10
5Corners8
15Fouls14
4Offsides1
2Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
71.1Passing Success77.7
25Tackles18
84Tackles Success100
44.6Possession55.4
53.9Territorial Advantage46.1

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
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1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 32 70
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 33 66
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7 Manchester United 33 57
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10 Stoke City 34 43
11 West Ham United 34 37
12 Crystal Palace 33 37
13 Hull City 33 36
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15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 32 25

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