Martins off mark in Magpies win
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Glenn Roeder enjoyed a happy return to Upton Park as Obafemi Martins grabbed his first Newcastle United goal in a 2-0 victory over West Ham United.
Martins weighed in with the second goal 15 minutes from time after Damien Duff's crisp finish had put the visitors ahead five minutes into the second half.
The win marked a sweet return to East London for Roeder, who had spent two years in charge of The Hammers before leaving in August 2003.
Martins, searching for his first Newcastle goal, had the opening chance of the game, but he headed meekly at Roy Carroll after wriggling free to meet Duff's corner.
West Ham responded much more fiercely when, after Matthew Etherington was scythed down by Scott Parker, Carlos Tevez curled his free kick against the crossbar.
Chances continued to be traded and Martins should have opened his Newcastle account after being fortuitously set up by strike partner Shola Ameobi.
A high ball forward was inadvertently controlled by Ameobi's arm, whose pass released Martins in the box, but he fired wide of the upright when he should have scored.
Argentinian ace Tevez has quickly become West Ham's commander-in-chief at set-pieces and a low free kick was well held by Magpies keeper Shay Given.
At the opposite end, Peter Ramage kept the ball alive from a corner, but Ameobi went for an acrobatic volley which was kept out by Carroll when a header seemed better advised.
Carroll then made a comfortable stop from Emre's long-range volley before former Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer almost embarrassed his old team-mate Given.
The Irishman's clearance from the left side of the pitch found Bowyer near the halfway line and his audacious volley drifted just wide of the post with Given scrambling across goal.
Tevez failed to reappear after the half time interval, with Marlon Harewood his replacement, and The Hammers' play lacked invention without their recent signing from Corinthians.
Things got worse for the hosts five minutes into the second half when Newcastle took the lead after a quick-fire counter attack.
Duff fed Martins and the Nigerian sped into the opposition half before returning the ball to the Irish winger, who steadied himself before drilling a low shot past Carroll, who may feel he could have done more to stop The Magpies taking the lead.
With West Ham struggling to create anything of note, Alan Pardew freshened things up midway through the half by introducing Yossi Benayoun and Hayden Mullins for Javier Mascherano and Tyrone Mears.
Benayoun was quick to involve himself in the game and his precise cross from the right was glanced wide of the far post by Harewood.
Newcastle brought on Antoine Sibierski and the midweek match-winner in the Uefa Cup was quick to state his intentions with a 30-yard drive which dipped over the crossbar.
Sibierski was then involved in the build-up to the goal which wrapped up the points for Newcastle. After the Frenchman tangled with Bowyer, the ball broke loose, Daniel Gabbidon dithered and Martins pounced to race clear and finish confidently past an exposed Carroll.
There was a sour note to the end of the game for The Magpies after Given was stretchered off after being caught in the chest by Harewood as the striker slid in for the ball.
On another occasion, Harewood could have collected a second yellow card, having earlier been booked for a tangle with Craig Moore, but the same can be said of Parker, who escaped bookings for fouls on Etherington and Zamora, having been cautioned for a block on Mullins.
Click here for player ratings
|West Ham United||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||7|
|3||Shots off Target||7|