Deano double for Hammers
Dean Ashton's first-half brace was enough for West Ham to claim their first three points of the season as they beat Wigan 2-1.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 17/08/08 4:20pm
A Dean Ashton brace was enough for West Ham to claim their first three points of the season as they beat Wigan 2-1.
Both teams came flying out of the blocks in the Premier League opener at Upton Park, but it was the Hammers who broke the deadlock in only the fourth minute.
Julien Faubert did well down the right and whipped in a glorious ball into the feet of big man Ashton. With his back to goal, he spun past Paul Scharner and smashed a superb strike into the roof of the net, giving Chris Kirkland no chance between the sticks.
It was that man again as Wigan failed to deal with a West Ham corner, Calum Davenport hooked the ball back into the mixer and England international Ashton was on hand to poke the ball home from three yards.
The Latics were the better team in the second half and their hard work paid off when new signing Amir Zaki struck a stunning volley past Robert Green's desperate dive, after great work from Emile Heskey to flick it on to the Egyptian.
In the 15th minute another corner by Faubert almost led to a third goal when Carlton Cole's header had to be tipped over by the leaping Kirkland.
After the interval, it was Wigan who piled on the pressure with Heskey setting up a strike for new Egyptian signing Zaki in the 47th minute. It was all hands to the pump for West Ham.
With boss Alan Curbishley having to field a team missing seven other first-team players - including Anton Ferdinand and Craig Bellamy - the Hammers were further rocked when their powerful hitman Ashton, appeared to strain his calf after taking a free-kick in the second half, and having to go off with 17 minutes left.
Both he and Scott Parker went off and Zaki, who has scored 27 goals in 48 matches for Egypt and is on a season-long loan from El Zamalek missed two further chances to earn Wigan a point.
Wigan kept trying to come forward as Carlton Cole forced Kirkland to tip over his back-header from another Faubert corner, and then cleared off his own line to deny Zaki once more.
Two minutes after the break, Wigan got their just rewards when Zaki showed he is one to watch this season with a superb volley to rifle home from Heskey's header.
The Latics continued to threaten, but it was the Hammers who managed to hang on for the three points.
|West Ham United||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||14|