West Ham edged closer to Barclays Premier League 2010/11 safety with a come-from-behind victory at Craven Cottage in today’s early Boxing Day kick-off.
Two goals from Carlton Cole either side of a Piquionne finish for the Hammers gave them a much needed three points after Hughes has opened the scoring for the home side.
The match finished Fulham 1-3 West Ham.
Aaron Hughes headed home for Fulham just after the tenth minute, from a Simon Davies cross, but Carlton Cole equalised after 37 minutes when Dickson Etuhu failed to clear a weak Freddie Sears cross. Instead of clearing, Etuhu simply ricocheted the ball to Cole, ten yards from goal. The West Ham forward smashed home to level the scores, at 1-1.
West Ham took the lead moments before half time, when Frederic Piquionne volleyed home a Scott Parker cross.
Cole wrapped things up on 73 minutes with a powerful burst into the Fulham area to get on the end of a long ball from Daniel Gabbidon, demonstrating good composure to turn and hammer home a smart left-footed volley.
Fulham will be disappointed that they found West Ham – goalkeeper Robert Green was in particularly fine form – too good today, as they had enough of the play to get at least a point from this match, especially given home advantage.
Fulham fans will be a little concerned that, following this result, West Ham draw level with them on 16 points, and their men remain outside the bottom three only courtesy of goal difference.
The two sides now below West Ham in the table, Wolves and Wigan, play each other at three o’clock today, however, ensuring that Fulham will end today in the bottom three, no matter what the result at Molineux, for Wigan are also on 16 points, and Wolves are on 15.
Its tight at the foot of the table at the turn of the year and, on the evidence of today’s seesawing match between Fulham and West Ham, so it shall remain come the end of the season. Just three points currently separate the bottom five teams.
The difference at lunchtime on Boxing Day 2010 was simple: Carlton Cole.