West Ham’s Welsh wonder sinks Cardiff

21:46 03 May 2012

West Ham United

West Ham United's Jack Collison celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with teammates Carlton Cole (left) and Matt Taylor (right)

EMPICS Sport

Championship Play-Off semi-final: Cardiff City 0 West Ham United 2

Wales international Jack Collison dealt Welsh side Cardiff City a deadly double play-off blow on Thursday night as his two goals gave West Ham a precious lead to take back to Upton Park.

Play-off favourites West Ham came into the game having missed out on automatic promotion on the final day, but it did not seem to affect them as they grabbed two first-half goals and really could have added to their tally.

Cardiff started the brighter and Peter Whittingham had a shot deflected inches over before Kenny Miller forced a fine parry from keeper Robert Green.

But the Hammers worked their way into the game and on eight minutes they grabbed the lead.

Ricardo Vaz Te crossed from the left to Jack Collison whose downward volley was saved by David Marshall, but the Hammers midfielder reacted first to the rebound and forced a header over the line for his fifth goal of the season.

James Tomkins went close to making it two when he latched on to Matt Taylor’s deep cross, only for his header from a tight angle to slip just over the bar.

Cardiff looked to be shellshocked by going behind and it took them until the 35th minute to make any sort of response.

Miller collected the ball 30 yards out and sprinted to the edge of the box to let fly with a shot that beat Green, but also beat the post by a foot.

But just as Cardiff were threatening to get back into the game, they were hit by a sucker punch four minutes before half time.

Mark Noble’s corner was cleared as far as Collison and he controlled before lashing a shot goalwards which took a big deflection and flew into the net.

They almost made it three right on half time. Gary O’Neil crossed to the near post and Carlton Cole’s header looked bound for the net only for Marshall to fling out a left hand and push it round the post.

Cardiff almost got themselves back into the game on 54 minutes. A corner was swung to the far post where Mark Hudson’s header looked destined for the net until Cole headed off the line.

And when Miller volleyed another good chance wide just past the hour, it looked like it was not going to be the Welsh side’s night.

West Ham had to withstand some pressure from the home side, but they almost hit Cardiff on the counter twice when first Taylor’s free kick was nodded on by Kevin Nolan only for Marshall to save.

And then another Taylor cross set up a glorious chance for Nolan only for him to head over from close range.

That would have sewn up the tie and the Hammers almost paid for it when a cross into the West Ham danger area, but Hudson headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

Substitute Robert Earnshaw volleyed well wide as Cardiff desperately tried to take something back to Upton Park for Monday’s return game, but if anything, West Ham were looking just as dangerous on the break.

Cole was inches away from connecting with Taylor’s beautifully drilled cross, while Mark Noble had a shot deflected wide as the Hammers looked to wrap up the tie in the first leg.

Joe Mason had Cardiff’s last chance, firing wide from inside the box, but this night belonged to West Ham and to one Welshman in particular – Jack Collison.

West Ham: Green, Demel (Faubert 75), Taylor, Tomkins, Reid, Noble, Nolan, Collison (Maynard 86), O’Neil, Vaz Te (McCartney 61), Cole.

Unused Subs: Henderson, Faye.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 23,029.


Live Blog Transfer Window Live 18th August

 

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest West Ham news

Saturday, August 29, 2015
West Ham United's manager Slaven Bilic gestures on the touchline

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic hailed a long-awaited victory at Anfield as one for the club’s history books.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
West Ham United's Mark Noble scores the second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The Hammers win at Anfield for the first time in 52 years with a brilliant performance

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Charlie Austin of Queens Park Rangers  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Ian Holloway is shocked no Premier League side has paid the £15m asking price for QPR striker Charlie Austin.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Paul Pogba of Juventus FC in action (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

All the latest transfer news and gossip with just four days to go until the transfer window slams shut.

Friday, August 28, 2015
West Ham United Chairman David Gold looks on (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

David Gold has told West Ham fans that he expects new arrivals at the club before the transfer deadline.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more