West Ham United vs. Fulham: Final score 3-0, Irons hammer Fulham with three second half goals

Ian Walton

After a physical and tight first half, West Ham pulled away with a three goals in the second half to earn full points over Fulham.

Fulham made a game of it in the first half but fell apart in the second half as West Ham pulled away thanks to a three goal explosion. Mohamed Diamé got things going just three minutes into the second half and each of the two Coles scored late goals to secure the result.

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Things got physical early and nearly cost Fulham in the 8th minute when Kieran Richardson was booked for hacking down Stewart Downing, setting up a short free kick on the right, just outside of the Fulham box for West Ham. Mark Noble rocketed a free kick in towards the near post where both Scott Parker and Modibo Maiga had gotten free from their markers. The ball ended up hitting off Maiga's shoulder, hitting off the post.

The Irons came close again in the 19th minute on another set piece chance, this time off a corner. James Collins worked his way in between two Fulham defenders and headed Downing's cross down hard off the ground but it bounced wide of the post.

Kevin Nolan had a chance to finally break the scoreless draw just before halftime when Matt Jarvis found him alone on the left side of the box. Nolan rushed his effort, attempting something close to a 3/4 bicycle kick, and failed to get much power on the shot, allowing Stekelenburg to make the easy save.

After a multitude of wasted chances in the first half, West Ham needed less than three minutes to take the lead in the second half.

Mohamed Diamé did all the work taking the ball off Jarvis' foot in the midfield before dribbling into a cavernous amount of space in the center of the pitch. Diamé finished the run by completely fooling Stekelenburg, sending a shot inside the near post from 25-yards out as the Fulham keeper shifted the opposite direction.

Jarvis was denied a goal of his own in the 68th minute when his short-range header towards the far post was cleared off the line by Darren Bent.

With Fulham pressing more and more looking for the equalizer and getting stretched out at the back, West Ham began to find more space to counter. After several close calls, the Cottagers finally found the second goal in the 82nd minute thanks to Carlton Cole, who'd entered the match less than two minutes before.

Downing's run on the right wing set-up the chance as he raced into the Fulham area before sending a slow roller across the face of goal that eluded the Fulham defense. Cole made his run at the far post and poked the ball into the empty net as Stekelenburg was unable to scramble back quick enough to make a save.

West Ham's other Cole, Joe, got in on the fun in the 89th minute, finishing off a pass from Ravel Morrison who'd made an excellent run to set up the chance.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Tomkins, Collins, Demel, Nolan (Morrison 77'), Jarvis (J. Cole 68'), Noble, Diame, Downing, Maiga (C. Cole 81').

Goals: Diamé (47'), C. Cole (82'), J. Cole (89')

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Richardson (Dembele 83'), Hughes, Zverotic, Amorebieta, Sidwell (Karagounis 75'), Duff (Ruiz 65'), Taarabt, Parker, Kasami, Bent.

Goals: None

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