Carroll brace seals Hammers win
Published 30/03/2013 | 17:22
Andy Carroll inspired West Ham to an impressive 3-1 win over West Brom which eased any lingering hopes of relegation at Upton Park.
The towering striker brushed off his marker and thumped a header past Ben Foster to put the Hammers ahead and then powered home a well-taken volley after Gary O'Neil had made it 2-0.
The visitors' only consolation came through Graham Dorrans' penalty at the death and Youssof Mulumbu saw red in the dying seconds for needlessly booting the ball at O'Neil.West Brom had the ball in the net in the first half but Gareth McAuley's header was ruled out for bundling over Jussi Jaaseklainen.
Carroll then began to exert his influence on the game and West Ham all of a sudden looked far more threatening and the England striker broke the deadlock after 16 minutes, rising above the Jonas Olsson to thump O'Neil's corner past a stunned Foster.
West Ham continued to pile on the pressure and their dominance paid off with O'Neil's goal just before the half hour. Ricardo Vaz Te charged at the West Brom defence before laying the ball off to O'Neil, who clipped the ball over a diving Olsson and Foster to make it 2-0.
The Hammers thought they should have had a penalty just before the break when Matt Jarvis went down in the box under a challenge from Billy Jones, but Andre Marriner waved play on.
Substitute Peter Odemwingie provided West Brom with more energy when he came on after 71 minutes, but Carroll put the game beyond doubt with a marvellous volley which he dispatched past Foster from Collins' long ball.
West Brom pulled one back three minutes from the end when Dorrans beat Jaaseklainen after Matt Taylor tangled with Romelu Lukaku in the box.
Mulumbu ensured West Brom's afternoon ended on a low, though, when he picked the ball up after becoming annoyed at not being awarded a foul and stupidly blasted the ball at O'Neil's back. Marriner had no choice but to show him red.
A late injury to George McCartney, who had just returned from a four-month lay-off, failed to dampen the spirits of the Hammers fans, who greeted the final whistle with a loud cheer.