Monday 24 September 2018

Brighton add to Hammers' week of woe

Brighton 3 West Ham United 1

Brighton’s Davy Propper in action with West Ham United’s Joao Mario. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters
Brighton’s Davy Propper in action with West Ham United’s Joao Mario. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

David Moyes refused to blame West Ham's off-field turmoil for their surrender at Brighton. A turbulent week at the east London club ended with a defeat on the south coast to plunge them back into the relegation mix.

The Hammers had to sack their head of recruitment Tony Henry on Friday after claims he told agents they did not want to sign any more African players.

That scandal, and an underwhelming transfer window which saw a club linked with Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Daniel Sturridge end up with Jordan Hugill from Preston, has left anger and frustration towards the West Ham board from supporters at an all-time high.

Indeed, the first chants of 'sack the board' were belted out from the away end even before Glenn Murray put Brighton ahead in only the eighth minute, and subsequently got louder as the damaging defeat unfolded.

West Ham's Jordan Hugill battles for the ball with Brighton's Gaetan Bong. Photo: Ian Walton/Reuters
West Ham's Jordan Hugill battles for the ball with Brighton's Gaetan Bong. Photo: Ian Walton/Reuters

But Hammers boss Moyes said: "It had no effect whatsoever. The club have done what they think they have to do.

"When I took over we were in the bottom three so to be where we are now I'd have said 'thanks very much'.

"We are still in a battle to stay up but it's the same for the other teams."

Moyes has also had to deal with a spate of injuries, and indiscipline - Arthur Masuaku is serving a lengthy ban for spitting and Michail Antonio was dropped in midweek for being late to a meeting.

"Maybe that's just West Ham, I don't know," he added.

A through-ball from Pascal Gross sent Murray clear to open the scoring, although West Ham made it in level at half-time thanks to a fine strike from Javier Hernandez.

However, Jose Izqueirdo put Brighton ahead again with a stunning curler from the corner of the area, and Gross killed off any hopes of another revival with 15 minutes remaining.

"Sometimes these games take a special goal and the second goal not only gave us the lead, it lifted the stadium," said Seagulls boss Chris Hughton, who saw his side earn just their second win in 14 matches and lifted them to 13th, level on points with Moyes' men.

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