ANDREW VORCE - Monday, December 27, 2010
Jonathan Spector was dropped to the bench as his West Ham hammered Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson's Fulham as part of a snowy weekend in England.
Fulham 1 - 3 West Ham
Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson were both on hand to witness Fulham cough up an early lead as Jonathan Spector's West Ham fought back to claim the victory.
Spector stayed on the bench for the Hammers but it was Fulham who got off on the front foot. Each goal came from the respective defenses collapsing, but just 10 minutes in Fulham had their goal. At the second time of asking Fulham delivered the right ball, and Aaron Hughes jumped the highest to divert his header home.
West Ham's goal came with a bit luck, with Carlton Cole taking his chance when an opportunity presented itself. Dickson Etuhu tried to cut out Freddie Sears' cross, but his deflection fell straight to the feet of Cole. Taking no chances, the striker quickly dispatched his shot which went to Mark Schwarzer's far post.
Frederic Piquionne gave West Ham the winner on the stroke of halftime when he slipped his markers. Both Brede Jangeland and Carlos Salcido were caught ball-watching as Piquionne gave himself plenty of room to finish Scott Parker's inch perfect cross without an ounce of pressure.
Cole added West Ham's third in the 73rd minute when Daniel Gabbidon played a hopeful long ball forward. The Fulham back line failed to deal with the danger and Cole flashed his shot across Schwarzer and into the far corner.
John Pantsil was booked for Fulham while West Ham's Matthew Upson also saw yellow. Fulham next face Stoke City on Tuesday while West Ham play host to Everton.
Bolton 2 - 0 West Brom
Stuart Holden's Bolton Wanderers picked up all three points at home as West Brom failed to hit the net.
It wasn't for a lack of trying as the Baggies proved to be the most wasteful with their opportunities, having multiple chances throughout the game. Matthew Taylor started and finished Bolton's opening goal with five minutes to go before the interval.
Taylor showed great vision to play Chung-Yong Lee into space, and the South Korean did the rest. The midfielder beat his marker before rounding the keeper only to run out of space. Lee quickly turned to find Taylor who had continued his run after his previous pass pass and Taylor finished his chance with his first touch.
Johan Elmander finished the game off with four minutes left to play after missing a slew of chances. Originally the striker attempted to play a cross but his previous attempt on goal came up short. His cross bounced back and the striker's second attempt went straight through the crowd and past Scott Carson.
Gary Cahill was booked for Bolton while Chris Brunt picked up a yellow for West Brom. Up next for Holden and company is an away trip to Chelsea on Wednesday.
Aston Villa 1 - 2 Tottenham
Brad Friedel and Eric Lichaj were unable to overcome a 10 man Tottenham at home.
Brad Guzan watched this one from the bench and saw Rafael van der Vaart open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Luka Modric played a beautiful cross field ball to Alan Hutton who was streaking down the right wing.
The winger sent a ball into the middle where Jermaine Defoe was lurking, but before the front man could get a touch van der Vaart jumped forward to thump in the opener.
Just four minutes later, Spurs were reduced to 10 men after Defoe picked up a straight red for an elbow on James Collins that referee Martin Atkinson harshly decided was intentional.
In the 67th minute, Spurs were back on the front foot when van der Vaart began and ended an impressive counter attack. The forward flicked a ball on to Gareth Bale deep inside his own half and the winger did the rest.
Rocketing down the field before cutting across three defenders, Bale released his pass to Aaron Lennon who had followed on the opposite flank. All the while van der Vaart was lurking on the edge of the area, and when Lennon passed to him the striker side footed past the helpless Friedel.
Aston Villa got a late goal back through a fantastic cross in from Marc Albrighton. Heurelho Gomes was forced into defending the chance of Collins winning the header, but the defender missed and the ball bounced around the keeper and into the back of the net. Lichaj had a late chance to equalize but Tottenham held on for all three points.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabian Delph, and Jonathan Hogg were all booked for Aston Villa while Gomes, Alan Hutton, and Modric joined Defoe in the book. Up next for Villa is an away game to Manchester City.
Everton's home test against Birmingham was called off due to adverse conditions.
Marcus Hahnemann was on the bench at home when Wolves fell 2-1 to Wigan.
Conor Doyle and Derby County's game against Doncaster Rovers was postponed due to severe weather.
Frank Simek and Mike Grella were left with no action as Carlisle United's game with Oldham Athletic was postponed because of the weather.
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth's game against AFC Bournemouth was also called off due to the weather.
Jemal Johnson and Milton Keynes Dons game versus Leyton Orient was postponed because of sever weather.