Tuesday 25 September 2018

Carroll and Noble keep Hammers in the hunt

West Ham 3 Watford 1

Andy Carroll and Mark Noble
Andy Carroll and Mark Noble

Andy Carroll and Mark Noble were on target as West Ham kept their chances of a top-four finish alive with a 3-1 win over Watford.

Carroll hit in his sixth goal in six games and Noble tucked away two penalties to move the Hammers to within four points of fourth-placed Arsenal.

The duo are likely to be overlooked for England's Euro 2016 squad this summer, but they could still be embarking on a European adventure with West Ham next season instead.

They could hardly have asked for more obliging opposition, though, with Watford safe from relegation and gearing up for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

In a one-sided first half West Ham took the lead in the 11th minute when Dimitri Payet cut inside from the byline and curled the ball perfectly for Carroll to steer past Heurelho Gomes with his left shin. West Ham had been growing increasingly annoyed at having been awarded just one penalty all season, but they have now been given three in two matches.

Referee Mike Dean first pointed to the spot in the 45th minute after Jose Holebas climbed all over Cheikhou Kouyate as they contested a high ball in the area. Noble sent Gomes the wrong way from the spot.

Later on, Switzerland international Almen Abdi was back in his own area, where his clumsy foul on Michail Antonio gifted Noble his second and West Ham's third.

Prodl volleyed home a consolation from a Steven Berghuis cross in the 64th minute, and in stoppage time Dean awarded a third penalty of the night when Angelo Ogbonna grappled with Prodl. However, Adrian saved substitute Troy Deeney's spot-kick.

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