Sam Allardyce’s men had the chance to go level on points with Southampton but yet again failed to take advantage. Big Sam’s men were disappointing throughout failing to create any real clear cut chances in the second half. This all came after young striker Frank Nouble had given the Irons small hope just before the break latching on to a Freddie Piquionne squared ball to place the ball past Rams’ keeper Frankie Fielding.
The Hammers who were forced to place five strikers on the bench due to the lack of fit players got off to a nightmare start having found themselves 2-0 down after just 10 minutes. A superb goal from Callum Ball on the swivel left Robert Green with no chance as he waved the ball goodbye as it flew into the top corner. The Rams second came just 7 minutes later, as keystone cops defending left Paul Green with the simple task of heading past the Hammers stopper.
Going in at half time West Ham were lucky to still be in it as Derby created the far better opportunities but Nouble’s first senior goal for the club gave the Hammers hope of a comeback. But they struggled to assert themselves in the second half after a bright start, where the away side upped the tempo. But West Ham’s patched up squad ran out of steam and Derby could have stretched their lead as they had two one on one chances and Ball had the best of them striking just wide after being put through on goal.
So West Ham fail to take advantage again after the Saints slipped up against Bristol City losing their unbeaten home run in the process. The Hammers could also find themselves dropping out of the top two should Middlesbrough beat Peterborough at home. Bringing a disappointing year to an end which saw the Hammers relegated from the Premier league and despite a good start to Championship season they end 2011 in frustrating fashion winning just 1 in 5 games in December picking up just 4 points over the festive period.
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