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SPORTS
06 Dec 2010
SUNDERLAND 1 - 0 WEST HAM

A first-half goal by Jordan Henderson earned Sunderland victory and sent West Ham United back to the bottom of the Premier League.

Record signing Asamoah Gyan crossed from the right to find Henderson who fired past Hammers keeper Rob Green.

Victor Obinna hit the post in the second half with Scott Parker also going close to an equaliser.

Gyan and Kieran Richardson both had chances to increase the lead for Sunderland.

The result moves Sunderland up to seventh in the Premier League table while West Ham slip below Wolverhampton Wanderers on goals scored with both sides having the same goal difference.

With injury problems at the back, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce decided attack was the best form of defence and selected Gyan, Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck up front.

Sunderland were looking to maintain their unbeaten home record in the Premier League, while the visitors arrived in the North East on the back of two wins, 3-1 over Wigan in the league last weekend and 4-0 against Manchester United in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

Both sides started the game in a positive fashion but scoring chances were at a premium before the goal.

After Richardson had skied a good chance into the upper stand, Henderson then placed a dangerous looking cross into the penalty area which West Ham defender Tal Ben-Haim had to head behind for a corner.

Bent also tried a speculative shot from the edge of the box which went wide, while at the other end Obinna scuffed a long-range effort which failed to trouble Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon.

Despite the number of Sunderland strikers on the pitch, the opening goal came from midfielder Henderson on 34 minutes.

Nedum Onuoha floated a long ball to record-signing Gyan and the Ghanaian placed a superb cross into the box from the right which Henderson fired home for his first goal in almost a year.

West Ham almost drew level at the start of the second half when Obinna took advantage of a mix up in the Sunderland defence to find Carlton Cole, whose shot whistled past Gordon's left-hand post.

The lively Gyan then struck a fierce shot which Green parried but the game lost some of its flow as it entered the final 20 minutes, with both managers making substitutions.

Despite the defeat West Ham manager Avram Grant - assisted on the touchline by new defensive coach Wally Downes who was barking out orders throughout the game - will certainly feel the team are starting to look more difficult to beat.

His opposite number Bruce will be relieved that his team were able to hold on to their lead as they have conceded late goals on a number of occasions this season.

source:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

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