For photos from the match scroll to 'photostream' above left; for statistics, click on the statistics tab
Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his former club as West Ham United condemned Newcastle United to a first defeat in six games. Nolan's 39th-minute strikewas enough to edge a tight encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half but had to survive a stern examination after the break.
Newcastle created more than enough chances to get something out of the game but for the resilience of West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul prevented Andy Carroll from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with the visitors threatening on the counter-attack. But ultimately it was Sam Allardyce, who left Newcastle after just eight months at the helm, who was smiling as his successor Alan Pardew was left to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.
West Ham started on the front foot looking to exploit the suspension of Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote. The Hammers launched a series of direct balls towards Carroll and then looked to pick up the pieces.
Matt Jarvis fired high and wide at one end and Papiss Cisse missed at the other during the opening skirmishes, and although Ben Arfa lit up St James' Park with a series of enterprising runs, neither goalkeeper was called upon to make a save until 25 minutes had elapsed.
Even then, Jaaskelainen had little difficulty in collecting Yohan Cabaye's dipping long-range effort and the game looked to be heading into the break in stalemate until an explosive final few minutes.
The visitors forced their way ahead with six minutes of the half left when full-back Davide Santon headed Mark Noble's left-wing cross out to Joey O'Brien, who looked to have dragged his right-foot shot harmlessly across the face of goal. However Nolan turned up in the right place to divert it past Krul.
The 30-year-old really should have doubled the lead within two minutes when he was played in by midfielder Mohamed Diame, but guided his left-foot shot wide.
Newcastle responded to mount a sustained assault on the West Ham goal as time ran down and Shane Ferguson was unfortunate to see his goalbound shot hit George McCartney on the back and drop safe.
Ben Arfa saw an injury-time effort deflected into the side-netting and Jaaskelainen got down well to parry Cabaye's well-struck effort as the Hammers survived until the whistle.
Jaaskelainen came to his side's rescue once again within two minutes of the restart when he clawed Ba's header away after O'Brien's attempted clearance had dropped nicely for him.
The West Ham goalkeeper fielded another long-range effort from Cabaye four minutes later, but was grateful to see Ba's effort from similar range fly past his far post seconds later.
The home side might have fallen further behind had substitute Gary O'Neil made more of the free header with which he was presented from Nolan's 59th-minute cross.
Half-time substitute Shola Ameobi headed just wide from Cabaye's 69th-minute corner and Jaaskelainen pulled off a fine stop to keep out Ben Arfa's drive two minutes later.
Krul blocked bravely to deny Carroll a first goal for his latest club as the Londoners staged a breakaway with Nolan providing a tailor-made final ball.
|24 Feb 2013||v Southampton (H)|
|29 Dec 2012||v Arsenal (A)|
|07 Apr 2013||v Fulham (H)|
|02 Feb 2013||v Chelsea (H)|
|26 Dec 2012||v Man Utd (A)|
|27 Apr 2013||v Liverpool (H)|