West Ham United ended a run of three consecutive defeats to ease their relegation fears with a 2-1 home victory over 10-man Hull City at the Boleyn Ground.
Hull fell behind after Allan McGregor brought Mohamed Diame down in the area to give away a penalty that was conceded by substitute Steve Harper, who came on after McGregor was sent off for the challenge in which he was also injured.
The visitors were level two minutes into the second half when Tom Huddlestone's free-kick went in off Nikica Jelavic, but the hosts responded immediately courtesy of James Chester’s own goal.
Sam Allardyce urged his side to cope with the anxiety that has stemmed from a poor run of form and West Ham appeared to take that on board, as Stewart Downing tested McGregor with an early left-foot strike.
Roger Johnson replaced James Collins when the centre-back picked up an injury after only eight minutes and the major talking point came 11 minutes later, when West Ham took the lead and Hull were reduced to 10 men.
Diame collided with McGregor after marauding into the area, and referee Mike Dean dismissed the injured keeper after consulting with his assistant. Noble then sent Harper the wrong way from the spot after the former Newcastle United goalkeeper had replaced Alex Bruce.
Adrian was caught out by Wayne Rooney's stunning long-range strike on Saturday, but the West Ham keeper was alert to palm away Maynor Figueroa's long-range strike in first-half stoppage time.
Hull boss Steve Bruce's words of wisdom at the break appeared to have the desired effect as his side were level two minutes into the second half, when Huddlestone's free-kick hit Jelavic and flashed past the wrong-footed Adrian.
Adrian was embarrassed by Rooney at the Boleyn Ground at the weekend and Chester was left red-faced at the same end when he diverted Guy Demel's cross into his own net 53 minutes in.
Harper got down well to palm away former team-mate Kevin Nolan's venomous drive eight minutes from time, before West Ham fans held their breath when Huddlestone's long-range strike was tipped over by Adrian.
The home supporters became increasingly frustrated as Hull piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but the visitors were unable to snatch a point.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce: "Absolutely magnificent. It's been a tight few games... It's 34 points now, which is a massive total when you're running into single figures games to go. We want to get safe as quick as we possibly can. At times we know we haven't played that well, but we've done what we had to do today and that was win. As long as you win that's all that matters."
Hull City manager Steve Bruce: "The way we played with 10 men, we were magnificent and deserved something more from the game.
"We dominated with 10 men so what would it have been like with 11? We always will [keep looking over our shoulders] until it's not mathematically right but if we keep playing like that we'll not have a problem."
"Unfortunately [McGregor]'s in a bad way, he's certainly got kidney damage. The specialist is on his way to see him. He's got contusion of his kidney, which we are hoping is not ruptured, but it looks a nasty one at the minute. He's in hospital and he'll remain in hospital overnight."
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|06 Apr 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|15 Apr 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|19 Apr 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|26 Apr 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|03 May 2014||v Spurs (H)|