West Ham United 1-0 Hull City: Tigers hammer at the door but can't break through

West Ham United 1-0 Hull City: Tigers hammer at the door but can't break through

The visitors struck the woodwork three times but were eventually punished by their hosts.

Chris Lincoln

It was a performance worthy of the Premier League but ultimately a result that will do more damage to Hull City's survival hopes, as West Ham United grabbed a late winner to shoot them up the table and away from danger.

The visitors dominate in crunch contest

Hull went into the match on a poor run of form with just one win since August in the Premier League. In the opening stages they did not provide their visiting fans with much hope of a turnaround in fortunes as West Ham dominated possession and Dimitri Payet saw his goalbound effort expertly blocked by Andrew Robertson.

Yet the visitors gradually started to work their way into the game as Dieumerci Mbokani first fired wide with a skidding effort and then struck the post when he latched onto a poor Aaron Creswell back-pass, though the Congolese striker will feel he should have scored after enjoying a clear run at goal.

Defender Harry Maguire tried to prove an unlikely goalscoring threat, forcing two saves from Darren Randolph, one of which saw him flying through the air at full stretch. Mbokani also had a third opportunity of the half, but could only fire over when leaning back inside the box. As the half drew to a close, the visitors would have been wondering how they were not leading at the break.

Smash and grab by the hosts

Despite home manager Slaven Bilic making a double substitution at half-time, it was much of the same in the second half as the visitors compiled the majority of chances against an unorganised West Ham defence. Hull struck the woodwork twice in as many minutes, with left wing-back Robertson pulling the strings as he continued to burst forward. Firstly his cross was diverted against his own post by Mark Noble, before Robertson himself fired against the woodwork with a driven effort.

If Hull striking the post three times did not provide enough drama, then two clearances off the line added to the tense feelings with the stadium. In a rare West Ham attack, Andre Ayew saw his header blocked by that man Robertson. Just moments later, Maguire saw a similar effort kept out by Edmilson Fernandes. Robert Snodgrass then fired a dipping strike just over.

The Premier League is a brutal business and Mike Phelan would have been aware that his side's domination would count for nothing if they could not grab a goal. Ultimately they were punished with just 15 minutes remaining. Tom Huddlestone was adjudged to have pulled down Michail Antonio in the penalty area and Noble duly converted the spotkick. Hull would have been feeling sick to the core after dominating for the majority of the previous 75 minutes.

The goal clearly stung Hull's belief as they struggled to mount any kind of comeback. A Payet free-kick forced Marshall to palm the ball over, before Sam Clucas made a last ditch tackle to prevent Antonio from finding a second. Maguire managed another shot as the game ticked into injury time but his effort was comfortably saved by Randolph as the hosts stole three points.