Marlon Harewood scored one and made the other as West Ham continued to benefit from the striker’s fine form with a win over Fulham.
Harewood followed his hat-trick against Aston Villa by breaking the deadlock at Craven Cottage and then forcing an unfortunate own goal from Tony Warner that proved decisive as the hosts could only reply with a lovely curler from the outstanding Luis Boa Morte. West Ham thoroughly deserved the win, with Harewood to the fore, although Roy Carroll deserves plaudits for pulling off two fine saves to deny Brian McBride.
Fulham had the better of the first half an hour but couldn’t make their dominance count. Steed Malbranque figured prominently with a couple of jinking runs hinting at his threat and Carroll was called into action by the Frenchman’s low drive. The former Manchester United keeper made a magnificent save when McBride powered a header from Boa Morte’s brilliant cross towards the bottom corner only for Carroll to block it with his body.
Bobby Zamora, restored to the starting line-up in place of Teddy Sheringham, went close with a volley before Harewood had a goal ruled for offside and then striker soon rattled the crossbar, with Reo-Coker rolling the rebound wide. At the other end, Carroll was at full stretch to tip over a long-range effort from McBride and Boa Morte headed into the side netting from Malbranque’s deep cross.
The second half was just as expansive with West Ham going in front a minute after the restart. Harewood raced onto a deft flick on by Zamora, lifted the ball over Zat Knight and coolly stroked a finish beyond Warner. The on-loan Cardiff goalkeeper
then unwittingly diverted Harewood’s shot back into his own net after the forward had hit the near post from Etherington’s cross. A home comeback appeared a very tall order.
Fulham gave it a good go. They got a lifeline midway through the second half when Boa Morte, found by Malbranque, twisted and turned away from Konchesky and bent a beautiful finish around Carroll into the corner. Moritz Volz almost rifled a late equaliser from outside the box but West Ham held on to inflict only Fulham’s second home defeat in fourteen fixtures.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Warner; Volz, N. Jensen, Knight (Christanval 80), Bocanegra; Diop, C. Jensen, Malbranque, Boa Morte; McBride, Radzinski (John 67). Subs (not used): Batista, Elrich, Helguson.
BOOKED: Boa Morte, Bocanegra.
GOAL: Boa Morte (66).
WEST HAM UNITED (4-4-2): Carroll, Repka, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky, Harewood (Aliadiere 87), Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Benayoun (Sheringham 74), Zamora (Newton 64). Subs (not used): Hislop, Dailly.
GOALS: Harewood (46), Warner (og 52).
REFEREE: Graham Poll (Hertfordshire).