Hammers 'save their season'
27 November 2010, 21:09
London - West Ham reacted to their board's statement that Saturday's Premier League match with Wigan was 'their save the season match' in style with a 3-1 victory.
Thier first victory since beating Spurs on September 15 and only second in the league this term failed to lift them out of the bottom spot but took them to three points of safety while Wigan's woeful away record worsened still with just one win in their last 15 away matches.
The Hammers took the lead to huge scenes of jubilation as Swiss international Valon Behrami slotted past Ali Al Habsi from the impressive Frederic Piquionne's knockdown - Grant nonchalantly gave the Swiss scorer, who had only been passed fit late on after a hip injury, the thumbs-up.
The hosts took huge heart from that fillip and surged forward in search of doubling their lead before half-time as Wigan's confidence ebbed away with even their best performer Frenchman Charles N'Zogbia fading away.
It was only two brilliant saves by Al Habsi that thwarted West Ham, first turning away for a corner Junior Stanislas's long range effort and from the subsequent corner he pulled off an even better one from Piquionne's header.
However, the second-half belonged solely to the hosts as they shook off any nerves they may have felt as they doubled their lead with the lively Piquionne - who along with Grant experienced the nightmare of Portsmouth's Premier League season last term - setting up Victor Obinna, who slammed the ball past Al Habsi.
Any hopes the visitors had of getting back into the match evaporated when Mauro Boselli was bizarrely chosen to take a penalty - given when Tom Cleverly was brought down by Danny Gabbidon - just two minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The striker, who has thus far proved an expensive failure since signing in the summer, struck the ball weakly and former England goalkeeper Robert Green got down to save it.
The Hammers rubbed their advantage home when the outstanding Scott Parker added a third after playing a 1-2 with Obinna. Cleverly grabbed a consolation effort for the visitors but the hosts ran out deserved winners.