Hammers keep European hopes alive

02 May 2009 04:56
West Ham remain on course for a place in Europe after a hard-earned 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium.[LNB] Diego Tristan scored the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute with a superb free-kick from 20 yards.[LNB] It was only his third goal for the club and came following a foul from Abdoulaye Faye on David Michele.[LNB] Stoke started well and pushed forward in the ninth minute. Rory Delap picked out Ryan Shawcross with a long throw but his header was safely taken by Robert Green. [LNB] Ricardo Fuller then found the net for the home side two minutes later after beating Green to the ball but his effort was disallowed. [LNB] The visitors made the breakthrough in the 32nd minute. Tristan was celebrating after delivering a superb free-kick from 20 yards beyond goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. [LNB] Stoke responded and almost equalised in the 40th minute. Matthew Etherington laid the ball off to Fuller, who looked odds-on to score but Green reacted well to take the ball off his toes as he prepared to shoot. [LNB] Then Delap and Luis Boa Morte were booked after a tussle a minute before half-time and the match was becoming feisty. [LNB] Liam Lawrence thought he had won a penalty for Stoke in first-half stoppage time after a challenge from Radoslav Kovac only to get a yellow card for diving. Fuller then clipped a shot wide of the post in the 59th minute. [LNB] West Ham were playing some neat football in the middle of the park, but Stoke came close to equalising in the 74th minute when Lawrence delivered a corner from the left, but Abdoulaye Faye's header was cleared off the line.

Source: Eurosport