Hull City 1-0 West Ham United
West Ham United's first-ever match at the sold-out KC Stadium ended in a disappointing defeat after Michael Turner headed Hull City to victory with a 51st-minute winner on Sunday afternoon.
Despite this reverse, there were plenty of positives for Gianfranco Zola to take back to the capital, on a day during which his workaholic Welsh striker Craig Bellamy was full of purposeful running and Carlton Cole agonisingly rattled the crossbar as the visitors came within a whisker of a deserved point.
After seeing his team beaten by Bolton Wanderers last time out, the manager had made just one change to an eighth-placed West Ham United side, Bellamy - with two hearty personal performances in the World Cup qualifiers under his belt - returned to the visitors' attack in place of substitute David Di Michele. New recruit Diego Tristan stayed behind in London to work on his fitness.
Only Wigan Athletic had beaten Phil Brown's sixth-placed side so far this campaign and, predictably, the Hull boss named an unchanged side following their victory over teetering Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago.
Having roared to victories over Fulham, Arsenal and Spurs already this season, the Tigers soon embarked on their quest for a quartet of wins over London opposition with their very own brand of high-tempo football and, in a keenly contested opening, the assured handling of Robert Green thwarted Marlon King, Dean Marney and Daniel Cousin.
The home side were certainly not having it all their own way, though, against a West Ham United side looking equally threatening with their own style of crisp passing play.
Indeed, with a dozen minutes gone, Cole sent an acrobatic attempt sailing over Bo Myhill's right-hand angle and then, as the quarter-hour mark approached, the barn-storming Bellamy burst clear from inside his own half, before sending a left-wing cross into the danger zone and this time his strike-partner steered an 12-yard shot straight into the arms of the well-placed Hull 'keeper.
Shortly afterwards, Herita Ilunga thought he had bagged his inaugural goal for the club, when he innovatively hooked the airborne ball into the net, as Myhill attempted a drop-kick. But the aggrieved defender merely succeeded in collecting his first Premier League yellow card from referee Chris Foy, who immediately ruled in favour of the relieved goalkeeper.
Midway through the half, Marney volleyed behind after King sent a well-flighted cross to the far post and then the Tigers' midfielder sent a rising 25-yarder just inches over Green's crossbar.
With play ebbing and flowing, the stooping Ilunga almost put the visitors ahead via legal means but he steered Matthew Etherington's awkward corner wide of the right-hand upright and then, in first-half stoppage time, Bellamy volleyed high over from a tight angle to keep an intriguing contest goalless at the break.
This was West Ham United's first match against Hull City since they played out a goalless draw at the hosts' former Boothferry Park home in March 1991 but on 51 minutes, Turner ensured that there would be no repeat of that scoreline, when he rose above Matthew Upson to meet Andy Dawson's corner with a crashing six-yard header to give City the lead.
Down but not out, Zola's men refused to let their heads drop. Indeed, just seconds after falling behind, Valon Behrami's steamrollering run down the right flank climaxed with a clever pass to Cole, who spun and sent a six-yarder crashing down off Myhill's crossbar to the despair of the travelling claret and blue fans amongst Hull City's record crowd of 24,896 packed into the KC Stadium.
Scott Parker also curled just wide, while Matthew Etherington's far post attempt found the side-netting before Di Michele replaced Julian Faubert and Freddie Sears came on for the left-winger but sadly that elusive equaliser just did not materialise.