West Ham United's five-match unbeaten run at home in the Barclays Premier League came to a disappointing end at the hands of Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Robert Green had not conceded a goal in his four previous top-flight fixtures at the Boleyn Ground but picked the ball out of the net as early as the tenth minute. Kevin Davies headed in unmarked from Lee Chung-Yong's cross before Jack Wilshere volleyed a second six minutes later from Tamir Cohen's knockdown. Alessandro Diamanti offered late hope with a well-taken goal but it was too little, too late.
The Hammers never really got going on a chilly but clear afternoon in east London. Guille Franco was the first one to spark in the home attack. First he slipped in Carlton Cole ,who was just off the pace of his pass before feeding Valon Behrami who in turn supplied Julien Faubert. The move, however, was to break down after that which was, in truth, the story of the match.
Bolton took the lead soon afterwards with Davies, despite the attentions of James Tomkins and Faubert, able to head in from Lee's precise right-wing cross. Green had no chance, and it was a similar story when Cohen was allowed to knockdown from Lee's centre into the path of the Arsenal loanee Wilshere.
It was all Bolton with Johan Elmander twice having efforts to add to their tally. Jussi Jaaskelainen was having a relatively quiet afternoon, having seen Diamanti fire over with a free-kick before saving well again from the same player's second set-piece on 25 minutes. That was parried to Franco but his hook goalwards was cleared off the line by a combination of the goalkeeper and Zat Knight.
Cole finally got a chance to drive through on goal as half-time approached but Sam Ricketts made a splendid saving tackle to deny the England man. Parker also had a shot from range and then saw a rasping effort blocked but Lee could have made it 3-0 with a clear sight of goal, only to blast over from 12 yards.
Almost the last act of the half saw the ball loop off Cole and nearly over the line from a Diamanti cross before the ball was hacked to safety.
With the half-time dancers having done their best to lift spirits, Faubert lasted barely two minutes of the second period before appearing to tweak a hamstring. That meant Kieron Dyer's long-awaited home return from his own hamstring problem and he could have scored with his first touch. Cole laid the ball off but the No7 could not keep his shot on target.
Cohen and Elmander then had a go at the other end as the frustration mounted around the stadium. Diamanti was presented with a free-kick opportunity 20 yards out as the hour approached but this time the Italian clattered his shot into the wall.
The Hammers were given a glimmer of hope on 71 minutes when Cohen earned his second yellow card for a foul on Parker, having alreday fouled Behrami eight minutes before. By that time, Mido had come on for Franco, with the Mexican's last contribution having been to blaze over from a Parker tee-up.
Bolton did not make their first change until the 74th minute with Ricardo Gardner replacing Elmander. Kovac then quickly followed for Junior Stanislas as Gianfranco Zola went for broke in the final quarter-of-an-hour. Owen Coyle responded by replacing Wilshere with Matt Taylor as the visitors sought to held what they had.
Stanislas won a free-kick on 81 minutes and then promptly put it over the crossbar before Dyer headed tamely into Jaaskelainen's hands from Diamanti's cross. The No32 finally gave the Boleyn faithful something to cheer about when he cut inside and shot into the far corner.
As the game ticked into added time, Davies clipped the crossbar before Stanislas did likewise at the other end with a rasping half-volley, but the Hammers will have to improve if they are going to get anything from next weekend's trip to Chelsea.