Kevin Nolan capped a memorable return to Newcastle United by shooting West Ham United to a fantastic 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over the Magpies at St James' Park.

The former Newcastle captain and present-day Hammers skipper was in the right place at the right time yet again to score the only goal of the game at the stadium he once called home.

Nolan, who spent three seasons on Tyneside between 2008 and 2011, was afforded a hero's welcome by the home fans and responded in kind by not celebrating his 38th-minute winner.

The No4 was just one of 14 West Ham heroes on Sunday, with goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, centre-back Winston Reid and midfielder Mohamed Diame catching the eye with superbly resilient displays. In truth, however, every Hammers player earned their crust by keeping at bay a Newcastle team that finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League last season.

Nolan and his team-mates are now up to sixth themselves and the skipper has admitted to having lofty ambitions in a claret and blue shirt.

"It was the perfect scenario for me, of course," admitted Nolan. "You always wish to score goals. It was quite emotional when I did score a goal because I had a little moment just after it. I was never going to celebrate and I never will [celebrate against them] and I would never do that to West Ham if I ever move on because of the support I received when I was here.

"I'm just delighted for us because we got the three points and it moves us further up the table and it keeps us in the mix.

"You've got to expect that [Newcastle were going to put us under pressure in the second half] because they are a team with fantastic players. They had some fantastic players out [suspended] and we knew we had to capitalise on that and I think we did.

"We hung on and credit to the lads because we've got a lot of grit and determination. I'm delighted to lead them every week. It was a fantastic away win - our second of the season - and we just need to keep building on this very solid start that we've made."

West Ham were stretched to the limit on Sunday, not just by Alan Pardew's side but by the loss of Matt Jarvis, Yossi Benayoun and George McCartney to injury during the game. Substitutes Modibo Maiga, Gary O'Neil and Guy Demel performed to such a high level, however, that nobody would have known the difference.

The club's summer signings were also to the fore, with goalkeeper Jaaskelainen recording a Barclays Premier League-leading fifth clean sheet, Diame everywhere and Andy Carroll leading the line with typical power.

"We knew that we had a big enough squad. What both Chairmen did in bringing in new players and backing the gaffer was fantastic. They were trying from day one that we got back in pre-season to get the players in and I think it's showing.

"Hopefully, if we can steer clear of too many injuries, we're aiming to stick around that top ten and have a comfortable season and hopefully build on that.

"When I came up with Newcastle I spoke about getting them back to where they belong and it's the same with West Ham - getting into Europe and then back to the top end of the table. With the support and plans we've got, that's where we should be aiming for - the same success that Newcastle have achieved."

For Nolan, it was a memorable day for so many reasons. The midfielder had also skippered Newcastle to the Championship title in 2010 before helping the Magpies to re-establish themselves as a Barclays Premier League club.

The Toon Army showed their respect for Nolan's achievements in a black and white shirt by applauding him before, during and after the game.

"It was a bit emotional when I first walked in," said the West Ham captain. "I was a bit emotional because the reception they gave me was unbelievable. I had a fantastic time here [at St James' Park].

"I loved everything everything about this club when I was here and I still do. I have fond memories and many friends and family enjoyed it up here. My little boy is a Geordie.

"I thought it was a fantastic performance from us. I was delighted to get the goal and just delighted with how the day went. I would like to thank the Newcastle fans for the fantastic support they gave me while I was here and for the reception they gave me on Sunday.

"Obviously I could not have asked to have gone to a better club than West Ham for the following we have got and the commitment they have shown, so I'm delighted to be at another wonderful club. Hopefully I can do as well for them as I did up here."

Stoke City