Andy Carroll notched a brace as West Ham United moved back towards the top half of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Carroll's double showcased the range of his abilities - the first a towering header, the second a stunning volley - as West Ham found the ruthless touch manager Sam Allardyce called for pre-match.

The big Geordie's goals sandwiched a fine strike from Gary O'Neil, meaning Graham Dorrans' late penalty for West Brom counted for little.

Youssouf Mulumbu was dismissed late on after taking the bizarre decision to pick up the ball and smash it at Gary O'Neil, as the Baggies left east London well beaten.

The Hammers had an early scare when Gareth McAuley forced Chris Brunt's seventh minute corner over the line, but the visitors' centre back had clearly pushed Jussi Jaaskelainen in his efforts to reach the ball and referee Andre Marriner chalked his effort off.

Jaaskelainen then had to make a fine save, readjusting his balance in the blink of an eye to react to a deflection of Romelu Lukaku's free kick from its original path and touch the ball onto the post.

West Ham were also looking lively in an open start and it was Allardyce's men who were celebrating the opening goal with 16 minutes on the clock.

Carroll was the goalscorer, leaping imperiously above Jonas Olsson to meet Gary O'Neil's inswinging left-wing corner with a thumping header beyond Ben Foster.

The Hammers went close to doubling their advantage twice within the next five minutes, Mohamed Diame sending in a 20-yard drive that whistled inches over the top, then Matt Jarvis volleyed too high from close in after Carroll flicked James Collins' deep free kick on.

The home crowd did not have to wait long for a second West Ham goal though, with O'Neil notching his first in more than a year 17 minutes before the interval.

It was worth the wait too, as the midfielder swept a 20-yard shot above Ben Foster and into the left hand corner of the net after his team broke swiftly from a Baggies free kick for Ricardo Vaz Te to lay across for O'Neil.

Jaaskelainen had to deal with a low drive from Dorrans before the break, but the Hammers were looking in the mood and were well worthy of their half time advantage.

West Brom were an improved force in the second half, with West Ham finding it harder to attack their visitors with such fluency.

Three minutes after the restart Lukaku ran across the face of the Hammers' backline before unleashing a strong shot from the edge of the box which only just cleared the crossbar.

Right back Billy Jones had to be denied by Jaaskelainen after making a piercing run towards goal, then James Collins flew out to meet Peter Odemwingie and make a super block after the Albion sub made his way past Joey O'Brien.

But West Ham took stock and killed the game off ten minutes from time and again it was a goal of real quality.

Carroll showed impeccable technique to watch Collins' lofted free kick drop over his shoulder and then guide a wonderfully controlled volley past Foster's dive.

West Brom pulled one back two minutes from the end when they were awarded a spot kick for a nudge on Lukaku by Matt Taylor and Dorrans blasted the penalty home,

The Baggies' spirits were not to be lifted though, and their miserable afternoon was compounded in the dying seconds when Mulumbu saw red in extraordinary circumstances, picking the ball up as it was in play and blasting it at O'Neil from close range.

Referee Marriner had no hesitation in brandishing a red card and the Hammers saw out the remaining time to register their tenth league win of the campaign.

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel (McCartney 79), Collins, Reid, O'Brien; Nolan (Taylor 69), O'Neil, Diame (Collison 82); Vaz Te, Carroll, Jarvis
Subs: Henderson (GK), Tomkins, C.Cole, Chamakh

Goals: Carroll 16, O'Neil 28, Carroll 80

Booked: Reid

West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Dorrans (Fortune 88), Mulumbu, Yacob (Odemwingie 71), Brunt; Lukaku, Long (Rosenberg 71)
Subs: Myhill (GK), Popov, Thomas, Tamas

Goal: Dorrans pen 88

Booked: Long

Sent off: Mulumbu

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 34,966

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