Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
West Ham United ended a run of seven Barclays Premier League games without a win by defeating Cardiff City 2-0 on Saturday.
The Hammers had to fight through the final 18 minutes with ten men after James Tomkins was red carded, but they added to the lead given to them by Carlton Cole through Mark Noble at the death.
It was reward for a battling Hammers performance, as they put a nightmare week behind them in style to move out of the bottom three.
West Ham were within a whisker of taking a fourth minute lead when Stewart Downing's inswinging cross travelled all the way through the area and struck the far post with goalkeeper David Marshall helpless. James Tomkins got the ball under control on the rebound, but Marshall recovered to block from the Hammers man.
It was the visitors who were making the early running, but their momentum was checked by a nasty-looking injury to Guy Demel. The full back was accidently caught by an elbow from teammate Roger Johnson and had to depart the field on a stretcher after a lengthy spell of treatment.
On the game's resumption, Cardiff could not have gone any closer to opening the scoring than they did on 32 minutes when Kim Bo-Kyung made his way forward from midfield and unleashed a shot which deflected off Roger Johnson and flew up onto the crossbar. The ball bounced down on the line and Fraizer Campbell bundled Adrian over, but referee Lee Mason blew for a foul.
The hosts were beginning to look more threatening and Adrian did well to turn Craig Noone's low effort away on 40 minutes, before the Hammers broke and took the lead.
Carlton Cole was the man who fired into the net, getting in front of his man to reach Matt Jarvis' low cross and give Marshall no chance.
Matt Taylor shot inches wide almost immediately afterwards as West Ham looked to press home their advantage, and they saw out the ten minutes of stoppage time to reach the break ahead.
Cardiff brought former Hammer Craig Bellamy on from the bench at half time and he almost had an instant impact, delivering a free-kick for Mark Hudson to nod over.
Hudson was involved at the other end on 49 minutes, nicking Matt Taylor's cross away from Cole as the striker waited to pounce, but Cardiff's threat was growing as the half wore on.
On the hour Adrian had to show great reflexes to touch Campbell's goalbound effort over the top after Bellamy got in down the right to cross.
Peter Whittingham then had a shot which deflected into the Spanish stopper's hands before Bellamy curled a free-kick just wide.
With 72 minutes played Andy Carroll came off the bench to make his long-awaited first appearance of the season, but that boost quickly subsided as Tomkins was dismissed for a second booking in the very same minute.
That left the Hammers a man light as they sought to protect their lead and Cardiff predictably upped the pressure in the closing stages.
Debutant Magnus Eikrem shot straight down Adrian's throat, while Mark Noble charged down a dangerous Bellamy effort, but it was the Hammers who sealed it in stoppage time.
Carroll did superbly to hold the ball up by the right touchline and feed inside to Noble, who took a touch, steadied himself and drilled under Marshall's dive.
Cardiff City: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Hudson (Cornelius 78), John; Medel (Eikrem 68), Whittingham; Noone, Kim, Odemwingie (Bellamy 46); Campbell
Subs: Lewis, Turner, McNaughton, Gunnarsson
West Ham United: Adrian; Demel (McCartney 17), Johnson, Tomkins, Rat; Collison (Diarra 75), Noble, Taylor; Downing, C.Cole (Carroll 72), Jarvis
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Maiga, Diame, J.Cole
Goals: C.Cole 42, Noble 90
Booked: McCartney, Tomkins, Johnson, Diarra
Sent off: Tomkins
Referee: Lee Mason