West Ham 3 Crystal Palace 0

Neil Mellor finally earned his reward against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night when he scored his first West Ham goals, to help demolish the visitors.

Neil, on loan from Liverpool for the season, found himself one on one against Palace keeper Cedric Berthelin early in the game and, not for the first time in such a situation, ended holding his head in frustration as his shot was smothered.

Indeed, he found himself in similar situation later in the first half, when Jermain Defoe, who had opened the scoring, set him up for another one on one. To his credit, however, he did not let his head drop and thirty seconds later latched on to Matthew Etherington's deep cross to head home and make it two nil.

Neil promised only this week that the goals would come and the relief on his face was palpable, as he celebrated the goal with team mates.

He doubled his tally for the season in the second half with a simple tap in from Wayne Quinn's cross, but was taken off later on when Trevor Brooking, mindful of the hard work he had put in tracking back from a three man forward line, decided to replace him with Niclas Alexandersson with a view to saving his legs for the trip to Derby County on Saturday.

The Hammers defence was never seriously troubled, with David James having only a handful of saves to make. He showed good concentration, and was alert, despite having long period of inactivity.

Trevor Brooking said before the game that a goal tally of just three in four home league games was not good enough - but was delighted that Mellor and co striker Jermain Defoe managed to go some way towards putting that right in advance the handover to Alan Pardew later in the month.

In the end West Ham could have scored more, but will be happy that they are now in fourth place in the table, well within reach of the leaders.

FULL TIME : West Ham United 3 - 0 Crystal Palace