Bolton v Hammers

Things went from bad to worse for West Ham United on Saturday evening, as they slumped to a dreadful 4-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers.

On a bitterly cold evening at the Reebok Stadium, Hammers were left with a severe case of the winter blues, as a double strike from Kevin Davies and one each from El Hadji Diouf and Nicolas Anelka condemned Alan Pardew's team to their heaviest defeat of the season so far.

The Hammers boss had made two changes following Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat against Wigan. George McCartney came into the centre of defence in place of Anton Ferdinand, who had failed to shake off an ankle injury, while Yossi Benayoun dropped to the bench as Christian Dailly was handed only his third Premiership start of the campaign, as Hammers reverted to a more solid 4-5-1 formation.

The plan appeared to be working early on, with the Scottish international adding protection in front of the back four to combat Bolton's direct and physical style. Aside from a Nicolas Anelka long-range effort that flew high and wide, Hammers were hardly troubled in the opening stages

Just as the confidence was beginning to grow, though, Bolton struck the opening goal from out of the blue. Anelka's chip to the far post was headed back across goal by Gary Speed and Diouf flicked the ball back for Davies to volley home from six yards out.

Ten minutes later, the Bolton striker should have doubled his tally, when Anelka's attempt dropped to him in a similar position, but Robert Green came to the rescue with a stunning point-blank save, and Collins was on hand to clear Diouf's follow-up effort.

That was the last real piece of action in a dull and disappointing first half, and things didn't improve after the interval, as Bolton doubled their lead within six minutes of the restart.

After Anelka's shot had been deflected wide for a corner, Speed's floated kick was nodded down by Campo into the six-yard box, where Davies was unmarked again and on hand to flick the ball past Green for his second of the evening.

Just moments later, Hammers created their first opening of the match, as Harewood cleverly rolled Faye in the penalty area but, faced with just Jaaskelainen to beat, the striker fired an angled effort wide of the far post as Etherington slid in to no avail.

Sadly, that was to be the nearest the visitors came to improving their tally of just 10 Premiership goals this season. Pardew sent on Sheringham and Pantsil in place of Tevez and Spector on the hour mark to try and inject some impetus into his team, but things only went from bad to worse.

With 14 minutes remaining, Bolton killed off any chances of a comeback, as Diouf cut in from the left and skipped past Collins before slipping the ball past Green from eight yards out.

Almost immediately, the hosts made it four - for the second season running in this fixture - as Davies threaded a pass through for Anelka, who took the ball in his stride and clipped it over Green to compound the misery.

And as the freezing rain poured down on the Reebok Stadium, there was no hint of a consolation to warm the hearts of the travelling Hammers fans, who were forced to watch painfully as Bolton threatened to add a fifth goal.

Anelka and Davies both went close again, while Campo hit the post in the final minute and, mercifully, the final whistle blew to put Hammers out of their misery before things got any worse.