Zamora stunner earns precious points

West Ham United earned a precious 1-0 win against Everton at Upton Park today. Bobby Zamora's first-half wonder goal was enough to separate the sides as the Hammers rose to within three points of safety.

Hammers started brightly as excellent build-up play ended with Lucas Neill flicking the ball down for Bobby Zamora to fire in a shot but the striker miscued his effort. Nigel Reo-Coker burst through to strike the ball at Tim Howard's goal but it flew wide of the target.

With five minutes gone Everton striker Andy Johnson was forced off the field through injury and replaced by James McFadden.

Hammers took the lead after 13 minutes with a wonder-strike from Zamora. Benayoun teed him up with a neat back-heel and the Hammers striker struck a fierce curler from 20 yards.

In the 16th minute Everton were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after the ball ricocheted off his head and onto his hand. But Mikel Arteta booted it straight at the wall and McFadden's follow-up travelled wide.

James Collins came to the Hammers rescue four minutes later with an outstanding challenge on James Beattie who was poised to shoot just outside the six-yard box.

Neill let fly with a long-range volley of his own after 26 minutes but it sailed just over the corner of the crossbar as the Hammers continued to apply the pressure.

Reo-Coker fired in an effort which rebounded off Joseph Yobo's head and over the bar. From the resulting corner George McCartney headed down towards goal but Alan Stubbs got a foot to it and cleared.

There was a heart-stopping moment for the Hammers, who had no reserve keeper on the bench, as ten minutes before half-time Rob Green ripped off his gloves and appeared to have injured his finger but the keeper quickly recovered.

Green was then called upon to make a diving save at Beattie's feet two minutes before the break. Zamora had a chance to score a second early in the second half as Reo-Coker played him in but his powerful shot travelled above the target.

But Everton began to look dangerous. Anton Ferdinand had to be on his toes to head Arteta's curling corner out of play. Two minutes later another corner fell to Leon Osman on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected and Neill was able to clear.

Hammers then made a quick break as Tevez played Benayoun through and the Israel midfielder passed wide to Matty Etherington, whose shot came back off Howard and Everton regained possession.
Moments later the ball bounced to Beattie inside the area, but he scooped his shot well wide of the near post. With half an hour left to play McCartney was booked for a foul on Arteta.

Everton conceded a free-kick on the right flank as Lee Carsley tripped Tevez. Etherington floated the ball onto the head of Collins but the defender couldn't power it past Howard.

With 16 minutes left Benayoun saw his low effort trickle wide after he was played in by a cut-back from Tevez. In the 81st minute Everton came dangerously close to finding an equaliser but Arteta blazed his shot over the bar from six yards out.

Luis Boa Morte carved out an opportunity for the Hammers but his low shot deflected off Stubbs and out for a corner. Tevez's corner found Benayoun but his header at the far post fell straight into the arms of Howard.

With five minutes left Boa Morte dribbled into the box again and cut back to Reo-Coker, whose shot was deflected wide. The fourth official added an agonising six minutes of injury time on to the end of the second half but Hammers worked hard to hang onto the one-goal lead.

West Ham United: Green; Neill, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney; Reo-Coker, Noble, Benayoun, Etherington (Boa Morte, 74); Tevez, Zamora (Cole, 70)
Subs not used: Mullins, Spector, Davenport

Eeverton: Howard; Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Lescott; Osman, Neville (Fernandez, 63), Carsley, Arteta; Beattie, Johnson (McFadden, 5).
Subs not used: Wright, Naysmith, De Silva