Hammers v Brighton

West Ham United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup and lifted the gloom over Upton Park with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.

Following the woeful 6-0 defeat at Reading on New Year's Day, a new-look Hammers side got back to winning ways thanks to second half strikes from Mark Noble, Carlton Cole and Hayden Mullins, to give Alan Curbishley a morale-boosting victory ahead of a return to Premiership action against Fulham next week.

The Hammers boss had made no fewer than six changes for the visit of his former club Brighton, who came here on the back of three successive League One defeats.

With Lee Bowyer ruled out for six weeks with a shoulder injury, Yossi Benayoun switched back to the right side of midfield, allowing Curbs to hand a debut to new signing Luis Boa Morte on the left, following his move from Fulham yesterday.

Elsewhere, Roy Carroll was given a recall in place of Robert Green, while George McCartney came in for Paul Konchesky at left-back, and Noble made his first appearance of the season as Nigel Reo-Coker made way.

Up front, Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez made his first start under the new manager, partnering Cole, as Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora were left out.

In a fairly quiet and uneventful first half, neither side offered much in the way of an attacking threat, as the new-look Hammers took time to adjust and Brighton struggled to offer support to lone striker Jake Robinson.

Carlos Tevez almost found a breakthrough early on, skipping past two defenders before firing in a shot that was blocked, while Boa Morte was denied what seemed to be a decent shout for a penalty when he was clipped by O'Ceaurill.

Hammers were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time, when Anton Ferdinand pulled up holding the top of his thigh and was forced to limp off. Jonathan Spector stepped off the bench to fill in at right-back as Christian Dailly switched to the centre and, as the two sides walked off at the interval, there was a slight sense of unease among the 32,874 crowd.

Whatever Curbs said at half-time certainly did the trick, though, as the hosts took the lead just four minutes after the restart. A deep cross from Boa Morte on the left was flicked on by a defender to Tevez, who nodded the ball down for Noble to superbly fire a controlled volley into the bottom corner of the net in front of the Bobby Moore stand.

The lifelong Hammers fan unsurprisingly celebrated his first senior goal in a a claret and blue shirt in ecstatic fashion and, just eight minutes later, Noble and his team-mates were celebrating again, as the vital second goal arrived.

Again, Boa Morte was the provider, collecting a Tevez cross at the far post before delivering an inch-perfect centre for Cole to emphatically volley home left-footed from eight yards out - his first goal since the opening day of the season.

The two-goal deficit seemed to knock the stuffing out of Brighton, whose young attackers fought gallantly on but didn't ever look like getting back into the game. The final half hour saw Hammers take full control, with the excellent Tevez running the show.

His impressive array of tricks and flicks were backed up by a steely determination to work hard for his team and defend from the front, and the Argentinean World Cup star almost made it 3-0 in the 67th minute when he jinked in from the right and saw a fierce low shot parried by the Brighton goalkeeper Wayne Henderson.

As the game drew to a close, Curbs introduced Zamora and Shaun Newton in place of Cole and Boa Morte - who both left the field to standing ovations - and it was Newton who helped put the seal on the victory in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes - whipping in a cross from the right that Mullins headed past Henderson for his third goal of the season.