Quickfire Nolan double downs Villa

Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United moved out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three as two goals inside the opening 177 seconds of the second half sent them to victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

After notching twice in last week's victory over Swansea City, captain Kevin Nolan was at it again with another brace in double-quick time.

He notched his first just 18 seconds into the second period, then profited from a Fabian Delph error to make it two just a couple of minutes later.

A 12th clean sheet - the most in the top flight this season - meant Villa could not find a way back despite building up the pressure towards the end of the game.

Adrian was rarely called into action, although the woodwork did save the visitors twice en route to a precious three points.

Missing Andy Carroll after an Independent Tribunal upheld his three-match ban following the No9's dismissal against Swansea last week, Carlton Cole was given the nod up front by manager Sam Allardyce.

The blustery conditions did not make things easy for either side with neither able to build up a head of steam in the early exchanges.

With 14 minutes on the clock former Villa man Stewart Downing looked to silence the home boo-boys as he cut inside from the right and went for goal, but fired over the top.

Villa's first real opportunity arrived six minutes later when they broke from a Hammers corner and Andreas Weimann looked to feed Gabby Agbonlahor, but his touch was heavy and the ball run away for a goal kick.

The Hammers then produced a spell of pressure, with Matt Jarvis twice racing clear down the left, only to be denied by last ditch tackles from Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker.

Downing also wasted a great chance when Jarvis picked him out with a low ball across the box, but Ryan Bertrand applied enough pressure to ensure the winger could not make contact.

West Ham were looking the more likely scorers, but Ashley Westwood slammed a volley wide on 42 minutes after Leandro Bacuna's cross fell invitingly for him.

The scoresheet remained blank as the half-time whistle blew, but it would not stay that way for long as the Hammers made a whirlwind start to the second period.

Marco Borriello was introduced from the bench, and just 18 seconds after the restart the Hammers were celebrating the opening goal.

After establishing possession high up the pitch from kick-off, Downing laid square for Nolan, whose clever flick deflected off a defender and left Brad Guzan helpless.

It got even better for the away side just two minutes later when Delph was guilty of dwelling on possession for too long on the edge of the box, and Nolan pounced to rob him and slot past the exposed Guzan.

Villa responded by introducing Marc Albrighton from the bench on 56 minutes and he had an instant impact, clipping a ball into the box which only just evaded Benteke's run.

The wideman was a whisker away from reducing the arrears himself midway through the half when his thunderbolt from range thudded against the post and hit Adrian's back before flying wide.

Villa hit the woodwork for a second time five minutes later when Albrighton crossed for Benteke, whose looping header had Adrian scrambling across his goal and struck the top of the bar.

The home side were knocking at the door but were unable to break through a Hammers defence which by now included three centre halves with Winston Reid making an appearance from the bench,

Benteke tried his luck with an acrobatic overhead kick which whistled over the crossbar as time ticked down and the Hammers stood firm to record a vital three points and make it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since promotion in 2012.

Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton (Albrighton 56), Baker, Clark, Bertrand (Bennett 73); Bacuna, Westwood, Delph; Weimann (Holt 71), Benteke, Agbonlahor
Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Sylla

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Nolan (Nocerino 68), Noble, Taylor; Downing, C.Cole (Borriello 46), Jarvis (Reid 74)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Collison, Johnson

Goals: Nolan 46, Nolan 49

Booked: Collins, Taylor

Referee: Mike Dean

Attendance: 36,261 (3,030 away)