Baldock out as West Ham win again

By Simon Hayes on November 28, 2011 12:37 PM |

westham.jpgOne in and one out for West Ham as their injury jinx continued.

No sooner had winger Matt Taylor returned to the Hammers' squad for Saturday's 3-1 win over Derby than striker Sam Baldock limped off the Upton Park pitch with a hamstring injury.

Derby took the lead through debutant Tamas Priskin's first-half goal but the Hammers came back strongly. Carlton Cole, restored to the starting eleven, equalised with a superb header from a Joey O'Brien cross. Kevin Nolan added a second with a fine 25-yard volley, while Mark Noble made the game safe with a penalty.

Manager Sam Allardyce said: "We have become the second-half team. At the start of the season we were the first-half team, scoring within 15 minutes of nearly every game.

"It was tough going in the first half. It was probably down to the system we played, the 4-4-2. We weren't controlling midfield enough and we weren't really at the races compared to our normal form.

"The second half performance was more like we know we can be. We saw the best of our players, better movement, better options and more fluent football.

"It is always difficult to recover when you go down one nil. We have done that twice on the trot now, not that I want to carry on like that mind. It was a great win in the end, a great second-half performance and off we go to Middlesbrough on Tuesday."

The win means the Irons are just two points behind Championship leaders Southampton.