Nolan notches as Hammers win

Kevin Nolan got West Ham's Championship promotion bid back on track with the winner as the Hammers beat Coventry 1-0 at Upton Park on Monday.

Last Updated: 02/01/12 at 17:10

Nolan: Heads the winner for West Ham

Nolan: Heads the winner for West Ham

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The £4million midfielder, who was suspended for the defeat at Derby on Saturday, struck midway through the second half as the Hammers moved level on points with Championship leaders Southampton.

Sam Allardyce's side had been frustrated by in-form Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy for 65 minutes, but he was finally beaten when skipper Nolan headed his seventh goal of the season.

It was only the Hammers' second win in six attempts but they are now only being kept off top spot on goal difference by Saints, who have been wobbling themselves of late.

The Sky Blues had their chances, though, but top scorer Lukas Jutkiewicz could not add to his tally of nine goals.

The visitors created the first opportunity when Gary McSheffrey raided down the right and crossed towards Chris Hussey, whose first-time shot flew narrowly wide.

West Ham were denied by Murphy twice in quick succession, saving from Nolan with his feet and from the ensuing corner keeping out Jack Collison's snap-shot.

The hosts were dominating possession but City were dangerous on the break and Jutkiewicz should have done better with a free header from Gary Deegan's cross which he nodded wide.

At the other end Julien Faubert's volley flew wide and Papa Bouba Diop's header was deflected clear before the interval.

Early in the second half Jutkiewicz squandered another good chance after Faubert made a hash of his clearance.

Jutkiewicz had more time than he realised in the penalty area and headed the ball meekly over the top when he could have allowed the ball to drop and taken a shot.

But the City goal was at times leading a charmed life with James Tomkins heading Mark Noble's corner wide and Sam Baldock also off target from Carlton Cole's cross.

Murphy then produced two stunning saves to deny the Hammers, first pushing Baldock's shot onto the underside of the crossbar and then palming away a powerful header from Collison.

The loose ball fell to Tomkins but the defender skewed his shot into the ground and it bounced over the top.

But the breakthrough eventually came when Tomkins beat Hussey in the air to head George McCartney's cross back across goal where Nolan was on hand to nod it past Murphy and into the net.

It should have been two minutes before the end after Richard Wood under-hit a backpass but Murphy saved well from Frank Nouble and Noble put the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

And Hammers hearts were in their mouths when Carl Baker's shot was deflected onto the crossbar as the hosts survived a nervy ending.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to make permanent move to AC Milan ahead of Atletico Madrid return

Fernando Torres will join Milan permanently on January 5 ahead of his expected return to Atletico Madrid.

Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Rooney Enjoying 'Scholes' Role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is revelling in his position as an attacking central midfielder, after he scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property