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Lennon completes comeback

Posted on 23 August 2009  - 12:00

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon won the day at Upton Park as the team came back from a goal behind to take maximum points against West Ham.

Lennon completes comeback

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon won the day at Upton Park as the team came back from a goal behind to take maximum points against West Ham.

A second away win of the season makes it nine points out of nine, but it was Carlton Cole who struck first early in the second half with a powerful drive that defeated Carlo Cudicini.

The response was swift, although the goalscorer for West Ham did play a big part in putting us level - not to take anything away from a thumping finish that makes it four goals in two games for Defoe.

Early pressure came in the form of two Luka Modric corners, one that was cleared fell to Benoit Assou-Ekotto who employed a spot of trickery before chipping back into the path of Modric. The Croatian drilled across goal and only a late block prevented the ball reaching the feet of the unmarked Robbie Keane.

Cudicini got bundled into his own net by the imposing Cole before the same player attempted to shrug off the attentions of Ledley King and Sebastien Bassong 16 minutes in with the end result being a shot over the crossbar.

Scott Parker then extended Cudicini from 20-plus yards after picking up a clearance from King. Modric then shot wide from a similar distance. Cole was the recipient of a big chance on 22 minutes when prodded through by Jonathan Spector, the England man not keeping his composure when confronted by Cudicini and his effort was on the tame side.

Tom Huddlestone brought out his shooting boots and warmed the palms of Robert Green moments later before Bassong spun in the area but dragged his shot a little and Green was not further tested.

What was clear was that the team in white shirts was warming to its task. Passing and movement was slowly becoming slicker and more inventive, with the imput of Modric becoming increasingly evident.

King's header hit the bar just before the half hour mark from a Modric free-kick, the central defender unable to repeat his feat of scoring here last season. Modric then flashed wide after being picked out by Keane to the left of the penalty area. The playmaker next worked Green low to his right after accepting another pass from Keane.

King saved an almost certain opener nine minutes before the break when Cole was refusing to be ushered away by the attentions of Vedran Corluka and managed to square into the path of Jack Collison, who was lining up his shot and probably planning his celebration at the same time. The young Wales international rifled, but did not bank of King throwing himself in the way and stopping the shot in its tracks.

The home side probably should have taken the lead just before half-time when Junior Stanislas got the better of Corluka down the West Ham left and fizzed across the face of goal, with the sliding Cole not too far away from applying the finishing touch.

In a bright start to the second half Parker dashed down the right on the break and centred in the direction of the waiting Stanislas in front of goal - King again provided a perfectly timed interception.

Four minutes into the half the home side were leading, Cole spinning 20 yards out and dispatching a thumping shot past Cudicini.

On 53 minutes it was honours even. Cole for some reason passed back towards his own area, not to mention perfectly into the feet of Defoe, who stepped forward and smacked the ball past Green before sprinting off to celebrate with the Spurs thousands.

Huddlestone picked out the run of Lennon and Green had to fend away his cross before a further centre was nodded just wide by Modric.

West Ham could have regained the lead in the 69th minute when a Mark Noble corner was headed towards the bottom corner of the goal by Luis Jimenez - Cudicini doing well to divert around the post. Cole then shot just wide when on his own in the area with three defenders for company.

A goal for either side was beginning to look increasingly unlikely as gambles were not being taken by the home team, who regularly kept nine men behind the ball and left it to Cole to cause offensive problems with occasional help from his midfield.

It was difficult to break on such a set-up, but patience paid off.

The lead was secured in style on 78 minutes when Corluka sent Lennon speeding down the right, the winger cutting in and shrugging off Spector before arrowing the ball past Green and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Green made a superb low save to deny Defoe with six minutes remaining - substitute Peter Crouch was just beaten to the rebound by the goalkeeper.

Jamie O'Hara was introduced for Modric late on, with Harry no doubt hoping for a repeat of last season's sealer here at Upton Park, but it was Collison who had the next chance, stealing in behind and poking a shot that Cudicini was able to field.

Defoe was substituted late on, giving Kyle Naughton the opportunity of a short run-out, while referee Mr Clattenburg was soon putting his whistle to his lips for the final time of the afternoon.

West Ham: Green; Faubert, Upson, Collins, Spector; Jimenez (Kovac, 78), Collison (Nouble, 89), Noble, Parker (Hines, 84), Stanislas; Cole. Unused subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Payne.

Spurs: Cudicini; Corluka, Bassong, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric (O'Hara, 88); Keane (Crouch, 80), Defoe (Naughton, 94). Unused subs: Button, Hutton, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko.