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    West Ham 3-1 Watford: Mark Noble penalties help Hammers earn three points

    By Alex Easley
    Andy Carroll celebrates with Dimitri Payet after opening the scoring for West Ham against Watford.
    West Ham captain Mark Noble scored from the penalty spot twice as the Hammers defeated Watford 3-1 at Upton Park on Wednesday night.

    Striker Andy Carroll had given the home side the lead after just 11 minutes, and Noble added the second with the first of three penalties in the match (two for West Ham) after Cheikhou Kouyate was fouled by Jose Holebas.

    Almen Adbi pulled on the shirt of Michail Antonio to give Noble the chance to score again eight minutes after the break, which the midfielder duly obliged.

    Watford were handed a small lifeline when Sebastian Prodl slammed home a half-volley after 64 minutes, but substitute Troy Deeney’s late penalty was saved by Adrian before Nordin Amrabat was sent off for his second yellow card of the game.

    Despite the win, West Ham remain in sixth place in the Premier League table three points behind fifth and four points off fourth thanks to Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

    Watford made seven changes to the starting XI with their FA Cup semi-final on Sunday in mind, but it was England forward Carroll, one of three changes by Slaven Bilic, who opened the scoring.

    The striker slotted home Dimitri Payet’s cross for his sixth goal in six games, and must be hopeful of maybe making the Euro 2016 squad if he continues this form until the end of the season.
    Andy Carroll volleys the ball past Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
    The goal brought Watford to life in the game, but with Odion Ighalo left out of the squad and Deeney on the bench, they lacked a focal point up top which West Ham capitalised on just before the half-time whistle.

    Holebas was the villain for the visitors, climbing over the back of Kouyate, and referee Mike Dean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

    Noble still had plenty to do against Heurelho Gomes, who saved two Saido Berahino penalties on Saturday, but the midfielder sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

    It could have been even better for the home side in first-half stoppage time, but Manuel Lanzini miscued wide when it looked easier to score.

    Abdi spared his blushes shortly after the restart, turning Jose Manuel Jurado's cross over the bar and leaving manager Flores with his head in his hands on the sideline.

    The Hornets midfielder capped a nightmare few minutes when he then conceded the second penalty of the evening for a pull on Antonio, duly dispatched by a grateful Noble.

    But just 11 minutes later Watford threatened to make a game of it as Prodl expertly fired home Steven Berghuis' free-kick.

    The goal prompted Flores to introduce Ikechi Anya and Deeney, and the pair made a difference as Anya twice stretched the West Ham defence.

    The hosts had chances to wrap up the points too, as Victor Moses and Lanzini both squandered clear-cut opportunities, but an Angelo Ogbonna shirt-pull on Prodl gave Deeney the perfect chance from the spot to set up a frantic finish.

    The Hornets striker could not take the chance, though, as his poorly-struck spot-kick was kept out by Adrian.

    Things got worse for the visitors in the closing stages when Amrabat, booked for a late challenge on Kouyate midway through the second half, saw red for a similarly mistimed lunge on Winston Reid deep into stoppage time.
    Mark Noble scored a brace from the penalty spot in the 3-1 win over Watford on Wednesday night.
    TEAM LINE-UPS

    West Ham: Adrian, Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini, Payet, Sakho, Carroll

    Subs used: Moses, Emenike, Collins

    Watford: Gomes, Paredes, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas, Suarez, Behrami, Guedioura, Jurado, Abdi, Amrabat

    Sub used: Anya, Berghuis, Deeney

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Mark Noble
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    Item Reviewed: West Ham 3-1 Watford: Mark Noble penalties help Hammers earn three points Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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