Aston Villa 1 West Ham United 2

Last updated : 14 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer

Marlon Harewood loves playing against Aston Villa as he demonstrated with his matchwinning performance to give West Ham their first Premiership win in six games.

Harewood's 59th minute penalty was his tenth goal of the season and also paved the way for West Ham completing the double over Villa.

Just as important it was West Ham's first win in 12 Premiership games at Villa Park. Villa, meanwhile, have only themselves to blame for letting the Hammers off the hook.

Out of favour Lee Hendrie, who has only made three starts this season, gave them a first-half lead after going on as a substitute for Eirik Bakke.

Villa failed miserably to capitalise upon this lead despite seemingly being well in control against an equally determined Hammers.

The writing was on the wall at the end of the first half when West Ham picked up the pace to apply considerable pressure.

Villa, seeking their 200th Premiership win, were outgunned and destroyed in a ten-minute spell early in the second half.

Bobby Zamora headed home a 51st minute equaliser and then Harewood calmly stepped up to convert his 59th minute penalty after Mark Delaney had handled.

Villa had been seeking their third successive home win over the Hammers, but they went off the boil whereas West Ham stepped up another level to clinch the points.

Unpredictable Villa slipped back into their old problems with lapses of concentration to allow West Ham back into the game in the second half.

Villa, beaten only once in the league since the beginning of December were generally well on top in the first half but lost their way after the break.

Unlike in the previous encounter when West Ham won 4-0 at Upton Park the Midlands club were obviously determined not to allow the Londoners to produce a conclusive repeat result.

Skipper Olof Mellberg, in particular, kept Harewood under close watch to prevent the Hammers striker from repeating his devastating display at Upton Park when he scored a magical hat-trick.

West Ham were certainly a threat as they persistently build up some promising attacks in which Shaun Newton figured prominently.

The Hammers very nearly made a dream start when Tomas Repka saw his right-wing centre go across the face of Villa's goal only for Matt Etherington to misdirect his shot into the arms of goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen lying on the ground.

Villa, however, lost Bakke with a leg injury to allow the introduction of Hendrie, who has only started three games this season.

Hendrie obviously had a point to prove as he has become disillusioned not being a regular member of the side.

Likewise, Jlloyd Samuel has been out of favour in recent months and only appeared as third-choice left-back.

But Villa had every reason to be indebted to both Samuel and Hendrie as they conspired to put David O'Leary's side ahead in the 27th minute.

Samuel took a short free-kick to Mellberg and over-lapped down the left to pick up a pass from James Milner and then cross into the middle where Hendrie headed home his first goal of the season.

Far from being discouraged by this set-back West Ham hit back to fully test Villa and could count themselves unfortunate not to equalise before the break.

But they made amends six minutes into the second half when Zamora headed home Paul Konchesky's 51st minute free-kick for his eighth goal of the season.

West Ham then capitalised upon the situation as they pushed forward looking for a second goal. In another attack the ball dropped in front of Hayden Mullins, who saw his shot handled by Delaney.

Harewood, who had previously failed to get a shot on target after being kept subdued by Mellberg, converted the spot-kick for his tenth goal of the season.

Villa strived to make amends but the Hammers held firm with Anton Ferdinand and Mullins the keys to their success.