MATCH REPORTS

Michael Nails Hammers!

Michael Owen scoring at West Ham

WEST HAM UNITED 2
NEWCASTLE UNITED 4
Barclays Premiership
Upton Park
Saturday, December 17, 2005
3.30pm kick-off

Gary Oliver reports

FULL-TIME REPORT

MICHAEL Owen's first hat-trick as a Newcastle United player was the highlight of a thrilling 4-2 win for the Magpies over West Ham at Upton Park in a pre-Christmas cracker of a game.

Geordie fans have seen the England ace plunder trebles against them in the past as a Liverpool player - but this time they were singing his name as the Toon's record signing left London's East End with the match ball in his possession.

Owen opened the scoring in the fifth minute, and although the Hammers drew level a quarter of an hour later through Nolberto Solano's unfortunate own goal, the former Real Madrid hitman had Graeme Souness' men back in front two minutes before the break with a glancing header from a Solano free-kick.

The number ten then turned provider in the 66th minute to play in Alan Shearer for his 199th Newcastle goal - just one short of Jackie Milburn's all-time club record - but Shola Ameobi's needless handball seven minutes later allowed Marlon Harewood to cut the arrears from the penalty spot.

The Hammers pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages, but left themselves vulnerable to a counter-attack, and deep into stoppage time Amady Faye teed up Owen for a simple third as he made it an impressive seven goals in eight games for the Magpies.

SECOND-HALF ACTION UPDATES

The full-time whistle is blown and the Magpies take the acclaim of their delighted travelling fans, with Michael Owen's name chanted loudly in the visiting enclosure.

90min+3 - NEWCASTLE GOAL: Who else but Michael Owen to claim his hat-trick and settle this thrilling game. With West Ham committed to piling forward in search of an equaliser they are caught on the break with too many players stranded upfield. Amady Faye pops up on the right for the Magpies and with the home defence absent and Roy Carroll desperately exposed, the ball is rolled to Owen to simply roll it into the  net for his first treble in a black and white shirt. Matthew Etherington is booked before the game restarts.

90min+2 - West Ham are pushing hard for a last-gasp equaliser. They win a corner when Robbie Elliott turns a Marlon Harewood cross behind but Newcastle hold firm in defence.

90min - Four additional minutes are to be played. Matthew Etherington crosses from the left but James Collins heads over at the back post for West Ham.

88min - More great hold-up play by Alan Shearer, this time down by the far corner flag, before the ball breaks to Peter Ramage, who wins a corner that is dealt with by West Ham.

85min - Michael Owen is denied a hat-trick by a superb reaction save by Roy Carroll. Alan Shearer's great hold-up play is followed by Scott Parker sending Lee Bowyer away down the right. His cross from the byline is met by the head of Owen eight yards out, but somehow Carroll gets down to his right and keeps the ball out.

82min - Lee Bowyer has his legs taken away by Jeremie Aliadiere on the edge of the box for a free-kick. The first cross from Bowyer is no threat to West Ham, and when Shola Ameobi retrieves the ball and centres from the left, Michael Owen's header lacks any real power and Roy Carroll collects it easily under his crossbar.

79min - Newcastle boss Graeme Souness makes his first change of the afternoon, withdrawing Nolberto Solano and sending on Lee Bowyer.

78min - David Bellion gets free down the right and drills in a low cross that Bobby Zamora, under pressure from the Newcastle defence, stabs wide.

77min - West Ham make a second change, replacing Tomas Repka with Jeremie Aliadiere.

74min - Anton Ferdinand becomes the latest player to have his name taken by Phil Dowd, this time for a foul on Alan Shearer.

73min - WEST HAM GOAL: A costly two-minute spell for Newcastle. Firstly, Scott Parker is booked for a foul on Hayden Mullins that sees his pick up a fifth yellow card of the campaign and an automatic one-game ban. Paul Konchesky hoists the free-kick into the Geordies box, where Shola Ameobi handles needlessly in an aerial duel with James Collins to concede a penalty that is tucked away by Marlon Harewood to bring his side back into the game.

66min - NEWCASTLE GOAL: A fantastic move by the Magpies finished off by Alan Shearer scoring his 199th goal for the club. Nolberto Solano picks out Michael Owen 30 yards out and he waits before slipping a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of his skipper who rifles the ball under Roy Carroll and makes it 3-1 to the Geordies. Shearer is now just one goal away from equalling Jackie Milburn's club record - as he and the rest of Upton Park are loudly reminded by a noisy away support.

62min - Hammers boss Alan Pardew makes his first change of the afternoon and the dangerous Yossi Benayoun makes way for David Bellion.

60min - It is all West Ham at this point and a right-wing cross into the United area is controlled by Tomas Repka at the far post before dropping to Marlon Harewood, who sees a low drive deflected into the side netting by Robbie Elliott for a corner that Alan Shearer clears for Newcastle.

56min - The Magpies are really under the cosh and cannot get out of their own half. The Hammers come close to making it 2-2 once again as Marlon Harewood cracks in a low cross from the right that James Collins turns goalwards, only for skipper Alan Shearer - back helping his colleagues - to block three yards from his own line.

55min  - West Ham come desperately close to levelling twice in the space of seconds. Firstly, Marlon Harewood beats Robbie Elliott and Jean Alain Boumsong to a long ball, but his shot is blocked by the legs of Shay Given. The ball is only half cleared and when it drops to Tomas Repka 25 yards out, his low drive beats Given, but bounces to safety off the base of his right-hand post.

51min - Shola Ameobi is booked for a trip on Yossi Benayoun just outside the Newcastle penalty area in a central position. When the kick is finally taken, Benayoun cannot lift his effort over the wall and Jean Alain Boumsong finally completes the clearance.

49min - West Ham make forward advances through Carl Fletcher and then Marlon Harewood, but though his right-wing cross gets past Titus Bramble, Peter Ramage is on hand to clear the threat.

46min - Paul Konchesky fouls Shola Ameobi to give away a free-kick midway inside the West Ham half. Nolberto Solano plays it into the feet of Alan Shearer, but his pull-back falls just too wide of Amady Faye. 

Newcastle get the second half underway. Neither side has made a change at the interval.

FIRST-HALF ACTION UPDATES

Half-time comes with the Magpies leading 2-1 thanks to two goals from Michael Owen, whose tally for Newcastle now stands at six.

43min - NEWCASTLE GOAL: West Ham midfielder Carl Fletcher concedes a free-kick on the edge of his box for a foul on Shola Ameobi. Nolberto Solano crosses to the left to take the kick, and his delivery is perfect in picking out Michael Owen who glances a header past a static Roy Carroll for his second goal of the game. The home keeper was clearly not happy with something in the build-up to the goal and he races to the halfway line to confront referee Phil Dowd - earning himself a yellow card before play can restart.

41min - A decent move by Newcastle sees Peter Ramage clip the ball up to Alan Shearer on the edge of the home penalty area, and his nod down is met by the onrushing Scott Parker, only for his low strike to fizz wide of goal.

39min - Scott Parker covers ground tremendously to tackle Matthew Etherington and prevent a West Ham counter-attack, but to this disbelief he is penalised by referee Phil Dowd. Paul Konchesky swings over a free-kick from the left to the back post where James Collins rises above Jean Alain Boumsong and nods the ball back to Anton Ferdinand, but his header from 10 yards loops straight to Shay Given.

35min - Scott Parker and Nolberto Solano combine on the edge of the area, but when the Peruvian heads goalwards for Michael Owen, Anton Ferdinand is there to clear for the home side. The ball only goes as far as Peter Ramage, but he cannot produce a quality cross despite having two attempts to do so.

32min - Yossi Benayoun is sparkling for West Ham in an attacking midfield role, and when the Israeli eases away from Titus Bramble with a clever turn 25 yards from goal, the Newcastle centre-back concedes a free-kick and a booking for a clumsy foul. The free-kick comes to nothing as Paul Konchesky fires into the Magpies' defensive wall.

30min - More Hammers pressure sees Shay Given come from his line to punch clear from Bobby Zamora before Marlon Harewood and Carl Fletcher are unable to capitalise on shooting opportunities.

28min - The home side are now starting to turn the screw and Marlon Harewood drives forward after tracking back to dispossess Shola Ameobi to launch another attack. Play switches to the left where Matthew Etherington cuts in from the touchline and plays a ball down the inside channel to Bobby Zamora, but his shot is kept out by the outstretched leg of Shay Given at his near post.

24min - Hammers fans believe they have been denied a penalty as Yossi Benayoun weaves his way into the Newcastle box and goes down under the challenge of Jean Alain Boumsong, but referee Phil Dowd is unimpressed by the appeals of the home crowd and waves play on.

20min - WEST HAM GOAL: Yossi Benayoun plays the ball to Marlon Harewood, who drives in a low centre from the Hammers' right. Titus Bramble and Nolberto Solano both try to clear, but unfortunately the ball cannons off the Peruvian midfielder and into his own net to bring the scores level.

19min - Good work by Scott Parker, Alan Shearer and then Shola Ameobi sees Newcastle work the ball into the Hammers box down the inside left channel, but Anton Ferdinand is across to cut out the danger and halt the forward run of Amady Faye as he tries to reach the byline.

15min - Alan Shearer flicks another downfield punt from Shay Given into the path of Michael Owen, and immediately gets it back from his strike partner before unleashing a 25-yard snapshot that travels wide of the home goal.

12min - Alan Shearer comes wide to the left touchline and feeds Shola Ameobi midway inside the West Ham half. He tries a low shot from 35 yards that lacks real power and is comfortably dealt with by Roy Carroll.

9min - West Ham try to respond when Yossi Benayoun picks out Marlon Harewood in the inside right position, but his low cross into the Newcastle box is hammered clear by Titus Bramble.

5min - NEWCASTLE GOAL: The visitors are immediately on the attack from Shay Given's downfield punt, and when Alan Shearer plays the ball to his left into the feet of Michael Owen, the record signing shows just why he's one of the most feared predators around as he finds the target with a shot that goes in off Hammers keeper Roy Carroll. It is the England ace's fifth goal in only eight games in a black and white shirt.

4min - Robbie Elliott is involved again, but this time his touch is a good one, clearing the danger after Matthew Etherington hooks a cross into the Magpies' penalty area. West Ham mount another attack from the left, and Paul Konchesky's cross is only cleared as far as Carl Fletcher lurking 20 yards out, but his low drive is stopped by Shay Given. 

2min - Newcastle win the first free-kick of the afternoon midway inside the West Ham half. Nolberto Solano plays it out to Robbie Elliott, but with his colleagues getting ready for a cross, the left-back slices the ball horribly behind for a goal kick, much to the amusement of the home fans. 

West Ham get the game underway attacking the end where the visiting Newcastle supporters are housed.

TEAM NEWS

NEWCASTLE United were unchanged from the side that beat Arsenal seven days earlier for the trip to West Ham.

But there was a spot on the bench for Reserve team skipper Kris Gate, who provided defensive cover for a Magpies side still missing the likes of Stephen Carr, Celestine Babayaro, Steven Taylor, Emre, Charles N'Zogbia, Kieron Dyer and Craig Moore. Titus Bramble, however, was making his 100th start for the club.

West Ham went into the game lying seventh in the Premiership, having won 2-1 at Everton in midweek. They included former Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on the bench.

The kick off in London's East End was delayed until 3.30pm, the result of a serious road traffic accident on the A13 close to Upton Park.

TEAMS

West Ham Utd: Roy Carroll, Tomas Repka (Jeremie Aliadiere 77m), Anton Ferdinand, James Collins, Paul Konchesky, Matthew Etherington, Yossi Benayoun (David Bellion 62m), Carl Fletcher, Hayden Mullins, Marlon Harewood, Bobby Zamora.
Subs: Shaka Hislop, Christian Dailly, Shaun Newton.

Newcastle Utd: Shay Given, Peter Ramage, Jean Alain Boumsong, Titus Bramble, Robbie Elliott, Nobby Solano (Lee Bowyer 79m), Amady Faye, Scott Parker, Shola Ameobi, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen.  Subs: Steve Harper, Albert Luque, Michael Chopra, Kris Gate.

Referee: Phil Dowd.
Attendance: 34,836. 

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