West Ham maintained their automatic promotion hopes with an emphatic win at struggling Barnsley.

Barnsley failed to deal with a corner and Kevin Nolan tapped in the opener, before Nicky Maynard added a second with a guided 22-yard shot.

Mark Noble then chipped in after an error by Barnsley keeper David Button.

Ricardo Vaz Te pounced for a fourth after Button had parried a George McCartney shot into his path, before a Maynard shot struck the woodwork.

West Ham had seen rivals Reading move to the top of the Championship by beating Leeds in the early kick-off and, knowing they needed victory to stay in touch at the top, the Hammers overwhelmed Barnsley.

West Ham's remaining games

  • Birmingham (h)
  • Brighton (h)
  • Bristol City (a)
  • Leicester (a)
  • Hull (h)

The victory moved the Upton Park side three points behind second-placed Southampton, who have a game in hand. And the Hammers set a club record of 12 away league wins in a single season.

Barnsley suffered a sixth defeat in their last seven league outings and were left looking over their shoulder in the hope they are not dragged into the relegation mire, especially with four of their five remaining games against play-off chasing teams.

The Tykes appear safe as they are nine points above the drop zone, but their form has plummeted and West Ham's victory was hardly in doubt after Nolan's sixth-minute goal.

A West Ham corner ricocheted off Craig Davies and left an unmarked Nolan to apply a simple finish from point-blank range.

Barnsley midfielder Stephen Dawson survived being red-carded for a two-footed tackle on James Tomkins before Maynard's lovely finish extended the away side's lead.

West Ham's pressure and persistence was the springboard of their victory and, after Maynard's closing down of Button forced the keeper into a poor clearance, Noble took advantage by chipping in.

Barnsley failed to produce any sign of a comeback, while West Ham were revelling in the space and time on the ball they were being afforded.

Left-back McCartney even got in on the attacking action and despite having his curling shot saved by Button, the keeper could only palm the ball to ex-Barnsley forward Vaz Te, who sidefooted home.

Maynard shuddered the crossbar with a long-range strike before the referee's whistle ended Barnsley's misery.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Barnsley

  • 25 Button
  • 06 Foster
  • 14 Wiseman
  • 15 McNulty Booked
  • 20 Golbourne (Collins - 61' )
  • 07 Dawson Booked
  • 16 Smith (Perkins - 64' )
  • 17 Cotterill
  • 09 Davies (O'Brien - 64' )
  • 18 Higginbotham
  • 27 Gray

Substitutes

  • 30 Lidakevicius
  • 23 Collins
  • 08 O'Brien
  • 11 Perkins
  • 28 Tonge

West Ham

  • 01 Green
  • 02 Reid
  • 03 McCartney
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 20 Demel (Collins - 59' )
  • 04 Nolan Booked
  • 14 Taylor
  • 16 Noble (Diop - 80' )
  • 32 O'Neil (Lansbury - 70' )
  • 08 Maynard
  • 12 Vaz Te

Substitutes

  • 25 Collins
  • 21 Diop
  • 22 Lansbury
  • 07 Baldock
  • 09 Cole
Ref: Bates
Att: 11,151

Match Stats

Shots

5 18

On target

2 9

Corners

8 4

Fouls

6 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:19 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +0:18

Ricardo Vaz Te has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

88:04

George McCartney delivers the ball.

87:07

Short corner worked by Jim O'Brien.

86:49

Jim O'Brien takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

85:53

Scott Wiseman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Taylor. Danny Collins takes the direct free kick.

83:28

Jim O'Brien delivers a pass corner to short, Matthew Taylor makes a clearance.

82:49

Free kick awarded for a foul by Henri Lansbury on David Perkins. David Button restarts play with the free kick.

80:43

Papa Bouba Diop challenges Andy Gray unfairly and gives away a free kick. Centre by David Cotterill, Headed effort from inside the box by Kallum Higginbotham misses to the right of the target.

79:36

Indirect free kick taken by David Button.

79:36 Substitution

Substitution Papa Bouba Diop comes on in place of Mark Noble.

79:36

Nicky Maynard is caught offside.

77:19

Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. David Button makes a save.

76:09

James Tomkins produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

75:48

Mark Noble sends in a cross.

74:23

Henri Lansbury takes a shot. David Button makes a save.

73:29

Corner taken right-footed by Jim O'Brien, save by Robert Green.

72:49

Free kick awarded for a foul by Henri Lansbury on David Perkins. Free kick taken by Stephen Foster.

71:56

The ball is sent over by Danny Collins.

71:42

Short corner taken by Mark Noble.

71:32

A cross is delivered by Danny Collins, clearance made by Jimmy McNulty.

69:17 Substitution

Substitution Henri Lansbury replaces Gary O'Neil.

68:30

The assistant referee flags for offside against Danny Collins. Scott Wiseman takes the indirect free kick.

67:13

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jim O'Brien.

66:16

Free kick crossed by Jim O'Brien, clearance by George McCartney.

66:16 Booking

Booking Booking for Kevin Nolan for unsporting behaviour.

65:58

Unfair challenge on Stephen Dawson by Kevin Nolan results in a free kick.

65:04

Nicky Maynard has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

63:45 Substitution

Substitution Jim O'Brien comes on in place of Craig Davies.

63:45 Substitution

Substitution Korey Smith leaves the field to be replaced by David Perkins.

61:51

Ricardo Vaz Te decides to take the corner short.

61:28

Lee Collins takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

60:24 Substitution

Substitution Lee Collins is brought on as a substitute for Scott Golbourne.

60:07

The ball is delivered by Matthew Taylor, Effort from inside the area by Nicky Maynard misses to the right of the goal.

58:02 Substitution

Substitution Danny Collins replaces Guy Demel.

57:55

The ball is crossed by George McCartney, blocked by Korey Smith.

57:43

Nicky Maynard takes a shot.

54:17

Assist by George McCartney.

54:17 Goal scored

Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - Barnsley 0 - 4 West Ham Goal scored by Ricardo Vaz Te from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Barnsley 0-4 West Ham.

54:08

George McCartney takes a shot. Save by David Button.

49:12

Mark Noble produces a cross, Kevin Nolan has a headed effort at goal from just inside the penalty area that misses to the left of the target.

47:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on George McCartney by David Cotterill. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:18 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:32

The ball is sent over by David Cotterill, Winston Reid gets a block in.

44:46

David Cotterill delivers the ball, brilliant save by Robert Green.

44:21

Kevin Nolan challenges Stephen Dawson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Korey Smith.

39:42

Corner taken right-footed by David Cotterill from the right by-line to the near post, Ricardo Vaz Te makes a clearance.

39:35

The ball is crossed by David Cotterill, Winston Reid manages to make a clearance.

38:36

Scott Golbourne produces a cross.

38:31

The ball is swung over by Kallum Higginbotham, Winston Reid manages to make a clearance.

38:03

Centre by Ricardo Vaz Te, save by David Button.

37:01

George McCartney has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.

36:05

The ball is delivered by Matthew Taylor.

34:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Mark Noble - Barnsley 0 - 3 West Ham A goal is scored by Mark Noble from the edge of the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Barnsley 0-3 West Ham.

34:21

The ball is crossed by Ricardo Vaz Te, clearance by Stephen Foster.

30:35

Outswinging corner taken by David Cotterill from the right by-line, James Tomkins makes a clearance.

29:59

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Cotterill.

24:56

James Tomkins gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Gray. David Cotterill delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Robert Green.

22:33

Assist on the goal came from Kevin Nolan.

22:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Maynard - Barnsley 0 - 2 West Ham Nicky Maynard gets on the score sheet with a goal from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Barnsley 0-2 West Ham.

21:27

Corner taken by Mark Noble.

21:17

George McCartney takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Foster.

20:05

Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. David Button makes a save.

19:31

Korey Smith concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Taylor. George McCartney takes the direct free kick.

18:25

Robert Green takes the free kick.

18:25 Booking

Booking Stephen Dawson booked.

18:01

Unfair challenge on James Tomkins by Stephen Dawson results in a free kick.

17:25

David Cotterill takes a outswinging corner.

17:21

A cross is delivered by Kallum Higginbotham, Winston Reid makes a clearance.

16:56

Guy Demel delivers the ball.

15:39

The ball is sent over by Kevin Nolan, Stephen Foster manages to make a clearance.

14:17

Ricardo Vaz Te delivers the ball, Shot from deep inside the area by Gary O'Neil clears the bar.

11:57

Shot from just outside the penalty box by Craig Davies misses to the left of the target.

10:13

The ball is sent over by Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

10:13 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Jimmy McNulty for unsporting behaviour.

10:00

Unfair challenge on Nicky Maynard by Jimmy McNulty results in a free kick.

9:41

Craig Davies takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

6:07

Nicky Maynard provided the assist for the goal.

6:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Kevin Nolan - Barnsley 0 - 1 West Ham Kevin Nolan grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Barnsley 0-1 West Ham.

5:41

Inswinging corner taken by Nicky Maynard,

4:54

Foul by Stephen Dawson on Kevin Nolan, free kick awarded. Robert Green takes the free kick.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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