Ricardo Vaz Te hit a hat-trick as West Ham maintained their automatic promotion hopes by thrashing a Brighton side whose play-off hopes were dented.

The Hammers, now three points behind second-placed Southampton, took the lead through Vaz Te's early strike.

A Vaz Te header and Kevin Nolan tap-in then put West Ham 3-0 up in 11 minutes.

A bicycle kick from Vaz Te, Carlton Cole's deflected shot off team-mate Henri Lansbury and a Gary Dicker own goal completed the Upton Park rout.

Six goals were a dream - Allardyce

The victory was West Ham's first in eight games at home, while Brighton are five points adrift of the play-off places.

Southampton had been beaten by top-of-the-table Reading on Friday and West Ham made a blistering start as they attempted to capitalise.

Vaz Te broke the deadlock before quickly adding a second as he took his tally to seven goals in the last five games.

Nolan added to Brighton's woes and it could have been worse for the visitors when a deflected Lansbury shot came off the crossbar.

We could not cope - Poyet

Brighton had a rare chance when Gordon Greer saw a header saved by keeper Robert Green but Gus Poyet's side did not help their cause by giving away possession on a regular basis.

West Ham were a far cry from the team that had drawn six and lost one at Upton Park during the end-of-season run-in as they carried an air of confidence and creativity.

Vaz Te's acrobatic goal in the second half completed his hat-trick before Cole's shot came off his team-mate Lansbury to add to the Hammers lead.

Brighton's misery was compounded when their midfielder Dicker put a Mark Noble corner into his own goal as the Hammers also reduced the goal difference gap on Southampton to three.

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Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +0:39

Close range shot by Kevin Nolan misses to the left of the goal.

88:08

Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor, save by Peter Brezovan.

87:18

Unfair challenge on Henri Lansbury by Liam Bridcutt results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Noble.

86:17

Gordon Greer takes the free kick.

86:17 Booking

Booking Carlton Cole is shown a yellow card.

86:07

Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlton Cole on Alan Navarro.

84:21

Close range header by James Tomkins misses to the right of the goal.

84:01

Gordon Greer challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor restarts play with the free kick.

83:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Bridcutt by Jack Collison. Free kick taken by Gordon Greer.

82:47

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam El-Abd by John Carew. Peter Brezovan takes the free kick.

80:21

Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Navarro on Mark Noble. Mark Noble takes the direct free kick.

77:38

Assist on the goal came from Mark Noble.

77:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Gary Dicker - West Ham 6 - 0 Brighton An unfortunate own goal is conceded by Gary Dicker. West Ham 6-0 Brighton.

77:18

Corner taken by Mark Noble from the left by-line played to the near post.

76:29

Free kick taken by James Tomkins.

76:29 Substitution

Substitution John Carew on for Ricardo Vaz Te.

76:29 Booking

Booking Gary Dicker is given a yellow card.

76:24

Unfair challenge on Jack Collison by Gary Dicker results in a free kick.

75:11

Gary Dicker takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Taylor. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kazenga LuaLua from the left by-line, James Tomkins manages to make a clearance.

73:35

The ball is sent over by Jack Collison, save by Peter Brezovan.

67:27 Substitution

Substitution Danny Collins joins the action as a substitute, replacing Guy Demel.

66:48

The ball is sent over by Ricardo Vaz Te, Peter Brezovan makes a save.

64:00

Mark Noble provided the assist for the goal.

64:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Carlton Cole - West Ham 5 - 0 Brighton Carlton Cole finds the net with a goal from inside the area high into the middle of the goal. West Ham 5-0 Brighton.

63:01 Substitution

Substitution Craig Noone on for Rodriguez Vicente.

61:58

Assist by Carlton Cole.

61:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 4 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. West Ham 4-0 Brighton.

60:32

Mark Noble challenges Rodriguez Vicente unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.

58:37

Winston Reid challenges Craig Mackail-Smith unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.

55:59

Alan Navarro takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.

54:54

Rodriguez Vicente gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Taylor. Free kick taken by Robert Green.

54:01 Substitution

Substitution Jack Collison comes on in place of Gary O'Neil.

52:24 Substitution

Substitution Craig Mackail-Smith replaces Ashley Barnes.

52:24 Substitution

Substitution Kazenga LuaLua on for Gai Assulin.

51:08

Ricardo Vaz Te takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save made by Peter Brezovan.

50:29

Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.

49:43

The ball is sent over by Ricardo Vaz Te, Marcos Painter makes a clearance.

49:18

Matthew Taylor produces a cross, blocked by Inigo Calderon.

48:50

Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Matthew Taylor results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Liam Bridcutt.

47:33

The ball is crossed by Guy Demel, Adam El-Abd makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, Inigo Calderon makes a clearance.

45:42

Shot by Liam Bridcutt from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +1:41 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:38

Effort on goal by Henri Lansbury from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.

44:44

Kevin Nolan concedes a free kick for a foul on Marcos Painter. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Rodriguez Vicente.

43:10

Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Save made by Peter Brezovan.

40:26

Winston Reid concedes a free kick for a foul on Rodriguez Vicente. Rodriguez Vicente delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Kevin Nolan. Inswinging corner taken by Gary Dicker from the left by-line, Gordon Greer takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. Rodriguez Vicente decides to take the corner short.

39:46

Marcos Painter sends in a cross, Winston Reid makes a clearance.

39:23

The ball is crossed by Inigo Calderon, Guy Demel makes a clearance.

38:31

Inigo Calderon takes a shot. Matthew Taylor gets a block in.

37:53

Gai Assulin takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in.

35:02

Foul by Carlton Cole on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded. Peter Brezovan restarts play with the free kick.

32:28

Carlton Cole challenges Marcos Painter unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Painter restarts play with the free kick.

31:40

Gary Dicker sends in a cross, save by Robert Green.

28:33

The ball is delivered by Rodriguez Vicente, blocked by Guy Demel. Outswinging corner taken by Rodriguez Vicente from the left by-line played to the near post, Shot from inside the six-yard box by Inigo Calderon goes wide right of the goal.

27:58

A cross is delivered by Guy Demel, save made by Peter Brezovan.

27:17

Ashley Barnes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Robert Green.

26:32

Handball decision goes against Matthew Taylor. Liam Bridcutt restarts play with the free kick.

24:53

A cross is delivered by Inigo Calderon, James Tomkins makes a clearance.

19:47

The offside flag is raised against Carlton Cole. Gordon Greer restarts play with the free kick.

17:02

Gary O'Neil takes a shot. Save made by Peter Brezovan.

16:16

Carlton Cole crosses the ball, clearance made by Liam Bridcutt. Corner from left by-line crossed in by Mark Noble, clearance by Adam El-Abd.

15:44

Carlton Cole takes a shot. Peter Brezovan makes a save.

15:35

The ball is delivered by Marcos Painter, James Tomkins makes a clearance.

14:55

Matthew Taylor sends in a cross, Adam El-Abd manages to make a clearance.

13:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Mark Noble. Alan Navarro restarts play with the free kick.

10:51

Assist on the goal came from Carlton Cole.

10:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Kevin Nolan - West Ham 3 - 0 Brighton Kevin Nolan grabs a goal from close range to the top left corner of the goal. West Ham 3-0 Brighton.

10:06

Gary Dicker challenges Carlton Cole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the free kick.

9:40

Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Vicente by Kevin Nolan results in a free kick. Alan Navarro takes the direct free kick.

9:25

The referee blows for offside against Carlton Cole. Peter Brezovan takes the indirect free kick.

7:48

Assist on the goal came from Guy Demel.

7:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 2 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. West Ham 2-0 Brighton.

7:18

Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Adam El-Abd gets a block in. Guy Demel delivers the ball,

6:49

Centre by Mark Noble, Carlton Cole has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.

6:21

The ball is crossed by Guy Demel, Kevin Nolan takes a shot.

5:49

The ball is delivered by Matthew Taylor, Kevin Nolan takes a shot. Save by Peter Brezovan.

4:01

James Tomkins delivers the ball, comfortable save by Peter Brezovan.

2:39

Kevin Nolan provided the assist for the goal.

2:39 Goal scored

Goal! - Ricardo Vaz Te - West Ham 1 - 0 Brighton Ricardo Vaz Te fires in a goal from outside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. West Ham 1-0 Brighton.

0:30

Mark Noble challenges Alan Navarro unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Painter restarts play with the free kick.

0:17

Henri Lansbury takes a shot.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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