West Ham easily saw off Fulham to increase the pressure on Cottagers boss Martin Jol, whose side have now lost five Premier League games in a row.

The Hammers hit the post through Modibo Maiga in a one-sided first half, before Mohamed Diame's deflected shot put them ahead straight after the break.

Fulham created little before Carlton Cole slid in to make it 2-0 and Joe Cole curled home a third late on.

The Cottagers' only serious effort saw Pajtim Kasami fire a low shot wide.

Jol admitted before kick-off he feared for his job if Fulham lost this match and his side's performance, just as much as the result, will have done little to improve his prospects of staying in his post.

West Ham opener killed Fulham - Jol

The Cottagers were not completely devoid of spirit, but they did not manage a shot on target and offered little creative nous or attacking threat against a team who were only above them in the table on goal difference before kick-off.

If not for a combination of the woodwork, some fine saves from Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and some poor finishing from the hosts, a West Ham side who had managed only two goals in their previous five games would have inflicted a far heavier defeat.

With Maiga restored to their starting line-up, the Hammers were playing with a recognised striker for the first time in the league since the end of September.

But, between them, Sam Allardyce's starting XI had only managed two league goals this season and their lack of quality and confidence in front of goal kept Fulham in the game for far longer than they should have been.

Carlton Cole's record v Fulham

Carlton Cole has now scored seven goals in his last six Premier League games against Fulham. He has not managed more than four against any other top-flight team.

West Ham attacked from the start, firing a series of crosses into the visitors' area and, from Mark Noble's free-kick, Maiga's near-post header cannoned back off the post.

Another set-piece delivery, this time a Stewart Downing corner, was met by James Collins as the home side threatened again, but his header bounced wide.

More home chances came and went and Fulham, who had only a few flashes of Adel Taarabt's fancy footwork to show for the first half, were grateful to get to half-time with the game still goalless.

Jol's luck would not last much longer, however, as the Hammers finally found the net just 75 seconds into the second half.

Steve Sidwell hesitated after being caught in possession by Diame, claiming Scott Parker had been fouled, and the Senegal midfielder advanced to the edge of the area before firing in a shot that deflected off Fernando Amorebieta and wrong-footed Stekelenburg.

Win lifts West Ham spirits - Allardyce

Fulham did not improve after going behind and Maiga and Matt Jarvis both had chances to increase West Ham's lead, while Downing saw a cross drop on to the bar and Ravel Morrison missed an almost open goal.

Kasami's fizzing effort belatedly gave home keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen something to think about, before the Hammers substitutes combined to make the game safe in the final 10 minutes.

Carlton Cole slid home a Downing cross for his first goal since rejoining the club in October and Joe Cole curled home a Morrison pass to ensure the scoreline reflected their side's dominance.

With a trip to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace to come on Tuesday, Allardyce had described this as a "season-defining" week for his team before kick-off.

Victory means they climb away from the relegation zone, but Fulham remain rooted in the bottom three.

For a gallery of photos from Saturday's Premier League games, visit the BBC Sport Facebook page. 

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

West Ham United

  • 22 Jääskeläinen
  • 20 Demel
  • 03 McCartney Booked
  • 16 Noble
  • 19 Collins
  • 05 Tomkins Booked
  • 23 Downing
  • 21 Diamé Booked
  • 11 Maiga (Cole - 81' )
  • 04 Nolan (Morrison - 77' )
  • 07 Jarvis (Cole - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 10 Collison
  • 13 Adrián
  • 14 Taylor
  • 15 Morrison
  • 17 O'Brien
  • 24 Cole
  • 26 Cole

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 22 Zverotic
  • 15 Richardson Booked (Dembele - 83' )
  • 07 Sidwell Booked (Karagounis - 78' )
  • 18 Hughes
  • 35 Amorebieta
  • 08 Kasami
  • 28 Parker
  • 39 Bent
  • 19 Taarabt
  • 16 Duff (Ruiz - 65' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Senderos
  • 10 Ruiz
  • 11 Kacaniklic
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 14 Karagounis
  • 23 Boateng
  • 45 Dembele
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Att: 34,946

Match Stats

Shots

23 10

On target

12 0

Corners

6 3

Fouls

11 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, West Ham United 3, Fulham 0.

90:00 +3:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, West Ham United 3, Fulham 0.

90:00 +1:31

Attempt blocked. Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Elsad Zverotic.

90:00 +0:26

Attempt saved. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ravel Morrison.

87:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 3, Fulham 0. Joe Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ravel Morrison.

87:08

Attempt missed. Elsad Zverotic (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Parker.

83:38

Attempt missed. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ravel Morrison.

82:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Moussa Dembele replaces Kieran Richardson because of an injury.

81:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 2, Fulham 0. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.

81:09

Attempt missed. Ravel Morrison (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

80:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Carlton Cole replaces Modibo Maiga.

79:28

Attempt missed. Modibo Maiga (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mark Noble following a fast break.

77:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Giorgos Karagounis replaces Steve Sidwell.

76:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Ravel Morrison replaces Kevin Nolan.

72:46

Attempt saved. Joe Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Modibo Maiga.

71:49

Foul by James Collins (West Ham United).

71:49

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:36

Offside, West Ham United. Mark Noble tries a through ball, but Modibo Maiga is caught offside.

67:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Joe Cole replaces Matthew Jarvis.

67:09

Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bryan Ruiz.

65:22

Attempt saved. Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Diamé with a cross.

64:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Bryan Ruiz replaces Damien Duff.

63:54

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Damien Duff.

63:52

Attempt blocked. James Tomkins (West Ham United) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.

63:25

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

62:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

61:05

Delay in match James Tomkins (West Ham United) because of an injury.

60:26

Attempt saved. Modibo Maiga (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

59:48

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

59:41

Attempt saved. Modibo Maiga (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

57:47

Offside, West Ham United. Mark Noble tries a through ball, but Modibo Maiga is caught offside.

54:55

Attempt blocked. Adel Taarabt (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Sidwell with a headed pass.

51:19

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:19

Foul by Adel Taarabt (Fulham).

50:02

Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

50:02

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:13

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Guy Demel.

46:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 1, Fulham 0. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal.

45:16

Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:16

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

45:00

Second Half begins West Ham United 0, Fulham 0.

45:00 +2:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, West Ham United 0, Fulham 0.

45:00 +2:01

Attempt blocked. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:00 +1:24 Booking

Booking Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

45:00 +1:11

Foul by Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United).

45:00 +1:11

Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:05

Attempt saved. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Matthew Jarvis.

41:17

Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

41:17

Foul by Elsad Zverotic (Fulham).

40:43

Attempt saved. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Guy Demel with a through ball.

39:05

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Kieran Richardson.

37:59

Foul by James Collins (West Ham United).

37:59

Adel Taarabt (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:57

Attempt missed. Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) right footed shot from long range on the left is high and wide to the right. Assisted by George McCartney.

35:41

Offside, Fulham. Maarten Stekelenburg tries a through ball, but Pajtim Kasami is caught offside.

32:47

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:47

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

30:56

Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kieran Richardson.

29:08

Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

29:08

Adel Taarabt (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:16

Attempt missed. Kieran Richardson (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

26:59 Booking

Booking George McCartney (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

26:55

Foul by George McCartney (West Ham United).

26:55

Darren Bent (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:36

Attempt saved. Stewart Downing (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Guy Demel.

25:41

Foul by Kevin Nolan (West Ham United).

25:41

Aaron Hughes (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:44

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by James Collins.

22:43

Attempt blocked. Adel Taarabt (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Darren Bent.

20:41

Offside, West Ham United. Modibo Maiga tries a through ball, but Kevin Nolan is caught offside.

20:02 Booking

Booking Steve Sidwell (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

19:58

Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:58

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

19:13

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by James Collins.

19:12

Attempt blocked. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Scott Parker.

18:47

Foul by Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United).

18:47

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:01

Attempt missed. James Collins (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a corner.

17:42

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Steve Sidwell.

16:53

Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Guy Demel.

14:26

Attempt missed. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Tomkins with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

13:59

Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:59

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

12:48

Attempt missed. Elsad Zverotic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

12:09

Foul by Kevin Nolan (West Ham United).

12:09

Adel Taarabt (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:55

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

10:56

Delay in match Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) because of an injury.

10:55 Booking

Booking James Tomkins (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

10:47

Foul by James Tomkins (West Ham United).

10:47

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:46

Modibo Maiga (West Ham United) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Mark Noble with a cross following a set piece situation.

8:00 Booking

Booking Kieran Richardson (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

7:56

Stewart Downing (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

7:56

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

7:13

Foul by James Tomkins (West Ham United).

7:13

Aaron Hughes (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:52

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

6:21

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Scott Parker.

6:19

Attempt blocked. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

6:16

Attempt missed. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.

5:18

Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

5:18

Foul by Pajtim Kasami (Fulham).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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