Portsmouth 0-1 West Ham

Mark Noble's penalty earned West Ham victory over 10-man Portsmouth to keep the Hammers level with league leaders Southampton.

Noble converted after Winston Reid was upended by Tal Ben-Haim.

Referee Kevin Friend further angered Pompey when he sent David Norris off just after the break for a foul on Reid.

Kevin Nolan had a great chance to add a second for West Ham late on but he struck over with four minutes to go.

The win for Sam Allardyce's West Ham means they remain level on points with leaders Southampton at the top of the Championship.

However, the visitors should have been behind early on but Greg Halford lifted his header from Liam Lawrence's free-kick over the bar.

Noble's penalty found the net despite the best attempts of Portsmouth keeper Stephen Henderson who managed to get a hand to the ball.

Dave Kitson sprayed a pass to Lawrence just before the break and the midfielder burst through before hitting a fierce strike that West Ham keeper managed to palm away.

However, any chance the hosts had of getting back in the game diminished when Norris was given his marching orders for a foul on Reid.

West Ham were in control but a second goal eluded them as Jack Collison struck the bar before Nolan missed his late chance.

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton:

"It was not a sending off, it was harsh. I do not think it was a two-footed challenge and it was not a tackle from behind.

"The biggest disappointment was I have never seen a red card pulled out of a pocket so quickly in my life. We were put on the back foot after that.

"It was not a penalty. It was harsh. I think there was two or three West Ham players refereeing the game. We should have had a handball at the end as well.

"You need the referee to be strong and I do not think he was. I felt some of the West Ham players were having an influence on his decisions."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce:

"Even with all the chances we created we have only won the game by a penalty so it was very important it was put away.

"I am looking for another striker because from the chances we created we have not been clinical enough and that has been a problem.

"The good thing is we have one of the best defensive records in the league and that is a positive for us and means we will always be up where we want to be.

"Apart from the last 10 minutes of the first half we were solid defensively. We took control of a game against a side who are brilliant at home.

"We could have won more convincingly after the sending off. We are delighted with the performance and the result."

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