West Ham 2 Hull 0
In-form striker Carlton Cole struck again as West Ham extended their unbeaten run with a comfortable 2-0 win at Upton Park against fast-fading Hull who lost a six successive Barclays Premier League game.
The former Chelsea trainee made it six goals in seven games to help the Irons consolidate their position in the top half of the table.
Italian David Di Michele put the home side ahead in the first half, after Mark Noble’s penalty was earlier saved by inspired Hull keeper Matt Duke.
New signing Savio Nsereko came off the bench for the final few minutes, but by then the job was done.
However, for Tigers boss Phil Brown – who gave new £5million midfielder Jimmy Bullard a debut in the second half – his hard work goes on to ensure the efforts of a fine opening to the campaign do not end in disaster.
After a cagey opening, the match burst into life on 15 minutes.
Noble’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, which eventually dropped out to Jack Collison and his low strike was well saved a full stretch by Duke, making his first Premier League start of the season.
The Hull keeper was left a spectator moments later when Di Michele unleashed a superb curling effort from just outside the box which came back off the inside of the far post.
The Hammers were awarded a penalty, in the 21st minute, when Sam Ricketts was adjudged by referee Howard Webb to have bundled over Cole as the pair tussled in the six-yard box.
Noble – who spent a spell on loan at Hull in 2006 – drilled the ball towards the left corner, only for Duke to pull off a stunning save at full stretch.
The hosts were soon back on the offensive.
A quick punt up field suddenly released Di Michele ahead of the defence and into the left side of the Hull penalty area.
However, the Italian made a complete mess of his first-time shot, dragging the ball horribly across goal and wide.
Di Michele did better when he cut inside and drilled in a low shot which tested Duke.
The ball was not properly cleared though and eventually Cole sent in a curling effort towards the right-hand corner.
Duke made another acrobatic save – but this time could only push the ball out and it dropped right into the path of Di Michele at the far post, who smashed the Hammers ahead on 34 minutes.
The goal had been coming for some time, and suddenly Hull were in danger of being over-run.
The all-action Di Michele was again at the centre of things, this time combining with Cole to cross from the right.
Collison arrived at pace in the six-yard box, but his first-time shot cannoned back off the near post.
Cole should have made it 2-0 just before the break when he beat the offside trap to race clear into the Hull penalty area.
However, Duke stood up well and made another fine block – before jumping to his feet and dashing back to clear the ball from off the line as it bounced towards the empty net.
Although Hull started the second half well, they fell further behind on 51 minutes.
A deep free-kick by Noble from the right channel floated over towards the far post.
The ball dropped back for Di Michele. His low strike bounced off the foot of the upright and right into the path of Cole, who diverted it into the roof of the net.
Tigers boss Brown had seen enough and made a double change, with Craig Fagan replacing Manucho and Bullard coming on for Geovanni.
However, the damage was already done.
Nevertheless, Bullard tested Green with a well-struck effort from 22 yards, which the Hammers keeper tipped around the post at full stretch.
To their credit, Hull continued to try to take the game to the hosts, who were guilty of sitting far too deep.
However, West Ham found more space as the match went on, with Cole and Di Michele both having efforts blocked.
Duke touched a chipped effort from Noble over the bar, with the Hull keeper making another fine save from Julien Faubert before Savio was handed a cameo for the final four minutes.