Zola dropped Tomkins and Spector for this game, bringing in Da Costa and Faubert. Parker also returned after his suspension.
West Ham started the game brightly and camped themselves in and around the Villa penalty area in the opening couple of minutes. Unfortunately the only effort West Ham managed in this period was a long range effort from Cole that flew high and wide.
In the 7th minute Ilunga pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Spector. In the 15th minute West Ham's best chance of the half from free play was created by Noble on the edge of the penalty area. Noble made room for himself, shot and forced a save from Friedel.
After about 20 minutes Villa started to look the more dominant team. Their best chance in the half came from Petrov who hit a powerful volley from 25 yrds. Green, was already moving one way when the ball took a deflection about seven yards in front of him and Green had to change direction and pull off an amazing save, tipping the ball over the bar.
When Carlton Cole was forced off (possibly with a hamstring injury) in the 31st minute it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights for West Ham. Villa began to dominate the game even more but Cole's replacement Hines did manage to worry Villa a little with his pace. In the 44th minute Dunne was forced to lunge in on Hines in the box. He won the ball but there were calls from West Ham for a penalty.
This incident may have played on the referee's mind when in injury time Franco played Hines into the box. Beye did well to get back and win the ball, only to see the ref give West Ham a penalty. From the spot Noble shot the ball high into the net to Friedel's right.
Three minutes into the second half Da Costa climbed astonishingly about 5 feet higher than Collins to win a header in the West Ham area and clear the ball. Amazingly the ref decided that heading the ball was a penalty offence. From the penalty spot Young shot to the bottom right of the goal but Green diving to his left saved the shot.
West Ham's celebrations didn't last long however as three minutes later Young cut in from the left wing and from about 5 yards outside the corner of the penalty area curled an amazing shot into the top right of the West Ham goal.
After the goal West Ham rallied superbly and it is was mostly one way traffic for the rest of the half. Collison, Franco and Hines twice both had good efforts on goal. Villa's only effort on goal came in the 90th minute when Young forced a save from Green from 20 yards.
In the 84th minute Beye was sent off for a a foul on Spector (second yellow). West Ham then pushed on even more. Noble forced a great save from Friedel with a blistering 35 yards effort and Hines came close with three efforts on goal. In the second minute of injury time Parker dribbled into the box, poked a good ball forward to Hines. Hines then did superbly to dig the ball out from under his feet onto his right foot and then grab the winner from 7 yards.
Let's just hope that Cole isn't out of action for too long.