Mullins gives Magnusson perfect start
November 25, 2006 7:18pm CST
AFP November 25, 2006 LONDON (AFP) - Hayden Mullins gave new West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson the perfect start to his reign as he clinched a 1-0 home win against Sheffield United. Mullins bagged the winner late in the first half in front of Magnusson, who was at Upton Park to see the first match since he completed his 85 million pounds takeover of the London club. The Icelandic businessman, who made his fortune in the biscuit industry, gave his backing to under-pressure manager Alan Pardew after sealing his takeover and was rewarded as the Hammers bounced back from two successive league defeats. United remain in the relegation zone after slumping to their fourth defeat in six matches. Carlos Tevez had a chance to score his first goal for West Ham in the fifth minute, but the Argentina striker shot into the side-netting after good work by Lee Bowyer. United midfielder Alan Quinn posed problems for West Ham in the early stages as he curled in a cross that Keith Gillespie just failed to convert, and then blasted over the from the edge of the penalty area. West Ham were struggling to build up any real momentum as United worked tirelessly to deny them space and time. But, just as the Upton Park faithful were beginning to get restless, Pardew's side stole the lead in the 36th minute. Blades defender Rob Kozluk conceded a corner with a brave block to deny Bowyer, but it was only a temporary escape for Warnock's team. Matthew Etherington floated over the set-piece and Anton Ferdinand flicked onto Mullins, who headed past Paddy Kenny from close range. The goal completed a memorable week for former Crystal Palace midfielder Mullins, who signed a new four-year contract on Wednesday. Nicky Law should have levelled for United soon after half-time but he shot wide when well placed. Quinn caused more panic in the West Ham defence with a snap-shot straight at Robert Green as the Blades pressed forward in search of an equaliser. United boss Neil Warnock sent on Christian Nade and the striker had a glorious chance to score moments after coming on. Gillespie whipped in a cross that gave Nade a chance to pick his spot, but he shot wide from close range. West Ham were hanging on desperately and it needed a last ditch save from Green to keep out a Claude Davis header as United were denied the point their efforts deserved.