West Ham manager Sam Allardyce lauded his team and picked out striker Carlton Cole for special praise after beating Portsmouth 4-3 in the npower Championship.

Matthew Taylor and Henri Lansbury put the Hammers in front after Luke Varney's deflected effort went in off Cole in the eighth minute. David Norris levelled for the visitors, before Mark Noble's penalty and Cole gave the Hammers breathing space. Greg Halford added a spot kick off his own for Pompey to complete the scoring

"There was an awful lot of entertainment from both sides today," Allardyce said after a game where Portsmouth's Liam Lawrence and West Ham striker Frederic Piquionne received their marching orders as both sides finished with 10 men.

"It was an open attacking game from both sides, it ebbed and flowed and then we finally finished it off after Portsmouth sending saw Lawrence sent off for jumping in. That turned the game in our favour and we netted two very good goals.

"We were disappointed we conceded the second on the break as the midfield didn't do their job and we got caught out. But it was an excellent victory and it has been a while coming.

"It is our third home game and we've played well. The opposition played well against us as they all do here so it made for a very entertaining game. And we got what we wanted, which was the right result."

While Allardyce celebrated his first victory at Upton Park, Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill was disappointed to leave east London without anything to show for his side's efforts.

"I think we were the better club," he said. "To come to a great club like West Ham, a full house, a great place to play your football and I thought we did that well.

"I thought we were really good today and very, very unfortunate not to get three points.

"I thought the referee was very pernickety with a few things."

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