Dean Ashton scored both West Ham United's goals as they initiated their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 defeat of visiting Wigan Athletic. A further source of satisfaction for the 24-year-old striker was the presence of England coach Fabio Capello in the crowd.
Just three minutes into the match at Upton Park, Ashton collected a pass from Julien Faubert and found the top-right corner of the net from 12 metres, and six minutes later he again proved his international credentials when he converted a corner. Calum Davenport got a touch on Faubert's kick, which the former Norwich City player dispatched with a powerful, right-foot shot.
Wigan's response came soon after half-time. A high ball forward found Emile Heskey's head, the 29-year-old knocked it on to Amr Zaki, and the Egyptian showed his class by volleying it past Robert Green for his first goal in English football.
Ashton was withdrawn from the field on 72 minutes after hurting himself while taking a free-kick, and Alan Curbishley replaced him with Fred Sears.
Green denied Wigan a virtually certain chance a couple of minutes later, the Hammers' dependable keeper tipping Wilson Palacios' 25-yard strike over the bar. The 24-year-old Honduran had shown himself to be effective throughout the match, albeit collecting a yellow card after a foul on Carlton Cole.
In the final minutes, Latics midfielder Olivier Kapo had a couple of shots to no avail, and West Ham held on to the delight of their supporters in the capital.