Hammers crushed by Toffees again
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 22 Sep 2013 18:49:00
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West Ham United fell to their second straight home defeat as, despite going in front twice, Everton prevailed to clinch the points as they won 3-2.

Sam Allardyce made one change from the draw at Southampton six days earlier, as Razvan Rat made his Premier League debut in place of the injured Guy Demel. James Collins kept his place and therefore able to make his 100th appearance of his second spell at Upton Park. Ravel Morrison also made his first home league start. Mladen Petric wasn't fit enough to make the starting line-up, but was able to take his place amongst the substitutes.

The home side made a lively start to the match and they could have taken the lead on six minutes, when Modibo Maiga did well to get to Jussi Jaaskelainen's flick on, but when the ball broke to Mohamed Diame he sliced his shot and the effort went over the top.

At the other end, when Diame was guilty of giving possession to the visitors, Kevin Mirallas cut inside Joey O'Brien and aimed for the far corner of the net but Jaaskelainen was on hand to make a great save. Moments later, the ball then found Steven Naismith who couldn't get a head to the rebound. Relief for the home side.

After a frantic nature of the opening stages, the game began to turn a little bit scrappy, although West Ham were still putting the pressure on.

The home side delighted their fans as the Hammers scored their first goal since the opening day when, on 31 minutes, the day got better for Morrison who scored his first top-flight goal. It took a huge deflection off Toffees' defender Phil Jagielka, but the majority inside the ground didn't care how it went in as the last three games have not seen the Hammers score.

The half ended with both teams having chances but it was the hosts that went into the break with the advantage.

At the break, Everton made a double substitution as Roberto Martinez brought on Romelu Lukaku in place of Nikica Jelavic and James McCarthy for Naismith.

The visitors really picked up the pace in the second half and started to take a degree of control. Lukaku was proving to be a handful for the East Londoners as he was at the heart of almost everything that the toffees were creating.

The Merseysiders earned a freekick from which Leighton Baines equalised on 62 minutes following a foul by James Collins on Ross Barkley. The Welshman was subsequently booked for the offence.

Big Sam's immediate reaction to that goal was to make his first change as Petric replaced Maiga and later on 72 minutes, Ricardo Vaz Te was introduced for Matt Jarvis.

Two minutes later, Morrison was brought down after Petric had brilliantly intercepted a clearance. Nothing was given by referee Lee Mason though.

Petric was instrumental in earning West Ham a penalty on 75 minutes, as he ran past the Everton defence and controlled the ball before passing to the skipper Kevin Nolan. He was trapped in the box by McCarthy and Mason had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Mark Noble continued his excellent record of scoring from 12-yards to put the Hammers back into the ascendancy.

With ten minutes left to play, the club captain picked up a knock and was replaced by Matthew Taylor.

West Ham received their first red card of the season on 81 minutes, as Noble, who had been booked earlier, was given a second yellow for a foul on Barkley. Baines took the resulting freekick on 83 minutes and the Toffees equalised again, only this time it was a better effort as Jaaskelainen was only able to take one step back before the defender smashed the set-piece into the back of the net.

Everton sensed they could take the lead for the first time in the game and two minutes later, that is exactly what they did as West Ham failed to deal with a cross from Mirallas. As a result, Lukaku powerfully headed past the Finnish stopper to secure all three points. The goalscorer, along with O'Brien needed lengthy treatment for a head injury immediately after he had seen the ball cross the line.

Just after the fourth official had signalled that seven minutes of stoppage time were to be added on at the end of the game, Lukaku raced into the area to try and add a fourth for the visitors but he was halted by a superb sliding challenge from Winston Reid. The New Zealander had been superb throughout the game and was voted the man of the match.

The visitors had one last chance when Morrison was caught in possession and Mirallas crossed in for Lukaku but Reid was alert to the danger.

Once again the points were taken from Upton Park for a second consecutive home game. The Hammers will hope to continue their so far unblemished away record at Hull city next weekend.

Before then, however, Cardiff City visit East London on Tuesday evening for the Capital One Cup third-round tie on Tuesday evening.

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