Three Points Bagged At The Hawthorns
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 03 Dec 2014 12:20:00
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West Ham United came from behind to win a hard fought contest 2-1 against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night.

Once again, three changes were made to Sam Allardyce's starting line-up for the game. James Collins and Matt Jarvis were dropped to the bench, as Winston Reid returned from suspension. Mauro Zarate was given a start, while club captain Kevin Nolan replaced Mark Noble, who had picked up an injury to his calf.

As they had done the last time the two sides met, the home team controlled the opening stages by forcing a number of corners down the left side and it was déjà vu as the Baggies opened the scoring on ten minutes. James Tomkins was booked after fouling Victor Anichibe and Craig Dawson planted a free header past Adrian from Craig Gardner's cross.

After a slow start from the Hammers, they started to show intent and on 20 minutes when they were awarded a corner. From it they almost equalised, as Tomkins headed on and Nolan's acrobatic effort was blocked on the line. Cheikou Kouyate and Nolan tried to force the ball over the line but were thwarted by referee Mike Jones' unnecessary intervention.

From that point on, West Ham were applying pressure and when Chris Brunt was booked for a foul on Nolan just past the half hour mark, the visitors were awarded a freekick in a dangerous area. Stewart Downing sent it in, Tomkins headed on for Andy Carroll to attempt another acrobatic effort which was brilliantly parried by Ben Foster but only into the path of Nolan who headed home to claim his first goal of the season.

Two minutes of stoppage time were signalled at the end of the half but this was extended because Brunt picked up an injury and had to be replaced. Kouyate forced a save from Foster before Tomkins put the Irons in front with the last action of the half, heading in the resulting corner.

The teams reemerged from the dressing rooms and it was the hosts who wasted a great chance to get back on level terms on 53 minutes as the ball dropped for Dawson but he sent his effort wide.

Albion had some great chances to grab an equaliser after that embarrassing miss but couldn't take any of them and the Hammers' rearguard stood firm.

On 64 minutes, Allardyce decided to make a double change taking off Carroll and Morgan Amalfitano and replacing them with Collins and the returning Enner Valencia.

Despite Alan Irvine's side piling on more and more pressure, they still couldn't find a way through and with the visitors struggling to regain possession, Big Sam made his final change, replacing Zarate with Carlton Cole.

As the game entered the closing stages, Adrian was forced into action when he saved Anichibe's effort with his legs.

Four minutes of added time were signalled and although the home side were trying desperately to get back into the game, all three points were on their way back to East London.

The Irons will hope to finish off the week by claiming another three points when they take on Swansea City at Upton Park on Sunday afternoon.

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