Crushing Defeat for Hammers as Toffees Continue Hot Streak
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 17 May 2015 13:01:00
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West Ham United may have beaten Everton in the FA Cup this season, but they just can't find a way past them in the Premier League as Roberto Martinez's side came from behind to earn a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon, meaning the last game of the 2014/15 season at Upton Park ended on a disappointing note for the home supporters.

Sam Allardyce made three changes from the defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, as Alex Song showed enough promise at Villa Park to regain his place ahead of captain Kevin Nolan, who wasn't even on the bench, so Mark Noble took the captain's armband. Winston Reid returned from a hamstring injury and replaced Reece Burke, who was dropped to the bench, while the manager opted to play a 4-4-2 formation starting Carlton Cole upfront with Enner Valencia.

Youngster Elliott Lee was one of the options available to Big Sam amongst the substitutes.

The Toffees started the game in the ascendancy and could have gone ahead as early as the fifth minute but Leon Osman's shot produced a good save from Adrian, as he dived to his left.

The hosts thought they should have been awarded a penalty after Aaron Cresswell's cross hit the hand of Seamus Coleman but referee Kevin friend ignored the vociferous appeals.

On 14 minutes, James Collins suffered an injury, meaning Burke didn't have to spend too long on the bench as he was the Welshman's replacement.

West Ham grew into the game as the half went on and had a few efforts at goal but nothing they could muster really troubled Tim Howard in the Everton goal; as the teams headed down the tunnel for the break, the game was still goalless.

Unlike the opening period, West Ham started the second-half well but it was the visitors who went closest to opening the scoring when Romelu Lukaku's shot hit the stanchion behind Adrian's goal. A small number of the away fans thought the Belgian had given them the lead.

On 53 minutes, Stewart Downing went close after he had received the ball from Valencia's pass but unfortunately didn't make enough of it to apply the finishing touch. He only had to wait nine minutes longer to register his sixth goal of the season as he calmly tucked the ball home past Howard to make their pressure pay off.

Everton went looking for an immediate response and got one just six minutes later, when Osman's effort beat Adrian for the equaliser.

The Toffees could have gone ahead just after grabbing the leveller; Ross Barklay's effort was on target but he blazed it over the top.

On 69 minutes, West Ham made their second change of the afternoon, as Anderson Nene replaced Cole and shortly after, Martinez followed suit as Barklay was taken off and Kevin Mirallas took his place.

Lukaku was desperately searching for a goal to add to his tally against the Hammers and on 86 minutes, he had the chance to, but his header was sent wide after great pressure from Burke and three minutes later, he tried again but his effort was kept out by Adrian.

A further three minutes of stoppage time were added at the end of the game and Lukaku wasn't to be denied his obligatory strike against the East Londoners; with the last kick of the game he got the better of Burke and slotted the ball past Adrian to send the visitors home with all the points.

There wasn't time for any more action, as Friend blew the final whistle. 
The win for the visitors meant that they have leapfrogged the Irons into the top half. West Ham can climb back up the table with a win at Newcastle United next Sunday in a game that could also relegate John Carver's men if results go against them.

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