Allardyce Leaves West Ham as Final Game Ends in Defeat
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 25 May 2015 13:21:00
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West Ham United had the chance to pick up their first away win of the calendar year but they failed to capitalise on it as they were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle United at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon.

Two changes were made to the starting line-up by Sam Allardyce as he was without defender James Collins who suffered a calf strain in last week's 2-1 loss to Everton. Although James Tomkins was named on the bench, Reece Burke got the call to continue alongside Winston Reid, while Mark Noble was left out altogether in favour of Kevin Nolan.

Elliot Lee was named amongst the substitutes against Everton and was again in the squad as West Ham looked to finish the campaign on a high note.

Having lost nine out of their last ten and in real danger of relegation, the home side knew they needed to pick up a win from the game and they could have got off to a barnstorming start had Emmanuel Rivière not sent his effort just wide.

A minute later, the visitors thought they should have had a penalty after Enner Valencia went down under pressure from Mike Williamson, but referee Martin Atkinson was unmoved by the appeals from the away support.

Four minutes into the game and the Hammers were awarded a corner. Stewart Downing sent the delivery over and Tim Krul tried to claim but was impeded by the West Ham skipper who gave away the freekick.

In an action packed start to the encounter, Newcastle went close again just two minutes later, when Riviere volleyed wide from Daryl Jaanmat's cross.

West Ham had a great chance to open the scoring on 24 minutes as Downing could have added to his goal against the Toffees; he was put through on goal but Krul was out quickly to deny him.

The Magpies had the best of the chances leading up to the half-time break, but just before Atkinson blew his whistle, Burke fashioned a chance for the visitors but it took a huge deflection and there was no danger of it beating Krul.

With Tottenham doing West Ham a favour and beating Everton by this point, the Irons still harboured hopes of a top half finish and with Hull City goalless against Manchester United at half-time, both teams were content with the scoreline on Tyneside as Atkinson brought the first-half to a close.

Newcastle started the second-half maintaining relentless pressure on their opponents and on 51 minutes had the chance to make the breakthrough, when Jaanmat eased past Aaron Cresswell and presented Riviere with a golden opportunity which, thankfully for the visitors, he squandered.

Three  minutes later however, the hosts made the breakthrough as a cross from the right was met by Mousa Sissoko, who rose above everyone to get his head to the ball and beat Adrian to send the home faithful into delirium.

Just after the hour mark, Big Sam decided to make his first change, as Morgan Amalfitano replaced Valencia.

West Ham were trying desperately to combat Newcastle's threat but couldn't get past their stubborn defence and nine minutes later, Burke was replaced by Tomkins. 

With nine minutes of normal time left to play, Lee entered the fray in place of Cheikou Kouyate.

Four minutes later, Newcastle made sure of the points and their place in the top-flight next season as Jack Colback played the ball into the feet of Jonás Gutiérrez, who guided the ball past Adrian and into the bottom right-hand corner.

Three minutes of stoppage time were signalled, to end what was a pretty dreadful afternoon for the Hammers in which only the performances of Reid, Adrian and Creswell were bright moments.

In a week which saw attacking Coach Teddy Sheringham become manager of Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage, there was one final matter which was resolved at the end of the match with regards to the staff. All the speculation as to whether Allardyce would continue at Upton Park in the next campaign was brought to a close when it was obviously decided earlier in the week that the co-owners would not renew his contract and a Club statement was issued within minutes of the final whistle.

There will almost certainly be an exodus of players this summer and this site will keep fans up-to-date with all the news regarding movements on both the player and managerial fronts.


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