Cherries Edge Hammers in Thriller
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 23 Aug 2015 14:25:00
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West Ham United had a great chance to atone for their defeat to Leicester City last weekend, but were on the wrong end of another home defeat, this time at the hands of newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic made three changes to his team, as Darren Randolph replaced the suspended Adrian in goal, his Premier League debut. Kevin Nolan made his first start of the season in place of Reece Oxford, while Pedro Obiang impressed off the bench last week and was given his full debut, as he came in for Mauro Zarate, who had pulled a hamstring in training.

Both teams started well but the Hammers were unfortunate not to be in front as early as the eighth minute, when Winston Reid headed the ball into the net from a corner but referee Jonathan Moss ruled the effort out for a push.

That decision was to prove costly as Eddie Howe's side took the lead just three minutes later, as Simon Francis forced Aaron Cresswell into the horrendous defensive error and Callum Wilson was able to slot past Randolph.

The home side were more alert on 14 minutes, thanks to Carl Jenkinson thwarting Max Gradel.

West Ham weren't able to find a response before Bournemouth scored a second when Creswell was at fault again on 28 minutes and Wilson was able to take advantage and beat Randolph for a second time.

Bilic stated after the defeat by the Foxes that the Irons couldn't keep starting to play after half-time and was obviously unimpressed by his side's defensive showing. He decided to make a change on 35 minutes, so Angelo Ogbonna was hauled off and James Tomkins was introduced. 

The visitors were almost in for a third on 41 minutes, but Obiang produced a superb tackle to prevent Wilson from getting another sight of goal.

The half ended with three minutes of added time and the Cherries saw an effort from Gradel saved by Randolph.

The half-time whistle blew and the home fans certainly let their team know what they thought of that performance.

Bilic made his second change during the break. As he replaced Nolan with Matt Jarvis. 

The Hammers made a bright start to the second-half when they immediately broke and Cheikou Kouyate won a freekick in a dangerous position. Dimitri Payet swung it in, causing havoc in the area, and Mark Noble was tripped after collecting the ball, resulting in a penalty. Noble coolly slotted the ball past Artur Boruc to reduce the deficit.

In no time at all, West Ham had gone from needing two goals to turning the game on its head as Kouyate levelled as he smashed the ball into the net on 52 minutes.

Bournemouth went on the attack again and only a smart save from Randolph on 64 minutes prevented Mark Pugh regaining the advantage for his team.

Pugh did beat Randolph just two minutes later, when he evaded Jenkinson's challenge  and slid the ball past the former Birmingham City goalkeeper.

Another West Ham changes made on 70 minutes and it was fair to say that the home faithful weren't too pleased, as Diafra Sakho was withdrawn and Modibo Maiga was thrown into the fray.

Watching West Ham recently is a bit like playing a game of 'who will get sent off bingo'. Well, this week it was Jenkinson as he stopped Gradel's run into the box, which gave away a penalty and then the defender received a straight red. Yet another three-game ban for West Ham to deal with!!!

It was turning into a great day for Wilson, who converted the penalty and claimed his hat-trick.

That wasn't the end of the goal action, as two minutes later, Maiga popped up with a rare goal which Boruc could do nothing about.

As a further six minutes were added at the end of the half, both teams continued to create chances but no more goals came and the whistle blew to end what was another disappointing afternoon in front of their fans for the Hammers.

They may live to regret not picking any points up from either the Foxes or the Cherries, as they have to deal with a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool next Saturday.


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