Hammers secure point as Lukaku scores again
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 08 Nov 2015 14:36:00
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The defeat to Watford last Saturday coupled with a win for Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night meant that West Ham United had slipped to sixth in the Barclays Premier League before kick-off in the home game with Everton. However, after securing a 1-1 draw with the Toffees on Saturday afternoon, they climbed back up to fifth.

James Collins started his three-match ban after receiving a straight red card at Vicarage Road, so, with Winston Reid having returned from injury, the New Zealander replaced the Welshman in the only change to the side that faced the Hornets.

Looking to atone for their dreadful performance last weekend, West Ham nearly made the perfect start, as just two minutes in, Carl Jenkinson sent a cross over aiming for Andy Carroll, but the striker couldn't get a decent connection with the ball.

The danger had not gone for Everton though, as a minute later Victor Moses went close to putting his side ahead, but his effort instead found the side netting.

The game was swinging from end to end, as the visitors almost broke the deadlock on five minutes, when Arouna Koné's cross took a deflection and with his strike partner Romelu Lukaku waiting to apply the finishing touch, Adrian did well to dive to his left and keep the scores level.

Ross Barklay was next to test the defence but his powerful effort on 16 minutes did little to trouble Adrian.

Manuel Lanzini went close again for the hosts on 18 minutes, when he was allowed space to burst past the Everton defence and try a shot from 25 yards but unfortunately his effort went just past the post.

The Hammers kept the pressure on and had another great chance on 24 minutes, when good link-up play between Dimitri Payet, Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell resulted in the former Ipswich Town defender's curling effort going inches wide.

Adrian made a superb save with his legs as Gerard Deulofeu went close on 29 minutes when he found himself clear in the box.

The home side immediately went up the other end and opened the scoring. Lanzini certainly made a better job of curling the ball over Tim Howard than he did when one-on-one with Asmir Begovic against Chelsea a fortnight ago, as this time he gave the American no chance.

The Irons were looking comfortable after going in front until just before the break when Lukaku wasn't to be denied another goal against the Hammers, as on 43 minutes, Payet lost possession, allowing Deulofeu to play the ball into his feet and the striker found a way past Adrian with ease and the scores were once again level.

Slaven Bilic's men were desperately trying to regain the advantage going into the break and just as Carroll was through on goal, referee Paul Tierney decided not to add any more time after the allotted two minutes had passed and the whistle was greeted with boos from the majority inside the ground.

Bilic was forced to make a change just four minutes into the second-half when it was clear that Payet couldn't continue after failing to run off the injury picked up in the first-half following a late challenge by James McCarthy which the Everton midfielder was subsequently booked for. Enner Valencia entered the fray in place of the winger.

Valencia almost made an immediate impact on 56 minutes, but his cross failed to set up Moses who made a lung bursting run towards goal.

After just 19 minutes on the pitch which saw him make one telling contribution, Valencia seemed to have trouble with his ankle following a challenge from Seamus Coleman. He had to be replaced and Mauro Zarate came on.

The Hammers were well on top by this point and had a tremendous chance to get back in front on 73 minutes, as a corner was delivered by Moses and the ball fell straight into the path of Reid, who directed his header over the bar.

On 85 minutes, Jenkinson was in acres of space inside the Everton half of the pitch and tried a shot but it was well dealt with by Howard.

History nearly repeated itself a minute later, as Lukaku went close but luckily his shot went inches wide.

With time running out to find a winner, West Ham made their final change. It appeared that Carroll had picked up an injury and was replaced by Nikica Jelavic.

With all the injuries that had occurred during the second 45 minutes, an extra five were added.

Deep into that, a freekick was awarded to the home side but before they could send in the delivery, Tierney blew the final whistle to the amazement of the Upton Park faithful.

Next up for West Ham is a trip to White Hart Lane to face Spurs on 22 November. Can they keep up their impressive recent record in North London?

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