Hammers held by Baggies at home
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 30 Nov 2015 16:55:00
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West Ham United ended November with a 1-1 home draw against West Bromwich Albion at Upton Park on Sunday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic made three changes to the side that were heavily defeated by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, as Mark Noble was suspended, meaning Winston Reid took the captaincy and Pedro Obiang took his place in midfield, while Angelo Ogbonna and Mauro Zarate were preferred to James Tomkins and Andy Carroll, who both dropped to the bench.

The Hammers started on the front foot and could have opened the scoring as early as the ninth minute when Manuel Lanzini played the ball into Zarate and the Argentine's powerful effort hit the side netting.

West Brom also went close in the opening minutes, but José Salomón Rondón's effort from the edge of the box went just wide on 12 minutes.

The hosts were awarded a freekick three minutes later, when Craig Dawson was penalised for a foul on Diafra Sakho. Zarate took the set-piece and sent a curling shot arrowing past Boaz Myhill which brought loud cheers from the majority inside the ground.

The Hammers could have doubled their advantage just six minutes later, when Aaron Cresswell delivered an inviting cross into the box but Cheikou Kouyate diverted his header wide.

Lanzini was next to have a go just a minute later, as the home side kept up the pressure but the midfielder saw his shot saved by Myhill.

It was fast becoming a contest between Lanzini and Myhill as the two were involved again on 29 minutes but it was the goalkeeper who came out on top again.

The Hammers created chance after chance but just couldn't add to their lead and after one minute of stoppage time was added at the end of the 45 minutes, referee Martin Atkinson blew his whistle.

During the break, Tony Pulis made a change replacing Stéphane Sessègnon with Rickie Lambert. It didn't take long for the change to take effect at the start of the second-half, as Lambert was to play a major part in the Baggies' equaliser on 50 minutes, as his shot took a huge deflection off the arm of Reid and the ball bounced over the head of Adrian and from nothing, the visitors were back in the game.

The Irons were still in control and could have regained the lead on 57 minutes, as Creswell sent another great cross into the box but unfortunately Sakho headed over.

Adrian had to make a diving save to prevent Lambert from giving the Baggies the lead just two minutes later.

In an effort to try and find a second goal for the hosts, Bilic made his first change just after the hour mark, as Carroll replaced Obiang.

The hosts were still pushing hard and eight minutes later missed another golden chance, when Victor Moses played the ball into Sakho's path but the striker hit the side netting rather than slamming it home for 2-1.

As Sakho turned and started to head towards goal, he appeared to pick up a muscle injury and was swiftly replaced by Níkica Jelavic.

Zarate then found himself with a great chance to clinch all three points for the home side on 75 minutes but unfortunately, he directed his shot straight at Myhill.

West Ham made their final change on 81 minutes, as Michail Antonio came on for his first taste of action at Upton Park in place of Zarate.

Moses had a great chance for the hosts with just two minutes of normal time to play, but he saw his acrobatic effort go wide of the post.

Five minutes of stoppage time were signalled and the home side were in no mood to settle for a point. They had another chance but even Creswell's freekick was well saved by Myhill.

In the end, the spoils were shared and the Irons now have to try and improve their recent away form but it won't be easy, as they head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.

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