Hammers Prove a Thorn in Baggies Side
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 17 Sep 2017 14:36:00
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West Ham United continued their unbeaten start to September as they followed up their 2-0 home win against Huddersfield Town on Monday night with a goalless draw at The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic named an unchanged side to the one that faced the Terriers five days earlier, meaning Marko Arnautovic had to settle for a place on the bench after his return from a three match suspension.

Exactly a year ago, the Irons suffered a 4-2 defeat here and they were keen not to have a repeat, while West Bromwich Albion wanted to bounce back from their 3-1 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend and preserve their unbeaten home run.

The visitors were still full of confidence after their first home win and had the best chances here, but they could have easily gone behind early on but Chris Brunt's tame effort caused little problem for Joe Hart.

Pedro Obiang opened the scoring with a cracking effort on Monday and was inches away from repeating the trick here when he saw goalkeeper Ben Foster off his line but, unfortunately for the Hammers, he could only hit the bar with this one.

The pressure didn't subside for the hosts as moments later, Michail Antonio picked up possession and ran down the field, only to fire straight at Foster.

Andy Carroll was getting himself into dangerous areas once again but the hosts knew how to deal with the threat he can pose and closed him down to good effect, while his second effort went well over.

There was then a scare for defender James Collins, as the Welshman went down clutching his ankle but after a lengthy break in play, the West Ham medical staff gave him the green light to continue.

With the deadlock still to be broken at half-time, the visitors would have been pleased but they obviously wanted to claim back-to-back wins.

The Hammers continued to set the pace when the teams reemerged from the dressing rooms and had a great chance to grab the advantage early on but José Fonte headed wide, following a good delivery from Aaron Cresswell's corner.

Just after the hour, West Ham had to replace Collins as he went down to the ground for the second time with 58 minutes gone, forcing the visitors into their first change, as Arnautovic was his replacement.

The Austrian winger was involved straight away, as he set up Obiang, who again tried his luck with another long-range effort but this time his shot went over.

The East Londoners thought Foster should have been shown a red card, when Javier Hernandez was brought down after he was through on goal. Referee Paul Tierney disagreed but booked the Albion goalkeeper.

That proved to be the striker's final contribution as he was replaced by André Ayew.

Carroll was given another long run out before Bilic made his final change on 82 minutes as Diafra Sakho entered the fray.

Obiang, who survived an injury scare of his own in the first-half, went close to sealing a second consecutive three points for Bilic's men, but his latest attempt was straight at the grateful Foster.

Five minutes were added , but neither side were able to clinch the points but the Irons will again take the positives going into Tuesday night's fourth round Carabao Cup tie at home to Sky Bet Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

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