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Hammers hit by Lukaku late leveller

CollinsWith Andy Carroll having suffered an injury in training, manager Sam Allardyce started with Enner Valencia up top.

Morgan Amalfitano  was played in an advanced role with Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan coming in as expected.

The game settled into into a nice tempo from the start and the Irons first chance came when Matt Jarvis clipped in a cross for Winston Reid to head wide.

Everton went straight to the other end and a Lukaku drive was  spilled by Adrian but Reid was on hand to clear before Jenkins crossed for Jarvis who flicked goalwards but with little pace for keeper Robles collected.

Although the Irons were dominating possession, the home side looked the more dangerous going forward and Naismith had Adrian scrambling as a 25 yard shot flew wide.

Barkley then released Lukaku but his powerful shot too flew wide. Naismith pushed forward again but saw his shot from a tight angle fly across the face of goal.

Everton had yet another outstanding chance when Miralles fired a wicked cross to the far post but Coleman just failed to get a touch.

At the other end Amafitano fired over the top before Reid, who had performed well at the heart of the Hammers defence thwarted Lukaku from close in.

The Irons started the second half with a rattle and Robles was forced to save well when Jenkinson galloped forward and unleashed a fierce drive.

But on 56 minutes the Hammers produced a clasic training ground set piece when from Amalfitano’s outswinging corner saw Collins arriving at the near post to crash home a brilliant header.

The home side responded well but for all their forward movement and the constant Lukaku threat they could not create a real chance.

Valencia could have added to the lead when his header from Noble’s fine ball in was palmed over the top by Robles.

Manager Allardyce adopted a “what we have we hold” approach bringing on Cole for Valencia and Poyet for Jarvis but Lukaku was to have the last word deep into four minutes of injury time.

The huge striker arrived in the box tolas him from six yards from Oviedpo’s cross after the Hammers defence had failed to clear.

West Ham Adrian 7 Jenkinson 7 Reid 8 Collins 8, Cresswell 7; Noble 7, Nolan 4, Amalfitan0 7 Downing 7 Jarvis 6 Valencia 6

Subs; Cole 5, Poyet 5 

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

4 comments on “Hammers hit by Lukaku late leveller

  1. Nolan performance tonight was truly shocking is Sam the only person who cannot see this? I would love to see Nolans optima stats for the season, anyone got them?

  2. Everybody moaning about Carroll but I think Valencia has been a waste of £12m. Know he does a lot of work for the team but not worth £12m we paid for him. Only good news is that Alex Song has retired from international football so will be available on Saturday.

    • I think Valencia needs a run playing in his preferred position. Last night’s formation is not his style, he looked much better, and so did the whole team, when he was playing up front with Sakho.

    • Lakaku was and always has been in recent times West Ham’s bogey man.Valencia has been out of sorts since as Rugby puts it “the genius” split him & Sahko.If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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