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Premier League
Saturday, 22nd January 2011

Everton 2
West Ham United 2

by Staff Writer


An injury time equaliser from Marouane Felliani has denied West Ham a second Premier League away win of the season.

The Belgian midfielder pounced in the first minute of injury time to nick a point for the home side, who were forced to come from behind twice in an enthralling encounter at Goosidon Park.

Jonathan Spector's 26th minute effort had given Avram Grant's side a vital half time lead, which was finally cancelled out by substitute Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's 77th minute strike. Undaunted, the Hammers went ahead again just six minutes from the end of normal time through Frederic Piquionne, before Felliani rescued a point for the Toffees.

West Ham, who travel to Birmingham this week for the Carling Cup semi-final second leg will no doubt be delighted with their performance, if not the result, which should put them in good stead for the short trip up the M6.

As well as grabbing two goals United were denied two stone-wall penalties, both in the second half - firstly when Zavon Hines was sent tumbling in the area by a clumsy Leighton Baines challenge and when Mark Noble's cross from wide-left was clearly handled by a player with arms raised.

Unfortunately match official Peter Walton was in no mood to help the Irons out today, a stance perfectly illustrated by his dismissal of the already-booked Piquionne for the heinous offence of celebrating a goal.

Had the outstanding-at-both-ends Piquionne remained on the pitch the feeling is that West Ham would have gone on to secure the win (pity also poor Freddie Sears, who replaced Zavon Hines in the 81st minute only to be replaced himself nine minutes later following Piquionne's goal).

West Ham had taken the lead when Jonathan Spector grabbed his fourth goal of the season following some good work on the left by Luis Boa Morte, whose clever run into the box and subsequent low cross left Spector with the simple(ish) task of converting into an empty net.

Everton, who have been struggling for goals of late rarely looked like beating Rob Green until Bilyaletdinov pounced on the latest in a long line of balls slung into the box by an increasingly desperate home side; the Russian managing to sweep his effort under Green into the far corner.

Most Hammers fans would at this point have expected to see Everton go on and win the game.

What they most definitely wouldn't have expected was for Piquionne to pop up in the opposing box and nod home a Wayne Bridge cross to make it 2-1 to West Ham with six minutes of normal time to go - a feat made somewhat harder by the French striker's imemdiate dismissal for celebrating his goal with the travelling fans.

And so it proved too much for the ten men who finally succumbed with a minute of the four added-on played. Felliani, pushed up front by David Moyes late on in the game found himself in a similar position to Bilyaletdinov some fourteen miinutes earlier - and the result was almost identical as he turned the ball away from Green into the far corner.

Although Avram Grant will almost certainly have been happy with a point before the game, to lose two at such a late stage will be a major disappointment. Three points this afternoon would have taken West Ham out of the relegation zone; as it is, United remain bottom (albeit on goal difference) tonight.



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Player Ratings

Robert Green
Comments to follow.


Julien Faubert
Comments to follow.


Wayne Bridge
Comments to follow.


James Tomkins
Comments to follow.


Matthew Upson
Comments to follow.


Jonathan Spector
Comments to follow.


Mark Noble
Comments to follow.


Scott Parker
Comments to follow.


Luis Boa Morte
Comments to follow.


Frederic Piquionne
Comments to follow.


Zavon Hines
Comments to follow.


Substitutes


Fred Sears
(Replaced Hines, 81 mins) Comments to follow.


Winston Reid
(Replaced Sears, 89 mins) Comments to follow.


Ruud Boffin
Did not play.


Danny Gabbidon
Did not play.


Pablo Barrera
Did not play.


Benni McCarthy
Did not play.


Frank Nouble
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Howard Webb.

Attendance: 27,519.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Spector.

West Ham United

Robert Green, Julien Faubert, Wayne Bridge, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson, Jonathan Spector, Mark Noble, Scott Parker, Luis Boa Morte, Frederic Piquionne, Zavon Hines.

Goals: Jonathan Spector 26 Frederic Piquionne 84                .

Booked: Scott Parker 31 Frederic Piquionne 83        .

Sent Off: Frederic Piquionne 85    .

Everton

.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: Bowyer (59), Johnson (79), Gardner (94).

Booked: .

Sent Off: None.

 
Staff Writer's Man of the Match: Jonathan Spector