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Big Sam blast inspires comeback

Filed: Saturday, 1st November 2014
By: Staff Writer

Stewart Downing has revealed that a half time rocket from Big Sam inspired the team to rescue a point at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

Late goals from Enner Valencia and Downing himself earned the Hammers a valuable point at Stoke, after the home side had opened a two-goal advantage with a goal either side of the half time break.

But Downing, who was one of many who struggled in the first half admitted after the game that the team had been told in no uncertain terms at half time that an immediate improvement was necessary.

"The manager gave us a rocket a half-time," he admitted, " adding "but I'm sure he would be happy with a point at the end of that."

Allardyce meanwhile was delighted with the point - regardless of the circumstances in which it was achieved. "When you're 2-0 down away from home anywhere in the Premier League, getting anything is a terrific comeback," he told the BBC. "For us, that's what it had to be.

"It wasn't that we weren't trying, but we couldn't get our passing game going - partly because of the conditions, and partly because Stoke were doing a good job on us.

"I always thought there was a goal in us. We changed the shape of the team and went for it, knowing we'd either lose 3-0 or get it back to 2-1, at which point Stoke might get nervous.

"Stewart Downing scored with his right foot. People think he's all left foot, and he isn't. We moved him into the middle from the wing, and he made a terrific difference."

West Ham fell behind after 33 minutes when Victor Moses opened the scoring from close range. Stoke added a second goal ten minutes after the restart having capitalised on a mistake by Aaron Cresswell.

However West Ham rescued a point - and extended their unbeaten run to four games - when Valencia stooped to convert Downing's cross on the hour mark before the former Liverpool and Aston Villa midfielder slammed home an equaliser 17 minutes from time.

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