West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City – Match Review
Joey O’Brien bagged his first Premier League goal as West Ham came from behind to earn a point against Stoke at Upton Park.
Having impressively beaten Newcastle at St James’ Park in their last outing the Hammers knew they could rise up to fifth in the table with a victory but struggled to match their opponents in the opening 45 minutes.
The Potters have had an indifferent start to the season but appeared well drilled and focused on the task in hand but couldn’t make their possession count in the first 10 minutes with Charlie Adam fired over from a Peter Crouch knock down.
But just before the quarter hour they found the breakthrough their efforts deserved and unsurprisingly it came from a set piece, although not in usual Stoke style. In a routine straight from the training pitch, Glenn Whelan rolled the ball across the hosts penalty area and Jon Walters timed his run to perfection to thump an effort past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
West Ham struggled to pick the lock of a stern visiting defence and almost fell two goals behind only for Steven N’Zonzi’s 25-yard to crash off the crossbar and bounce away to safety.
It wasn’t until after the break that Sam Allardyce’s side started to threaten an equaliser, Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga combining to release George McCartney but captain Kevin Nonal could only manage to head the left back’s cross straight into the palms of Asmir Begovic.
However it wasn’t long before the home side had their leveller as O’Brien stole in front of Ryan Shawcross to convert Gary O’Neil’s low cross from close range after Begovic had kept out Diame’s strike.
The Stoke keeper then kept out Maiga after he was found by Andy Carroll’s towering knock down before the game petered out and both sides settled for a well earned point.