Craig Dawson was David Moyes’ true hero as West Ham United beat Everton 1-0 on Friday night thanks to a late Tomas Soucek strike.
Creativity was often scarce throughout the Goodison Park encounter for both sides before Aaron Cresswell’s deflected effort rebounded into the path of Soucek, who instinctively kept running in to tap home his fifth Premier League goal of the season.
The result sealed Moyes a first away win over the Toffees since leaving Merseyside to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of Manchester United in 2013, having lost each of his previous four visits.
Moyes has built West Ham around defensive stability since returning to the London Stadium a year ago, so will have been delighted with the efforts Dawson brought to the side during only his second appearance of the season so far.
The Watford loanee had to wait until the Irons’ midweek trip to Southampton to make his debut but retained his place in the line-up against Everton, where he formed a formidable partnership with Angelo Ogbonna.
Calvert-Lewin was frequently forced to drop deeper and deeper in search of possession before being replaced by Cenk Tosun 10 minutes from time, having gone a fifth-straight Premier League game without scoring after netting 11 in the opening 11 fixtures.
Dawson was strong in the air at Goodison Park with success in two of four duels, while recording one interception and five clearances, per SofaScore.
The £3.5m-rated centre-half was additionally successful with 26 of his 34 passes, never committed a foul, was never dribbled past and rarely ventured into Everton territory as he sought to keep things simple and stay out of trouble.
Moyes will have wanted nothing more from Dawson than what the 30-year-old was able to bring to the side, knowing the challenge at hand with Fabian Balbuena only returning to the bench after sitting out the Southampton trip.