December 16, 2012
Hammers hold on for Hawthorns point
#INSERT type:image caption:Neither West Brom or West Ham could break the deadlock at The Hawthorns END# James Morrison was twice denied by the woodwork but West Brom failed to score for a third successive game in a dire stalemate with West Ham.
Morrison posed Albion's most creative threat despite operating in a deeper role in the absence of the injured Claudio Yacob. But the Hammers showed plenty of resilience with central defender James Collins a rock solid performer.
The home players wore black armbands in tribute to long-serving club masseur Derrick Jones who died earlier this week, with West Ham only able to field six substitutes due to their current injury crisis after Mohamed Diame was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Albion made a promising start but the first semblance of a chance fell to the visitors with Mark Noble heading a deep cross from Carlton Cole over the bar. West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie was on target with a low 25-yard drive although Jussi Jaaskelainen got his body behind the ball.
But there was little goalmouth action in the opening quarter of the game as both sides struggled to find a creative spark although Morrison ventured forward to fire a low shot past the post.
Shane Long created space for himself on the edge of the Hammers' box after turning past Noble but dragged his drive into the side-netting. Joey O'Brien became the first player to be yellow carded after half an hour for a touch-line challenge on Baggies midfielder Zoltan Gera.
Chris Brunt drilled a long-range attempt into the hands of Jaaskelainen before Winston Reid spurned a gilt-edged chance for West Ham. Collins headed a Noble corner back into the danger area and Reid volleyed over the bar.
Carlton Cole stung the palms of Albion keeper Boaz Myhill with a 30-yard drive but it was Albion who started the second period on the offensive and Morrison's hooked volley struck the top of the bar.
Then the Scotland international sliced his shot wide after Gareth McAuley had headed a fourth successive corner from Brunt into his path.
Reid got into another good position to attack an inswinging corner from Noble but could not keep down his near-post header. Jaaskelainen failed to hold onto a powerful attempt from Gera but Long could not take advantage of the rebound.
Reid produced a vital clearance to turn a low Odemwingie centre over his own bar under pressure from Long.
But West Ham looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Joey O'Brien volleyed over at full stretch from a deep Noble free-kick.
Morrison struck the bar for the second time with 17 minutes remaining with a header from Brunt's corner.
Youssouf Mulumbu, Kevin Nolan and Hammers substitute James Tomkins were all booked in quick succession by referee Phil Dowd in the final stages of the game.
Cole nearly made the breakthrough in the final seconds when his snap shot had Myhill scrambling across his line to save at the foot of a post but a draw was a fair outcome.
|West Bromwich Albion||West Ham United|
|West Bromwich Albion||West Ham United|
|13 Boaz Myhill||22 Jussi Jaaskelainen|
|3 Jonas Olsson||2 Winston Reid|
|23 Gareth McAuley||19 James Collins|
|4 Goran Popov||17 Joey O'Brien|
|28 Billy Jones||20 Guy Demel|
|21 Youssuf Mulumbu||32 Gary O'Neil|
|7 James Morrison||16 Mark Noble|
|9 Shane Long||9 Carlton Cole|
|24 Peter Odemwingie||4 Kevin Nolan|
|11 Chris Brunt||7 Matthew Jarvis|
|22 Zoltan Gera||14 Matthew Taylor|
|17 Graham Dorrans||Modibo Maíga 11|
|8 Markus Rosenberg||James Tomkins 5|
|19 Luke Daniels||Jordan Spence 27|
|30 Gabriel Tamas||Raphael Spiegel 30|
|32 Marc-Antoine Fortune||George Moncur 42|
|25 Craig Dawson||Sebastian Lletget 43|
|20 Romelu Lukaku|
|Romelu Lukaku for Zoltan Gera (75)||Modibo Maíga for Matthew Jarvis (76)|
|Markus Rosenberg for Shane Long (84)||James Tomkins for Guy Demel (82)|
|Billy Jones (74)||Joey O'Brien (30)|
|Youssuf Mulumbu (84)||Kevin Nolan (84)|
|Jonas Olsson (90)||James Tomkins (86)|
|· Squads: West Bromwich Albion | West Ham United|