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AFC Bournemouth 3-2 West Ham Utd

Filed: Saturday, 11th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham were taken to the cleaners on the South Coast this afternoon as Slaven Bilic's side went down to a 90th-minute strike from Josh King.

Today's hosts had to wait until the final minute of normal time for Josh King to seal his hat-trick, which was only Bournemouth's second ever in the Premier League (you can guess who the other was scored against).

However only the most partisan of West Ham supporters will fail to admit that AFC were by far the better team on the day - and could have beaten United far more comprehensively had they managed to convert either of two first half penalties.

The first of those arrived in the tenth minute after Sofiane Feghouli's clumsy attempt to prevent Charlie Daniels from entering the box. However King, the Cherries' leading goalscorer this season placed his spot kick wide of the target - much to the winger's relief.

Within seconds, the Hammers were to find themselves ahead; Feghouli instantly redeeming himself by finding Michail Antonio, who turned sharply before firing across Artur Boruc.

West Ham managed to cling on to their slender advantage for 20 minutes before King grabbed his first of the afternoon, after hoodwinking Jose Fonte with a sharp turn and firing low beyond a despairing Darren Randolph.

Yet the 'keeper was on hand to deny Bournemouth a second penalty minutes later, after Fonte was adjudged by referee Bobby Madley to have tripped Pugh (TV replays failed to show any clear contact).

Level at the break, it took the Cherries just three minutes of the second half to restore their lead. The offside law was exposed for the utter mess it is in its current state as King, clearly offside as a free kick was taken took a step back (to where he was then considered onside) before firing home Afobe's pass.

Brian Clough once said "if any one of my players isn’t interfering with play, they’re not getting paid". On today's evidence, it's hard to disagree as even West Ham's players looked entirely confused.

As the game dragged on, with West Ham continuing to look second best an equaliser looked far from likely.

Yet second half substitute Andre Ayew had other ideas and with just seven minutes of normal time remaining he converted from close range to make it 2-2 after some excellent work by Antonio and (fellow sub) Sam Byram, on for a disappointing (and definitely not a right back) Cheikhou Kouyate.

That should have been enough for the Hammers to see out the game, to perhaps even "repsect the point" - as someone once said. But inexcusably, West Ham were caught on the counter-attack, pressing forward for a winner, which King converted to steal the win for the hosts.

The defeat extends West Ham's win-less Premier League run to four matches, with Leicester next up at the Olympic Stadium - where United have lost as many games as they won in the league so far.

West Ham Utd: Randolph, Kouyate (Byram 78), Fonte, Reid, Cresswell, Obiang, Noble (Snodgrass 58), Feghouli (Ayew 58), Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll.

Subs not used: Adrian, Collins, Masuaku, Fernandes.

Goals: Antonio (11), Ayew (83).

Booked: Noble, Obiang.

AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, A.Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Mousset 85), Arter, Gosling, Pugh, King, Afobe (Wilshere 85).

Subs not used: Allsop (GK), Cargill, B.Smith, Gradel, Ibe.

Goals: King (31, 48, 90).

Booked: Pugh, Afobe, Gosling, Cook.

Referee: Robert Madley.

Attendance: TBC.

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