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West Ham Utd 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

Filed: Tuesday, 2nd January 2018
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are out of the bottom three thanks to a last-gasp winner from Andy Carroll at the Olympic Stadium tonight.

The big striker scored his first goal of the season to cancel out James McClean's first half opener - before doubling his tally for the season in the last of four added-on minutes at the end of the regulation 90.

On a nervous night in east London, West Ham triumphed - eventually - despite producing a performance lacking in any flair or real cohesion. However it was to prove enough to see off an Albion side that only 24 hours previously had sought to have the match postponed due to a congested fixture schedule.

West Ham had the clearest chance of the opening exchanges when Manuel Lanzini brought out the best in Ben Foster with a snap shot from 13 yards.

Yet it was the visitors who opened the scoring on the half-hour mark - against the run of play - when James McClean's speculative shot from distance looped up and over an unprepared Adrian, having taken a major deflection via Pedro Obiang who was attempting to make a last-ditch tackle.

With no further goals in the opening half, David Moyes introduced club captain Mark Noble to reinforce a below-par central midfield. It paid immediate dividends for the Hammers, who were far more competitive in the middle third after the break.

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However West Ham's key man was to be Andy Carroll, rewarded with a starting spot tonight which he fully justified. Having narrowly failed to convert Marko Arnautovic's superb cross minutes earlier, he rose highest to nod home Aaron Cresswell's delivery in order to draw United level a minute ahead of the hour.

It appeared briefly as if the major talking points of the game thereafter would be Jake Livermore's 'disagreement' with a section of home fans behind the dugouts and Billy MckInlay's subsequent touchline bust-up with Alan Pardew.

But Carroll was to ensure that those incidents were to be denied potential column inches when he struck in the final of four added-on minutes to win West Ham three huge points in their battle to avoid relegation.

Arnautovic and Lanzini, architects of the best open play West Ham produced throughout the game combined on the left, before the latter's low cross evaded all inside the box except Carroll, who finished from an acute angle to the delight of those hardy souls who had remained until the bitter end.

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West Ham Utd: Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Rice 76), Masuaku (Hernandez 73), Obiang (Noble 46), Kouyate, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Carroll.

Subs not used: Hart, Quina, Haksabanovic, Ayew.

Goals: Carroll (59, 90+4).

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs, Livermore (Robson-Kanu 64), Yacob (Barry 83), Krychowiak, McClean, Rodriguez (Burke 71), Rondon.

Subs not used: Myhill, McAuley, Brunt, Field.

Goals: McClean (30).

Referee: Mike Jones.

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