Point eases Bilic’s woes

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SPORT | SOCCER -

WEST Brom held West Ham to a for­get­table draw as the Ham­mers con­tin­ued to ease the pres­sure on boss Slaven Bilic. The vis­i­tors claimed their sec­ond clean sheet in a week af­ter a 2-0 win over Hud­der­s­field and took their first away point this sea­son.

West Ham re­main in the bot­tom three af­ter five games, but there were at least more shoots of re­cov­ery for the vis­i­tors at the Hawthorns yes­ter­day. They lacked a cut­ting edge, but claimed a use­ful point which could prove cru­cial for Bilic, even at this early stage of the sea­son.

Pe­dro Obiang struck the bar from 45 yards, but there was lit­tle qual­ity from ei­ther side, with James Mor­ri­son badly miss­ing a header and Kieran Gibbs see­ing a shot blocked for the Bag­gies.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis wanted his side to hit back fol­low­ing their 3-1 de­feat at Brighton last week and was re­warded with a clean sheet, if not a vic­tory. Gareth Barry equalled Ryan Giggs’s Premier League ap­pear­ance record as he fea­tured in his 632nd game, but that was the only mem­o­rable mo­ment from a match which left a lot to be de­sired.

Al­bion cre­ated an early open­ing, as Chris Brunt skinned Obiang and Kieran Gibbs’ shot de­flected for a cor­ner, which Barry nod­ded over. But it was a scrappy open­ing.

It took al­most half an hour for the Hawthorns to liven up, when Ben Fos­ter claimed Michail An­to­nio’s low ef­fort af­ter 27 min­utes, but the for­mer Eng­land goal­keeper was left scram­bling by Obiang two min­utes later.

The mid­fielder spot­ted Fos­ter off his line to launch an au­da­cious 45-yard lob which looped over the back-ped­alling goal­keeper be­fore com­ing off the bar.

Andy Car­roll fired over soon af­ter as the Ham­mers be­gan to ex­ert some pres­sure, but Mor­ri­son wasted a fine open­ing for the hosts when he mis­cued a header eight min­utes be­fore the break.

Car­roll was prov­ing a nui­sance, but a goal, for ei­ther side, looked re­mote, even if Jose Fonte nod­ded an early sec­ond-half cor­ner wide. Lit­tle ex­cite­ment fol­lowed be­fore Fos­ter es­caped with a yel­low card af­ter 65 min­utes when he clat­tered into Javier Her­nan­dez just out­side the box.

The goal­keeper sur­vived thanks to two cov­er­ing de­fend­ers. Car­roll was re­placed by Di­afra Sakho late on, with the big striker clearly un­happy about it.

Hal Rob­son-Kanu headed weakly at Joe Hart in a rare late Bag­gies at­tack, but the game did not de­serve a goal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.