WEST HAM lived to regret their failure to turn first-half dominance into goals, with Bournemouth finishing the stronger in this keenly contested game on Saturday.
West Ham boss David Moyes was happy though to get away with a point from this closely fought encounter. He felt the 120 minutes that some of the players had put in earlier in the week during the FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury had taken its toll.
“In the first half we passed it well and merited a goal,” said Moyes, who is pleased that “things are progressing and going in the right direction.”
“We’re looking good up front, getting goals, there are small steps but progress. We just didn’t quite get the magic,” said Moyes.
The home side moved the ball around confidently in the first half, retaining possession and keeping the visitors penned in their own half for much of the time.
The best chance fell to Marko Arnautovic from a Pablo Zabaleta cross but the Austrian striker’s shot from the edge of the six-yard box was turned over by Asmir Begovic.
Arnautovic then screwed another chance wide having been put through by Manuel Lanzini.
The second half continued in a similar way, with Arnautovic again away on his own but he failed to finish.
Bournemouth came more and more into the game and in the 70th minute they got their reward. Former Hammer Junior Stanislas sent Ryan Fraser away, the striker managing to get goal-side of James Collins to finish across Adrian.
However, West Ham hit back from the kick-off, going straight up the other end to level. An Arnoutovic shot rebounded nicely for substitute Javier Hernandez to ram home.
There were some tired old legs in the West Ham side, especially on the right-hand side of defence, with Zabaleta struggling to get back and 34-year-old Collins also challenged to keep up the pace.
Adrian pulled off one more save, palming away a shot from Adam Smith at full stretch.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe conceded his side were slow out of the traps and lucky not to concede from the early pressure. “It was always going to be a tough game for us, with West Ham in good form,” said Howe.
On transfer talk around Hernandez, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho, Moyes declared that “there was speculation about every man and a dog here at the moment.”
He stressed that the squad was short at the moment and the need was to keep players.
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