Thursday 22 February 2018

Subs combine to boost Hammers

Stoke City 0 West Ham Utd 1

Phil Medlicott

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce acknowledged an element of irony to his side's victory after seeing them triumph at Stoke.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce acknowledged an element of irony to his side's victory after seeing them triumph at Stoke.

The Hammers suffered what appeared to be a major setback early on at the Britannia Stadium, with the concussed Matt Taylor and Joe Cole, nursing a hamstring problem, having to come off in only the 10th and 11th minutes respectively.

But it was their replacements, Jack Collison and Ricardo Vaz Te, who subsequently combined for what turned out to be a decisive goal in first-half stoppage time, the latter playing a through-ball to the former, who turned and drilled a shot beyond Asmir Begovic.

Reflecting on a win that halted his team's run of five straight away league defeats, Allardyce said: "Our misfortune ended up as our good fortune today.

"It just shows the importance of the strength and depth of your squad. Two players come on and the team hasn't got any weaker."

West Ham, for whom James Collins had sent a header on to the bar prior to Collison's goal, twice survived scares in stoppage-time. First, Stoke substitute Charlie Adam cracked a volley against the bar, and the hosts then had appeals that Hammers defender Guy Demel had handled in the area.

Irish Independent

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