West Ham United built on their draw at Leicester City last weekend with another point, as Newcastle United held them to a 1-1 home draw in Saturday’s early kick-off.
David Moyes made three changes from the encounter at The King Power Stadium with both Ryan Fredericks and Kurt Zouma starting in the defence, as Vladimír Coufal and Issa Diop missed out, with The Frenchman dropping to the bench. Coufal and Manuel Lanzini were unavailable due to injuries, meaning the Argentine’s place was taken by Saïd Benrahma. Youngsters Ajibola Alese and Dan Chesters were included in the matchday squad.
Newcastle came into the game of the back off three consecutive victories under new Head-Coach Eddie Howe and it was the visitors who made the brighter start here. They went close as Joelinton had an opportunity to open the scoring early on but thankfully for the home fans, goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański was alert to the danger and on hand to thwart the striker.
West Ham then got a foothold on proceedings but couldn’t beat Martin Dúbravka in the visitors goal.
Jarrod Bowen had the best chance for the hosts after twenty minutes when Fredericks played him in, only for Dúbravka to tip it onto the crossbar.
Craig Dawson scored his 50th career goal against the Foxes six days ago and he followed that up by putting his team in front just after the half-hour mark when referee Christopher Kavanagh awarded them a free-kick which was sent into the box by Aaron Cresswell for the former Rochdale, West Bromwich Albion and Watford defender to head past the Czech, giving him no chance.
Bowen was eager for more goals and he had another great chance to increase West Ham’s advantage but unfortunately, his latest effort took a deflection, allowing Dúbravka to deal with it.
The home side could have done with that second goal as just moments before half-time, Newcastle equalised when Joe Willock pounced on a mistake from Irons’ Captain Declan Rice and sent a shot past Fabiański who was beaten at his far post.
Moyes would have had to change his team talk during the break but he hoped that his side would be able to edge in front again.
The Scotsman, who doesn’t normally shuffle his pack until around the 70th minute made his first change during the break, as Ben Johnson came on to replace Fredericks.
When the second-half started, the home faithful were nearly cheering again but neither Dawson, nor Cresswell were able to apply the finish to beat Dúbravka following an early corner.
As they had done throughout the opening forty five minutes, Howe’s men began to threaten again. Joelinton started a move which saw both Willock and Matt Targett play a one-two before the Aston Villa loanee sent his effort wide.
In an attempt to try and turn one point into three, the Irons made their second change, as Nikola Vlašić was introduced for Benrahma.
Michail Antonio hasn’t scored since the 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day and he had a chance to finally win the contest for his team but he failed to even trouble Dúbravka, instead he shot over the bar.
West Ham fans would have felt elated with the point against Brendan Rodgers’ men last time out, this week however, there was a feeling of frustration when the final whistle blew, meaning they wasted the chance to move up the Premier League table. Next up for the East Londoners is a second consecutive home game with Wolverhampton Wanderers arriving in Stratford next Sunday.