Moyes Achieves Win In Final Stratford Encounter

In his final home game of his first spell back in May 2018, David Moyes beat Everton 3-1. Well, on Saturday afternoon, the Scotsman’s last home match of his second stint in charge of West Ham United ended with the same scoreline, as they eventually came out on top against newly-promoted Luton Town.

One change was made from the 5-0 defeat to Chelsea six days earlier with James Ward-Prowse being preferred to Edson Álvarez, who dropped to the bench. Ward-Prowse He made his 50th appearance for the club.

Youngsters Divin Mubama, Kaelan Casey and George Earthy were also included amongst the substitutes.

Reece Burke was in the starting line-up for the visitors against his former club, while another former West Ham youngster was amongst their options from the bench as Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu also made a return to East London.

With the announcement earlier this week that there will be a new manager in the home dugout for the 2024/25 season, the Hammers knew that they would have to atone for last weekend’s performance, as well as give their current boss the perfect send-off.

In the opening stages of the match however, the intention to do just that was there but it didn’t start well for them as the visitors went in front after just six minutes through Arsenal loanee Albert Sambi Lokonga. Alfie Doughty crossed the ball over for him to head past home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Mohammed Kudus tried his luck as the hosts looked to make up for their disastrous start to the encounter but unfortunately, he didn’t hit the target.

Jarrod Bowen had three efforts that came back off the bar in West London and it didn’t get much better for him at the start of this game either with his first attempt of the afternoon hitting the post when he tried to turn Lucas Paquetá’s cross home, before his next opportunity was cleared away from danger by Teden Mengi.

Tomáš Souček then tested visiting goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski with a long-range shot but it didn’t result in the equaliser. The Irons kept up the pressure but unfortunately, Michail Antonio got it all wrong when he had a go at goal.

The home side were booed off the pitch and it was fair to say that that wasn’t the first-half performance that Moyes, along with the majority inside the stadium were hoping for. Would some words of wisdom from the former Everton boss help during the break.

Whatever was said in the home dressing room before the restart certainly inspired them for the second-half, as they turned on the style.

Ward-Prowse put his team back on level terms with fifty four minutes gone as he thumped the ball past Kaminski.

Hatters’ boss Rob Edwards saw his goalkeeper keep Antonio’s close-range header out but after sixty five minutes, the game had been turned on its head.

Following his goal just eleven minutes earlier, Ward-Prowse was in the thick of the action again having played an integral part in setting up Souček to add his name to the scoresheet. The Czech midfielder picked ball up and gave Kaminski no chance as he fired into the net.

After seventy five minutes, just four weeks after having his first-team debut cut short by a head injury, Earthy was introduced as Moyes made his first change of the afternoon with Antonio being withdrawn.

The youngster’s day was to get even better just seconds later. as he linked up with Kudus to great effect and beat the former Blackburn Rovers stopper to bring loud cheers from the large home support.

A double change was made by the hosts on eighty four minutes, as Emmerson Palmieri and Paquetá were taken off for both Aaron Cresswell and Danny Ings to enter the fray.

Six minutes of stoppage time were added before the end of the game and two minutes into the allotted period, Casey replaced Angelo Ogbonna.

Bowen was close to adding another goal to his already impressive tally for the season but unfortunately, Kaminski thwarted the winger.

Luton had no answer to West Ham’s second-half showing and after the six minutes were up, referee Michael Oliver blew the final whistle.

West Ham will be hoping that they can cause a major surprise next Sunday by going to The Etihad Stadium and taking three points from Manchester City.