Match Report - Everton

Two first half goals from Marlon Harewood and Dean Ashton were not enough to keep the winning league run going, as Everton came from behind twice to snatch a 2-2 draw.

On a freezing cold afternoon in east London, Hammers looked to be heading for their sixth successive Premiership victory when Harewood opened the scoring and Ashton wiped out Leon Osman's equaliser, but the visitors fought back in the second half and earned a point thanks to James Beattie's effort.

Alan Pardew had named an unchanged starting line-up following the FA Cup fifth round draw at Bolton Wanderers two weeks ago. That meant Harewood and Ashton continuing in attack together, with Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham - who yesterday signed a new one-year contract at Upton Park - both having to make do with a place on the bench again.

After a fairly tepid and uneventful start to the game, it was slightly out of the blue when Hammers took the lead on just 10 minutes. A smart four-man move involving Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Ashton and Harewood culminated in the powerful forward turning on the edge of the penalty area and striking sweetly past Westerveld into the bottom corner of the net.

Harewood's goal signalled the 50th strike of his Hammers career, but the hosts weren't celebrating for long, as Everton responded just eight minutes later with a sweet strike of their own. Arteta played a clever return with McFadden on the left and then advanced into the penalty area before cutting the ball back to Osman, who let fly with a fierce effort that gave Shaka Hislop no chance.

What had originally been predicted as a tight, closely-fought match was now turning into an open, end-to-end affair and, no sooner had the celebrations of the travelling Everton fans died down, Hammers were in front again. A long punt forward from Hislop was dummied by Mullins and then flicked on by Harewood to release Ashton in the left channel.

As the striker galloped into the penalty area, it appeared he might cut back on to his favoured right foot, but instead the Everton defence were left stunned as he unleashed a blistering left-foot shot that ripped past Westerveld and into the far corner of the net, for his third goal in three Premiership games - all of which have been at Upton Park.

Both sides continued to push forward in numbers before the break, and Hammers might have added to their tally when Harewood raced away on the counter-attack. With Reo-Coker and Etherington both sprinting forward in support, the opportunity was there to release a team-mate but the striker opted to shoot and saw his effort fly straight into the arms of Westerveld.

Five minutes before the break, Lionel Scaloni was forced to clear off the line after McFadden had flicked on Beattie's header, and Alan Stubbs then planted a free header from the resulting corner straight at Hislop.

It was a sign of what was to come, as the visitors emerged from the interval in determined mood and, in all honesty, began to take control of proceedings. Despite their dominance of possession, though, Everton didn't create many clear chances and, with Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon once again looking solid together at the back, it appeared the Hammers could hold on to their lead.

However, after a spell of intense pressure, the breakthrough finally came, as a low cross from the left was missed by Scaloni and, as Ferdinand attempted to react to the loose ball, it dropped kindly for Beattie, who cleverly hooked the ball over Hislop from 12 yards out.

Alan Pardew then sent on Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham to add some fresh attacking impetus in the closing stages, but it was Everton who carried the momentum and looked most likely to snatch a winner.

A low cross from Arteta was somehow missed by Osman at the far post before Gabbidon came to Hammers' rescue in stoppage time with a brave diving header inside the six-yard box just as Beattie was about to pounce.