Hammers held by Baggies

West Ham United were forced to settle for a second successive 2-2 draw as West Bromwich Albion battled back on a freezing night at the Boleyn.

The Hammers had thrown away a two-goal advantage last Saturday at Birmingham City and it was a similar story on Wednesday as Baggies defender Pablo Ibanez wiped out the second-half advantage given by Frederic Piquionne's penalty. Scott Parker had previously levelled just before the interval with a stunning strike after Peter Odemwingie had started the scoring with a spot-kick of his own.

West Ham bossed the first 20 minutes without having anything to show for their possession. After a couple of wayward West Brom efforts from long range, Carlton Cole registered the Hammers' first notable attempt - shooting wide of Scott Carson's right-hand post. It was to be fully another ten minutes before the next - this time Cole heading just over from Barrera's corner.

With the temperature dropping by the minute on a clear night in east London, there was very little to warm the Hammers fans. The Baggies seemed content to hit on the break and quickly regrouped behind the ball whenever they lost possession. That was until Chris Brunt fired in a free-kick that tested Green and led to a corner and the chance to throw men forward.

A good ball in saw Luis Boa Morte bundle over Steven Reid in the area. The referee Mike Dean paused for a moment before pointing to the spot but there was no hesitation from Odemwingie as he blasted beyond Green.

Five minutes later, Parker saved the day again with his fifth goal of a remarkable season so far. Cole did well before touching back to the No8, who ran on to the ball and smashed it beyond Carson and into the top corner.

Boa Morte could then have sent the Hammers into the interval in the lead, jinking his way into the penalty area before firing goalwards. Carson did superbly well to palm it away.

The West Brom keeper had no chance four minutes after the break when Piquionne fired in from the spot after a surging Kieron Dyer run was unfairly halted by Gabriel Tamas.

It was an clinical contribution from Dyer, who was to complete a rare 90 minutes having come into the side for the injured Valon Behrami.

The Hammers were in front and Grant was determined to hang on to the lead. Perhaps mindful of his earlier caution in conceding the West Brom penalty, the manager sacrificed Boa Morte for Radoslav Kovac. The attacking intent was still there as on the hour mark, Barrera seized on a loose ball, surged goalwards before feeding Dyer. He flicked it on to Piquionne and the French forward's shot only just went wide.

It was much, much better from the home side and the crowd were responding. Roberto Di Matteo made a change himself on 66 minutes, replacing Graham Dorrans with Simon Cox. It paved the way for a West Brom fightback that culminated in Brunt sending in a superb cross on 71 minutes for the unmarked Pablo Ibanez to easily head beyond Green.

The visitors were back on top and Kovac joined Boa Morte in the book for a frustrated foul before Green gratefully seized on a loose ball as the Baggies piled on more pressure. Di Matteo replaced Jerome Thomas with Giles Barnes on 75 minutes as hamstring victim Cole also made way for Victor Obinna.

The match fizzled out from there with Danny Gabbidon also cautioned for a tug back on Barnes, as Benni McCarthy entered for a brief cameo - Barrera making way. With news of a closure at Upton Park station, it was to be a disappointing end to the evening, with Saturday's already vital visit of Blackpool only increasing in importance.