West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United

Demba Ba inspired West Ham United to produce an outstanding second-half comeback to secure an unlikely but thoroughly-deserved Barclays Premier League point at West Bromwich Albion.

The match looked dead and buried when Winston Reid inadvertently diverted a Graham Dorrans free-kick past Robert Green shortly past the half-hour mark to make the score 3-0 in the Baggies' favour.

However, with full debutant Ba to the fore and the Hammers being roared on by more than 2,500 travelling supporters, Avram Grant's side hit back to draw 3-3 amid unbelievable scenes at The Hawthorns.

The fightback had looked impossible as the hosts, managed by caretaker boss Michael Appleton following the departure of Roberto Di Matteo six days previously, burst out of the blocks.

Scotland midfielder Dorrans opened the scoring with a scorching shot into the top left-hand corner within three minutes.

When left winger Jerome Thomas was allowed time and space to dribble into the penalty area and curl a low finish inside Green's far post five minutes later, the game looked all but over.

West Ham thought they had halved the deficit midway through the first half when Carlton Cole collected a Scott Parker pass and neatly shot past Boaz Myhill, only for the 'goal' to be incorrectly ruled out for offside.

The Baggies took full advantage of their good fortune by stretching their lead on 32 minutes. Dorrans' free-kick was allowed to bounce inside the penalty area before glancing off Reid and nestling into the corner of the net.

The home fans were jubilant, but West Ham did show signs of their amazing second-half renaissance in the closing stages of the first half.

First, Ba saw his shot diverted onto the base of the post by goalkeeper Myhill. Then, Gary O'Neil rocked the crossbar with an outrageous dipping driver from all of 30 yards.

If the first 45 minutes was all West Brom, the second was unmistakably all West Ham.

With captain Parker's inspirational team talk ringing in their ears, the Hammers literally tore into their hosts, taking just five minutes to get a goal back and send nerves pulsing through every Baggies player and supporter.

The goal was a good one. Mark Noble lifted a ball over the home defence for Ba, who controlled neatly with his thigh before slotting under the advancing Myhill.

Eight minutes later, the comeback was well and truly on as substitute Frederic Piquionne nodded Noble's lofted free-kick across the six-yard box for Cole to crash home from close-range - picking up a nasty cut to his lip as he clashed with Reid in the process.

West Brom proved they had life left in them as Peter Odemwingie produced a fine save out of Green before the Hammers recommenced their barrage of the home goal.

Piquionne saw his looping header bounce off the crossbar before Ba's low shot was miraculously hacked off the line as the Baggies clung doggedly to their now narrow advantage.

The resistance finally broke with seven minutes of the 90 remaining.

Noble's cross flicked off the head of Jonas Olsson and high into the air. When the ball dropped, Ba showed fantastic technique and great composure to fire a volley between Myhill and his right-hand post to send the visiting fans behind the goal into a state of euphoria.

"I'm very pleased," said the 25-year-old. "We started very badly but we finished with a lot of force and spirit and it was a great change. We were sleeping in the first half.

"The manager said at half-time that if we wanted to get something out of the game then we had to start fighting, which is what we did in the second half."