Lead goes to waste in Stoke defeat

Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United scored their 800th Barclays Premier League goal at Stoke City on Saturday, but it was to no avail as the Potters came roaring back from Andy Carroll's early header to send their visitors to defeat.

It looked to be going swimmingly when Carroll rose above goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to nod West Ham in front, but Stoke regrouped to show why they possess such a strong home record.

Peter Odemwingie scored the first of a brace to level on 32 minutes, before two more goals in the final quarter of the contest took the game away from Sam Allardyce's men.

Marko Arnautovic scored the crucial second, weaving his way into a clear shooting position 15 yards and giving Adrian little chance, before Odemwingie wrapped it up himself eleven minutes from the end.

Carroll was one of four new additions to the Hammers' team, with Antonio Nocerino, Winston Reid and Mo Diame also returning to the starting line-up, and the big No9 had an instant impact, heading the visitors into a fifth minute lead.

West Ham won a free kick ten yards inside the Stoke half, and Mark Noble delivered from deep for Carroll to beat Begovic to the ball and head into the unguarded net.

The Potters went close to an instant leveller when Peter Crouch crossed low from the left and Stephen Ireland drew an excellent save from Adrian, whose weight looked to be moving the other way at first.

At the other end, Carroll was causing all sorts of problems with his aerial power as the Hammers looked to make the most of their quick start, but the game soon settled down with both defences restricting the other team's chances.

That was until the 32nd minute when Stoke won the corner down the left which gave them the route to goal.

Ireland delivered the ball for Crouch to climb above James Tomkins and send a bouncing header towards goal. West Ham may have thought they had escaped when the ball struck the bar, but Crouch reacted first to hook back goalwards, where Odemwingie flicked home.

RIght on half time Stoke had the chance to move in front when a slick passing move dragged the Hammers out of shape and allowed Ireland in down the right channel, but Adrian stood up to block by his near post.

The Hammers had the first chance of the second half but Kevin Nolan could not direct his header on goal after Diame got round the back to hang a cross up to the back post with 59 minutes played.

60 seconds later the visitors had the ball in the net, but a raised flag from the linesman cut short their celebrations after Nolan strayed beyond the offside line to knock home following a fumble by Begovic.

With 69 minutes on the clock it was 2-1 to the hosts as Arnautovic combined with Ireland to make the most of a lucky break at the edge of the box, ride the last challenge and slot home.

West Ham pressed as they looked to come again, but they were undone on the break as Stoke sealed the points eleven minutes from time.

The man who began their fightback was the man to conclude it too, as Odemwingie lashed home high at the near post after Ireland slipped the ball invitingly into his path.

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa 14); Whelan, 'Zonzi; Odemwingie, Ireland, Arnautovic; Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Etherington, Wilkinson, Palacios, Shotton, Guidetti

Goals: Odemwingie 32, Arnautovic 69, Odemwingie 79

Booked: Whelan

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney; Nolan, Noble, Nocerino (C.Cole 76); Diame, Carroll (Armero 83), Downing (J.Cole 62)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, Taylor, Collins

Goal: Carroll 5

Booked: Noble

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 27,015