Stewart Downing scored his sixth goal of the season as West Ham United ended their home programme of fixtures for the 2014/15 campaign against Everton on Saturday, but it was a bitter-sweet afternoon for the 30-year-old as the Toffees recovered from his strike to win 2-1.
It extends an eight-year wait for a league victory against Everton but Downing felt this was the occasion to go on and claim those three points.
His goal was a well-constructed one, making space in the box by playing a one-two with Alex Song before expertly finding the bottom corner.
It ultimately counted for little though and that frustrated the England international.
“I think we had a generally good game,” he said. “We created a few chances, took the lead deservedly and then they’ve equalised against the run of play.
“The goals we’ve conceded are disappointing, as a team we didn’t defend them properly and we wanted to finish here on a winning note so that is disappointing.
“I had a couple of opportunities before I scored – one in the first half which Tim Howard saved and a couple of blocked shots too – but like the manager says, you have to keep going, keep shooting and you’ll get your chance.
“It was a great ball from Alex to get it through a couple of players. I wanted to take a touch then try and place it really. It was a bit like the Crystal Palace goal, so I was pleased with that but disappointed that we didn’t get the win.”
The Hammers have made an unfortunate habit of conceding late goals in recent times and Downing says cutting those out are key if his team are to push on again next year.
“Maybe we’ve been getting a bit nervy in the last few minutes of games,” he said. “When you’ve been conceding late it could be on people’s minds, but you’ve got to block that out.
“In the first half of the season we were ruthless, but conceding late in games has cost us. With the points we’ve dropped we could have been in the top six.
“If we eradicate those mistakes, individually and as a team, and with the addition of a few more quality players we can be a European place team. We’re not far away.”