Cresswell - It feels like a defeat

Goalscorer Aaron Cresswell was left frustrated as Leicester City grabbed a late, late equaliser to deny West Ham United victory at the King Power Stadium
Aaron Cresswell admitted Sunday’s 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw at Leicester City felt ‘like a defeat’ after the Hammers let slip a 94th-minute lead.

West Ham United looked on course for a notable victory over the ten-man Foxes after goalscorer Jamie Vardy’s red card allowed Andy Carroll – with a penalty – and Cresswell himself – with a wonder-goal – to put the visitors ahead late on.

However, Carroll went from hero to villain when his challenge on Jeff Schlupp was adjudged a foul and referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot, allowing substitute Leonardo Ulloa to send Adrian the wrong way from 12 yards.

“It’s very disappointing, especially being 2-1 up with a couple of minutes to go and they get a penalty,” said the No3. “I haven’t seen it back, to be fair, so I don’t know if it was a penalty, but it feels like a defeat and it’s very frustrating that we haven’t walked away with the three points.

“I thought we started the game excellently, then Leicester grew into the game and obviously Vardy got the goal and they went in 1-0 up at half-time.

“His sending-off changed the game in our favour, you could say, and we thought we’d go on and get the three points, but we’ve ended up with a point today.”

Cresswell’s disappointment came despite a fantastic second goal of the season from the left-back, who controlled Michail Antonio’s deflected cross before smashing an unstoppable shot past Kasper Schmeichel with just four minutes of the 90 remaining.

“I haven’t scored one for a while, so it was fantastic for me,” said the defender, who added to his fine goal at Aston Villa on Boxing Day. “I think someone has flicked it on and it’s landed on my chest and then thankfully for me it’s gone in the back of the net.”

Earlier, there was plenty of controversy as Vardy was shown a second yellow card for simulation and, even earlier, Cheikhou Kouyate’s second-minute header had hit both posts following a Dimitri Payet free-kick.

“To be fair, I didn’t see much of the second yellow card and I didn’t have an angle where I could see if he dived or not, but the first one was obviously a yellow,” Cresswell observed. “That swung the game in our favour and we should have gone on and got the three points.

“I think the officials need help. Some decisions go your way and some don’t but if you’ve got the TV you can look at, you can make the right decision.

“They brought the goalline technology in and maybe Cheik’s header might have been given as a goal in that day. It’s one of them, a minute into the game, and if it had gone in it would have swung it massively in our favour and we might have gone on to win the game.

“We didn’t hold on for the three points, which was very disappointing.”

Sunday’s draw was a fourth in succession in the Barclays Premier League, but Cresswell insists West Ham will not give up their challenge for European qualification, with Emirates FA Cup semi-finalists Watford next up at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday evening.

“I think, because we had the defeat against Man United in the FA Cup, it shows our heads haven’t gone down and our season’s not finished,” he concluded. “We’re going to keep pushing on and try to finish as high up that table as we can.”