David Moyes admitted AFC Bournemouth’s late, controversial equaliser in the 3-3 Boxing Day draw with his West Ham United side was a ‘killer’.
A pulsating encounter at the Vitality Stadium ended level after Callum Wilson turned home Nathan Ake’s cross for the home side in added-time, although the goal was only given after referee Bobby Madley had spoken to his assistant referee, whose flag had been raised when the ball initially hit the back of the net.
Prior to that the Hammers had come from 2-1 behind – having led 1-0 thanks to a James Collins header- to lead 3-2 through a brace from Marko Arnautovic.
The Scot acknowledges his side were lacking quality in a frantic fixture on the south coast but found Bournemouth’s equalising effort difficult to accept.
“I think the referees do a great job here, I really do," said Moyes. "I think we’ve got good referees. It’s not easy but I think there were a couple of things that maybe could have gone a different way for us.
“I don’t know why he wouldn’t go with his linesman’s decision. He puts his flag up obviously because he believes there’s an offside. The worst part is that it’s a Bournemouth player who puts the ball in the net with the top of his arm. It should have been stopped for that.
“We’re disappointed because we’re in the dying minutes and we’ve got ourselves 3-2 up. We’d fought back although we weren’t great throughout all of the game. We showed great spirit to get back in it and then to lose a goal like that is a killer.”
We showed great spirit to get back in it and then to lose a goal like that is a killer
The Irons took the lead in the seventh minute through a returning Collins, who headed in Aaron Cresswell’s corner at the near post, but the game was level at half-time after Dan Gosling scored on 29 minutes.
The Cherries were ahead midway through the second half through a Nathan Ake header, before Arnautovic pounced on an Asmir Begovic error to level the game. The Austrian then netted his fifth goal in his last five games to put West Ham in front on 89 minutes, after Begovic palmed Chicharito’s effort towards him.
However, the final twist of a roller-coaster contest saw Bournemouth claim a point.
“It was unbelievable,” Moyes said on the match. “Not for a minute am I saying we were robbed; far from it. The game could have gone any way. We missed a few chances and they certainly did as well.
“When we got 3-2 up with a couple of minutes to go, to lose that through that goal is going to be hard to take. There were periods in the game I didn’t think we were getting back in it.”
West Ham’s next match will take place on Tuesday 2 January, at home to West Brom, and Moyes is eager to get his team back to Rush Green to work on their defending after conceding six goals in two matches.
“We have to get back on the training ground and see if we can work on a lot of things. We showed great spirit and great energy to stay in the game, but we’ve got to defend much better than we have done today.”