Noble's 50th West Ham goal earns Crystal Palace draw

Mark Noble celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace

A 50th West Ham United goal for Captain Mark Noble secured the Irons a share of the points in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

The midfielder confidently put away from the penalty spot just moments before half-time to draw David Moyes’s side level, reaching the impressive milestone of 50 goals for the Club.

Striker Christian Benteke had headed home the first finish of the match, when a cross by Andros Townsend was met by the Belgian on 24 minutes.

But Noble’s spot-kick ensured West Ham’s unbeaten start to 2018 in the league continued, with the side now without a loss in six league contests.

It was almost a dream home debut for Joao Mario, making his first start for the Irons, when he latched onto a Chicharito header on three minutes, only for his volleyed effort to skew wide.

The Mexican himself almost had a glorious chance to open the scoring but as Chicharito teed up a shot from close range, the striker was well-tackled by former West Ham defender James Tomkins.

Despite the Hammers having the better chances, it was Palace that took the lead, as Benteke rose highest to head home from Townsend’s lofted cross.

But the game was once again level two minutes before half-time when Tomkins was ruled to have fouled Chicharito in the penalty box. Up stepped Captain Noble, who reliably tucked away the spot-kick and his 50th West Ham goal.

Five minutes into the second period and the Irons could have taken the lead. Chicharito was excellently found with a cross and the striker’s header would have almost certainly found the net had he placed it anywhere else, but unfortunately the effort was straight at Wayne Hennessey.

Youngster Declan Rice decided to try his luck from distance with a shot after a decent move from the home side, but the 19-year-old’s rocketed effort went over the crossbar.

The home supporters showed their appreciation for Mario’s efforts on an impressive first start, and the 25-year-old’s free-kick almost led to West Ham’s second, but it just evaded each of the attacking Hammers.

And, despite both sides threatening with half-chances, the contest remained 1-1 and ended as a draw.

West Ham United: Adrian; Byram, Collins, Rice, Ogbonna, Zabaleta, Cresswell, Noble (c), Kouyate (Oxford 86’), Joao Mario, Chicharito

Subs not used: Hart, Fonte, Cullen, Haksabanovic, Quina, Martinez

Goals: Noble 43’ (p),

Crystal Palace: Hennessey; van Aanholt, Milivojevic (c), Tomkins, Townsend, Zaha, Benteke, McArthur, Fosu-Mensah, Sako (Cabaye 41’), Kelly

Subs not used: Speroni, Ward, Sakho, Lee, Souare, Riedewald

Goals: Benteke 24’,