English Premiership

Pulis sees WBA battle to draw

2015-01-01 21:34
Tony Pulis (AFP)

London - Newly-installed West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis watched from the stands as his struggling team came from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Thursday.

Pulis, 56, was confirmed as the sacked Alan Irvine's replacement earlier in the day on a two-and-a-half-year deal and charged with keeping the Baggies in the top flight.

But he must have feared the worst when Diafra Sakho fired West Ham into the lead after 10 minutes before Saido Berahino levelled just before the interval as West Brom, with assistant head coach Rob Kelly taking charge, halted a three-game losing streak.

West Brom had gone into the game having not won at Upton Park on their last five visits and with their most recent victory coming back in September 2002.

They made two changes with Berahino and Youssouf Mulumbu coming into the starting XI while the Hammers recalled full-back Carl Jenkinson and James Collins came into defence for the suspended James Tomkins.

West Ham, who had suffered back-to-back defeats at Chelsea and Arsenal over Christmas, were ahead after just 10 minutes when Sakho grabbed his eighth Premier League goal of the season.

The Senegalese striker flicked in a header past Ben Foster in the West Brom goal from close range after being picked out by an Aaron Cresswell cross.

But three minutes before the interval West Brom were level when Berahino, who had scored in his two previous games against the Hammers, also registered his eighth goal of the campaign.

Berahino finished smartly with a right-footed shot after a fast break led by strike partner Stephane Sessegnon.

In between, both sides had chances with West Brom's Chris Baird having a shot saved by Adrian while, at the other end, Foster denied Cresswell and Stewart Downing.

The impressive Cresswell came close to putting the hosts back in front just before the hour mark when a left-footed drive came back off the post.

The result left West Brom just a point off the relegation zone while West Ham are sixth, four points outside the Champions League spots.

Pulis will take charge of West Brom for the first time on Saturday in a FA Cup third-round tie at home to fifth-tier Gateshead.

Read more on:    west ham  |  wba  |  english premiership  |  soccer


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