English Premiership

Stoke end West Ham's streak

2013-08-31 20:18
Jermaine Pennant (Getty Images)

London - Jermaine Pennant came off the bench to score an 82nd-minute free-kick that gave Stoke City a 1-0 win at West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The 30-year-old former Liverpool winger bent an unerring shot inside the right-hand post to register his first league goal since May 2011, having been brought back to Stoke by new manager Mark Hughes after being released at the end of last season.

Victory ended West Ham's unbeaten start to the season and lifted Stoke up to fifth in the fledgling standings, one point behind leaders Chelsea.

Kenwyne Jones kept his place in the Stoke line-up after netting a hat-trick against Walsall in the League Cup in mid-week and he went close in the ninth minute with a rising shot that whistled over the bar.

The visitors enjoyed the best of the first half and West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen had to produce a sharp double-save to parry a shot from Marc Wilson before blocking Jon Walters's follow-up.

It took the hosts until the 33rd minute to craft a meaningful attempt on goal, but Modibo Maiga could only head wide from Matt Jarvis's right-wing cross.

There was a scare for West Ham early in the second period when centre-back Winston Reid landed heavily on his shoulder after an aerial duel with Jones, but the New Zealand international was able to play on.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce introduced former Manchester United prospect Ravel Morrison from the bench in the 64th minute and he played a central role as the hosts began to increase the pressure.

Reid smashed the ball over the bar after Maiga saw a shot deflected behind for a corner, but it was Stoke who made the breakthrough.

Pennant had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he took charge of a direct free-kick 25 yards out and curled a fine shot past Jaaskelainen to give the visitors all three points.


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