English Premiership

Bojan punishes Adrian blunder to rescue Stoke

2016-11-05 19:48
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

London - Bojan Krkic punished a costly mistake from West Ham goalkeeper Adrian as Stoke battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Mark Hughes' side trailed to Glenn Whelan's second half own goal, but they were bailed out when Adrian made a hash of a routine cross and Spanish forward Bojan fired home.

Stoke's escape left West Ham frustrated in their first home game since a League Cup win over Chelsea was marred by serious crowd trouble.

The Hammers are still too close to the relegation zone for comfort, while Stoke remain in mid-table after extending their unbeaten run to six matches.

Stoke were without Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic through injury and suspension respectively, but they still had Joe Allen, whose impressive form has been key to their recent revival, and the Wales midfielder was first to threaten when he smashed over from long-range.

Bilic was able to welcome back club record signing Andre Ayew, who made his first start since suffering a thigh injury on his debut against Chelsea in August.

But even Ayew could do little to pep up a lacklustre West Ham forward line.

A rare incisive Hammers raid was inspired by Dimitri Payet, who swung over a cross that Angelo Ogbonna directed goalwards, only to see Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant make a fine save.

Stoke were back on the attack when Wilfried Bony's excellent backheel put Charlie Adam in on goal, but the Scotland midfielder shot straight at Adrian.

Payet went close for the hosts when he rifled a free-kick just over the bar on the stroke of half-time.

Stoke defender Phil Bardsley tried his luck from 40 yards out early in the second half with a shot that dipped narrowly wide.

Bilic made a double substitution in the 62nd minute, sending on Ashley Fletcher and Edimilson Fernandes and moving Antonio from the flanks into a central attacking role.

The move reaped an instant reward as West Ham went in front in the 65th minute as Antonio rose meet Payet's free-kick and headed in via a deflection off Whelan.

Yet West Ham's lead lasted only 10 minutes as Hughes matched Bilic with a slick substitution of his own.

Introducing Bojan and Peter Crouch rattled West Ham and Hughes was celebrating his switch after Adrian made a hash of dealing with Walters' high ball, leaving Bojan to pounce on the loose ball and fire in the equaliser.

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