In the final home match of the season – and possibly Sam Allardyce's last – West Ham conceded a late winner in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Everton at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Before this game Everton had won only one of their last six away games in the top-flight, losing four while the Hammers had scored just five goals in their last 10 matches and never more than once in a game. A goalless draw looked inevitable.
On a glorious afternoon in the capital, the visitors claimed the first chance of the match. Goalkeeper Adrian was made to work after three minutes by parrying Leon Osman shot from just outside the area.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman could have been punished for handling the ball on two occasions in the space of three minutes but referee Kevin Friend waved away the Hammers claims.
West Ham were forced into an early change as James Collins left the field with a hamstring injury, replaced by Young Hammer of the Year Reece Burke.
Despite the end of season feel to this game, the West Ham faithful were still full of optimism with half an hour played.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last five appearances against the east Londoners. However, the former Chelsea frontman squandered his best opportunity from 12 yards out.
With just over half an hour played, Tim Howard was forced into his first stop of the match keeping out Stewart Downing’s drive from 20 yards.
After the break, Lukaku was getting even closer. His 20 yard free kick hit the back station much to the disappointment of the travelling fans.
However, in a dull second half Stewart Downing managed to give West Ham the lead. Midfielder Alex Song’s guided pass saw the Englishman worm his way through the Everton backline and produce a smart finish after 62 minutes.
Five minutes later, the game was back on level terms. Lukaku turned from goal scorer to assist maker whipping a great cross towards Leon Osman who fired past Adrian.
With full time approaching Lukaku was looking to extend his goal scoring record against the Hammers but Adrian was on hand to keep out the prolific striker.
In the 93rd minute, Roberto Martinez’s men grabbed the winner inevitably from Lukaku. Aiden McGeady’s cross evaded the West ham backline and there was Lukaku to nod home.
West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins (Burke, 13), Reid, Cresswell; Song, Noble ©, Kouyate, Downing; Cole (Nene, 69), Valencia.
Subs: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Lee.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Galloway, Jagielka ©, Stones; McCarthy, Barry, Lennon (McGeady, 77), Barkley (Mirallas, 69), Osman; Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Garbutt, Besic, Naismith, Kone.