Live Commentary: Stoke City 2-2 West Ham United - as it happened

Stewart Downing of West Ham celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match on November 1, 2014
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Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium between Stoke City and West Ham United.

West Ham United travelled to Stoke City knowing that a win would keep them in the top four.

Meanwhile, the hosts had been in patchy form prior to the game, winning three and losing three of their previous six encounters.

They took a two-goal lead early in the second half, but a Stewart Downing-inspired comeback gave the Hammers a share of the spoils.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by minute live commentary below.


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2.03pmGood afternoon and thanks for joining me on Sports Mole this afternoon. Today's result could depend on which Stoke City turn up - will it be the one that beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium or the side that lost at home to Leicester City?

2.06pmOne thing is for sure - West Ham United will be in buoyant mood. Their impressive season continued on its upward trajectory last weekend with an impressive 2-1 win over Man City.

2.07pmBut first of all, let's bring you the team news...

2.07pmStoke City starting XI: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, N'Zonzi, Sidwell, Moses, Walters, Bojan, Diouf

2.08pmStoke City subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Ireland, Arnautovic, Adam, Teixeira, Assaidi

2.08pmWest Ham United starting XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell, Song, Noble, Kouyate, Amalfitano, Downing, Valencia

2.09pmWest Ham United subs: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Poyet, Zarate, Jarvis, Cole

2.11pmSo Mark Hughes has made two changes from the side that lost 3-2 to Southampton in the League Cup in midweek. Steve Sidwell has come in for Phil Bardsley, with Goeff Cameron dropping back into right-back. Further forward, Victor Moses has replaced Marko Arnautovic.

2.16pmAnd it's an interesting move by Hammers manager Sam Allardyce. Diafra Sakho has been in scintillating form this season, but he's picked up an injury and misses out altogether today. That means that Enner Valencia will start upfront by himself, with Cheikhou Kouyate coming into the side in a five-man midfield.

2.19pmAllardyce has been left with little choice in all honesty. His only other striking option is Carlton Cole, who has hardly been pulling up trees recently. It will be interesting to see how a switch to a five-man midfield might hamper their attacking threat, though.

2.22pmBefore today's game kicks off, don't forget that there is plenty of action happening already. At St James' Park, Newcastle United have just taken the lead against Liverpool, while it's finished goalless between Wolves and Birmingham.

2.25pmBut back in the Potteries, it's a big, big game for both teams. Another win for West Ham would keep them in the top four after 11 games, while Stoke could do with a home win to help make the Britannia a fortress once more.

2.28pmI wonder just how big a miss Skaho will be for the Hammers this afternoon. The Senegalese centre-forward has arguably been the signing of the season so far, scoring six goals in his last six league games. As good as Valencia has been, his strike partner's been the start of the show so far and the Ecuadorian needs to step up and find the back of the net today.

2.31pmMeanwhile, Stoke have found goals hard to come by this season. They've scored at less than a rate of a goal of game so far in the current campaign. Mame Biram Diouf, who starts up top for the Potters, is their top scorer, but he's only netted twice in the league so far this term.

2.36pmStoke were victorious in both of last year's league clashes between the sides. The first game saw Jermaine Pennant hand the Potters a late 1-0 win at Upton Park in the early stages of the campaign and they triumphed again after Christmas, winning 3-1 at the Britannia.

2.40pmPerhaps Stoke's main downfall this year has been their defence. A season or two ago, they were renowned for being rock-solid at the back, particularly at home. However, they've struggled to keep clean sheets under Mark Hughes and have managed just two shutouts so far this term - in a 1-0 win away at Man City and a victory over Newcastle at home by the same scoreline.

2.43pmSpeaking of Newcastle, after a shocking start to the season which saw Alan Pardew come under severe pressure, they've now won four on the bounce. Following up from Wednesday's League Cup victory over Manchester City in midweek, they've now beaten Liverpool 1-0 at St James' Park and overtake the Reds in the Premier League table in the process. Here's Sian Cowper's match report. Football is a funny old game...

2.45pmThere are 15 minutes until kickoff in Stoke, so why don't you take a look at what Sports Mole's very own Matt Law and Pascal Lemesre have to say about today's game.


2.49pmWell, both Matt and Pascal have gone a draw... and I'm afraid I'm going to sit on the fence too! I just think that without Sakho, West Ham could prove a little more toothless than in recent weeks. I'm also going to go with a 1-1 draw.

2.52pmHere's West Ham's Stewart Downing warming up. Rest assured, his shot did have a little more power than the slo-mo video suggests. Or at least I hope it did...



2.57pmThe teams have just come out onto the pitch, Mark Hughes applauding the Stoke City faithful on his way out. Not long to go now...

1 minKICKOFF! We're underway!

1 minThere have been fewer goals at the Britannia Stadium this season than at any other Football League ground to date. Don't be surprised if it ends 0-0.

2 minJonathan Walters intercepts a weak square pass by Mark Noble and charges towards goal, but his low cross is cut out at the near post by Winston Reid. The Stoke corner comes to nothing.

2 minWest Ham charge down the other end on the counter attack, but the move breaks down and the referee stops play for a head injury.

4 minOne thing Hughes has got Stoke doing is playing football on the deck. Asmir Begoivc has just pumped a goal kick forwards, but before doing so he looked for the short pass. It may not be reaping dividends just yet, but it's certainly more pleasing on the eye than the 'hoofball' style they've long been associated with.

5 minWell, Reid's just tried to hook a ball into the box from the half way line, but it's sailed into the crowd behind Begovic's goal.

6 minOne-time Barcelona forward Bojan has just cut inside from the right flank and smashed a shot at goal, but it's been blocked by a mass of West Ham bodies.

7 minMoses fires over from 25 yards now after good hold-up play by Diouf. A decent start by Stoke.

8 minAt the other end, Downing fires a 35-yard free kick well over the bar. He's been in good form this year, but that was very ambitious!

10 minBLOCK! A marvellous block by James Collins from Bojan's shot from 18 yards. The diminutive forward was given the ball by Cameron, who had charged forward from right-back, but it was a brave block by the Welsh defender.

12 minWalters now spins and sends a volley wide from 20 yards. It was a weak effort and bobbled harmlessly wide, but Stoke have certainly started as the better side here.

13 minDiouf and Steve Sidwell now exchange passes, but the midfielder's cross is cut out at West Ham have a chance to get a breather as Marc Wilson whacks the ball into touch.

14 minA real chance for Alex Song to put Valencia through on ball after dispossessing Sidwell, but after driving at the heart of the Stoke defence, the on-loan Barcelona midfielder puts too much onto his pass and it runs out of play for a goal kick.

16 minCollins again with a brilliant block from Steven Nzonzi's long-range effort sets up another West Ham counter attack, but Begovic plucks Carl Jenkinson's cross out of the air.

18 minMorgan Amalfitano has really struggled so far today and he gets stuck in a corner, quite literally. Nzonzi puts him under pressure and the winger can't help but run it out for a corner to Stoke.

19 minReid's gone down with an injury for West Ham here and after receiving treatment, he won't be able to defend this corner....

19 min... but Downing heads it away at the near post.

20 minReid is back on the pitch and wins a foul from Diouf, who bundles into the back of him.

20 min20 minutes gone at the Britannia then and there haven't really been any clear-cut chances in all honesty. Plenty of endeavour though.

21 minCLOSE! A superb move by Stoke sees them eventually move it to Bojan on the right wing, who whips a skidding, low cross right across the face of the six-yard box and Diouf comes within inches of making a firm contact with the ball. A real moment of magic from Bojan, there.

23 minReid's down again for West Ham and seems to be signalling that he won't be able to continue. The injury seems to have come from when he smashed into Nzonzi early on.

24 minSUBSTITUTION: That's the end of Reid's afternoon. He's been in great form so far this season, but James Tomkins - who has only just returned to full fitness himself - has replaced the New Zealand international.

27 minCHANCE! A long ball from West Ham is cut out by Begovic, but the giant goalkeeper can only clear as far as the feet of Downing, whose original shot is closed down. However, he picks up the ball again and plays a one-two with Song and takes the ball onto his right foot, but when one-on-one he can only slice his right-footed shot high and wide of the near post. The best chance of the game so far.

28 minA big, big chance for Downing there. Given his form so far this season, you would've backed him to find the back of the net, too, but it was a panicked effort.

30 minStoke are back in the ascendancy now though and have their third corner of the game...

31 min... but again it's a waste. Moses fires the ball into Walters, but the winger makes contact with the ball at least five yards beyond the near post and can only hook it high over the bar.

32 minNzonzi wins a free kick against three West Ham players. Great strength from the midfielder and his persistence has lifted the crowd.

33 minGOAL! (Victor Moses) Stoke City 1-0 West Ham

33 minWell, that's certainly not going to win the goal of the month competition, but Moses couldn't care less! The winger challenged for the initial ball at the far post from Cameron's cross. It fell at the feet of Diouf, who had his back to goal, but the forward set up Bojan, whose subsequent shot from 12 yards was blocked, but Moses slid in and squirmed the ball home from a yard out.

35 minMoses is confident and steps up to take a free kick from 30 yards, but it is incredibly weak and bounces once before curling 10 yards wide of the mark. That was even worse than Downing's effort earlier in the half!

37 minYou might have thought that goal would have sparked West Ham into life, but it seems to have done the opposite. The Hammers have hardly touched the ball since going a goal down.

38 minAt a second glance, Moses' goal was even more scrappy than I originally thought! His initial effort hit the post and it rebounded back off his shin before crawling over the line. They all count though!

40 minMoses is full of confidence and bundles through two challenges before eventually losing his footing inside the box. The home crowd are certainly enjoying themselves - the Britannia is bouncing!

41 minWest Ham have now got their first real sustained period of possession since the goal. Can they bounce back before the break?

42 minThe answer is no, as Jenkinson's wasteful header gifts Stoke the ball once more and Allardyce's side are on the back foot again.

44 minCLOSE! Bojan steps inside from the left wing and flashes a low shot just wide of the near post. In truth, Adrian would have had it covered, but more intelligent play from Bojan in finding space on the edge of the box.

45 minTWO MINUTES OF ADDED TIME TO BE PLAYED

45+1 minMoses races back to the left-back position now and beats Jenkinson to the ball before releasing Nzonzi. Brilliant work-rate from the winger.

45+2 minSAVE! Adrian makes a superb save from Diouf right on the stroke of half time. The forward brilliantly rolled Collins on the edge of the box and tried to stab the ball into the far corner, but Adrian raced out and deflected the ball behind with an outstretched foot.

3.48pmHALF TIME: Stoke City 1-0 West Ham

3.51pmThere's only been one side in the game in all honesty. From minute one, Stoke have looked hungrier, faster and better. It's strange to think that this is the same West Ham who beat Manchester City last week!

3.55pmWell, there's only been one goal so far in this game, but Moses' goal is one of only three to be scored so far in the Premier League this afternoon. Oscar's strike is the difference as Chelsea lead QPR 1-0, while Victor Wanyama netted early on to put Southampton 1-0 up at Hull. Every other game is goalless so far.

4.00pmAllardyce will be fuming with his side in the changing room. Their recent form counts for nothing today and they've been the very definition of abject. Surely Sakho's absence can't be making that much of a difference?

46 minKICKOFF: The second half is underway.

46 minSUBSTITUTION: Allardyce has made a change at the break and it's not surprising. Amalfitano was anonymous in the first half and has been replaced by Carlton Cole, who has gone straight upfront, with Valencia shifting out to the left-wing position.

48 minStoke have controlled possession again in the first few minutes of the second period and force another corner, but it's dealt with well by West Ham.

49 minPlay has stopped now and Valencia is down after a late challenge by Wilson. Somehow, the referee's assistant misses the blatant foul despite standing two yards away from the incident. A baffling decision.

51 minMoses almost tees up another chance for Nzonzi, but a poor first touch lets the midfielder down. The chance came after incredible work rate from Bojan, who raced back to snatch the ball off the feet of Song. The creative duo have been really impressive for Stoke so far.

52 minMark Noble is penalised for a foul on Bojan, but the referee opts against bringing out his cards. I would imagine you could have got slim odds on that being the case after almost an hour!

54 minBojan is everywhere! He starts yet another Stoke attack and drives at the defence before releasing Cameron on the right wing, but the move breaks down.

55 minBOOKING: I did say it was unusual not to have had any yellow cards so far, and Sidwell is the first player to enter the referee's book.

56 minGOAL! (Mame Biram Diouf) Stoke City 2-0 West Ham

56 minAaron Cresswell tries to let the ball run out of play, but Walters doesn't give up on it and keeps his composure to cut inside and set up Diouf with a perfect cross and the forward glances a header beyond Adrian at the near post.

57 minCLOSE! Moses comes close to putting the game beyond West Ham, but bends a good effort just wide of the far post after beating Jenkinson for pace again.

58 minCHANCE! The first chance of the half for West Ham and they are mightily close to finding the back of the net. Valencia races inbetween the full-backs and centre-halves and fires towards goal, but Ryan Shawcross gets a crucial touch to deflect the powerful strike over the bar.

60 minGOAL! Stoke City 2-1 West Ham (Enner Valencia)

60 minWe've got a game on our hands! Valencia reduces the deficit with a clever diving header at the far post from an inch-perfect Downing cross on the right flank. That's a real get out of jail card for the visitors, but what a delightfully worked goal it was!

62 minStoke are fuming, though. In the build-up to that goal Song flew into a two-footed challenge with Moses with his studs showing. He's a very, very lucky boy to still be on the pitch. Luckily for him, Moses hurdled the challenge. Had he made contact, the referee would surely have produced a red card.

64 minSAVE! What a game! Stoke break again and Walters tees up Nzonzi on the edge of the box. The giant midfielder attempts to guide an effort inside the near post, but Adrian reacts well and parries it behind for a corner.

65 minTen minutes ago, it looked as thought his game was all over, but that goal has given West Ham a lift and put doubt into the minds of Stoke. 25 minutes remain.

66 minBOOKING: Bojan's feet are too quick for Collins, who catches the attacker with a late challenge.

67 minBegovic just manages to get to the ball before Cole, who tries to make contact with a loose ball in the area. West Ham are certainly back in this game now!

68 minSUBSTITUTION: It's a change of captain for West Ham, as Kevin Nolan takes the armband from the departing Noble.

71 minCHANCE! Diouf misses a gilt-edged chance to make it 3-1. A deep free kick from the left wing finds the head of the forward, who is unmarked, but he plants his header wide of the near post. What a glorious opportunity!

72 minCole and Begovic are spoken to by Chris Foy after an altercation in the box which sparked an angry reaction from the West Ham forward.

73 minGOAL! Stoke City 2-2 West Ham (Stewart Downing)

73 minThey've turned it around! A deep corner is collected by Valenica, who twists an turns his way past two defenders before pulling the back to set up Downing, who smashes a right-footed shot inside the near post from 16 yards. Great willpower shown by West Ham!

75 minWest Ham's backs are up now - and rightly so - as Valencia sends a long-range shot wide of the near post. The game has completely turned on its head.

77 minSAVE! Begovic makes a big save at the feet of Valencia, who was freed after the ball cannoned into his path inside the area. The forward tried to round the Stoke 'keeper, but Begovic did well to get down low and claw the ball off his toes.

79 minIt's end to end stuff here now. Both sides rightly feel that they can take all three points today.

80 minSAVE! Bojan skips away from a static Nolan on the edge of the box and fires towards goal, but it's straight down the throat of Adrian.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: A strange decision by Hughes this, as Bojan is replaced by Charlie Adam. The forward has been the best player on the pitch today and looked the most likely to turn the screw for Stoke.

83 minSAVE! Cameron rather stumbles into the ball as he struggles to rearrange his feet after a low cross from the right wing. Adrian makes a glorious save low to his right to prevent a Stoke winner, but the referee gives a goal kick. I'm sure Adrian will want credit for that great save!

85 minThis games sums up the Premier League fantastically. Challenges flying in now, the crowd are in full voice and the pace of the game is frightening!

88 minAdrian has gone down after a challenge from Walters and that will only add to the stoppage time at the end of the game. Is there time for a winner?

88 minNzonzi's played quite well so far, but he aimlessly whacks the ball upfield despite being under no pressure at all. That was rather odd!

90 minTHREE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME

90+1 minWe're into added time now and Stoke are on the attack...

90+1 minShawcross - of all people - charges down the right wing before Kouyate stops him abruptly with a bone-shuddering challenge.

90+2 minShawcross is in the thick of it, as he sees a volley blocked on the edge of the box from a corner. One minute to go!

4.51pmFULL TIME: Stoke City 2-2 West Ham

4.52pmMy oh my. That was a breathless second half! Credit to West Ham for fighting back from two goals down to rescue a point, but Stoke had the chances to get all three points today.

4.54pmQuick as a flash, Simon Sinclair's match report is already online here., so why don't you take a look back through a pulsating encounter!

4.55pmThat's all from me this afternoon, but don't go anywhere! Stick around on Sports Mole for plenty of reaction from all of today's Premier League games.

Sam Allardyce the West Ham manager looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Ham United at the Stadium of Light on March 31, 2014
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