Sticky Toffee – Everton 2, Hammers 0

13h30 kick off is never ideal. So this was a game that I was going to have to follow via BBC text once more as I was in the mountains – and this was the view:

Not bad and very peaceful – bar the incessant chatter of the Chinese tourists – social graces are still not their forte.

So I have had to scribe my musings on the back of watching the highlights – never a good thing, but best I can do in the circumstances.

Whilst there was a fairly decent start, the pressure from Everton was somewhat more stern. Attempts rained on the West Ham goal and Adrian had to be on top form to ensure that it was a 0-0 first half. There was a meagre scattering of attack from West Ham, which seems to be expected when you have midfielders as your starting attack – Zaza and Ayew on the bench.

Lukaku’s opening goal could have been prevented, but again we seem to have switched off at the back. Bolasie gets in the cross from Adrian’s parry – Lukaku heads in to an empty net……but created by an initial poor clearance from the otherwise stalwart Reid. 1-0 and it was just too easy to head in the goal. Poor from the Hammers.

Lukaku was a pain in the arse and a threaded ball from Ross Barkley enabled him to run down the right hand side of the pitch, pulling back to allow Barkley to score. The defence were in no man’s land and simply did not pick up.

This is annoying result after the midweek heroics of the EFL Cup win against Chelsea. I thought the tide would turn and we would at least get a draw. Stoke at home next. This is not a game I am going to look forward to as they seem to be on a bit of revival – Shaquiri is a massive talent, as skillful as Payet on his day. Their win against Swansea sees us hovering over the relegation spots – a position I am not really comfortable with at all. I think that we really need strikers up front – Carroll is still a way off, Ayew coming back from injury, Zaza blowing hot and cold…….what we would do to have a Lukaku as a starting option?!

I will not be able to ‘watch’ the game due to a children’s birthday party, but maybe that is a good thing – nothing more frustrating than seeing the Hammers just not performing.

But then again, you stick with them through thick and thin. That is what makes us part of the West ham family even though it bloody hurts at times.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “While you are always not happy after a defeat, I am more disappointed because we could have taken something from this game.

“I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve it, because they were more mature, but we should have done better.

“They were more lethal and more cruel when they were offered something from us. We didn’t capitalise on our chances.”

Everton: Joel; Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Oviedo; Gueye, Barry, Barkley (Lennon 88); Bolasie (Jagielka 82), Lukaku, Mirallas (Cleverley 71)

Subs not used: Hewelt, Deulofeu, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate
Bookings: Gueye, Oviedo

West Ham: Adrian; Kouyate, Reid, Ogbonna; Fernandes (Zaza 70), Obiang (Ayew 60), Noble, Cresswell, Lanzini (Feghouli 77), Payet, Antonio

Subs not used: Randolph, Nordtveit, Collins, Fletcher
Bookings: Obiang, Reid, Antonio

Referee: Anthony Taylor

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