Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Carroll rescues point for Hammers

Andy Carroll, left, netted West Ham's second-half equaliser

Andy Carroll earned West Ham a hard-fought point from a 1-1 draw in miserable conditions at Southampton.

The on-loan 24-year-old missed last weekend's trip to parent club Liverpool and made an immediate impact on his return to Sam Allardyce's starting line-up. Having proved a nuisance all afternoon, the £35 million striker fired low past Artur Boruc to deny Southampton a fourth win on the bounce.

Carroll fired just wide 10 minutes into the second half and the hosts soon capitalised, with club record signing Gaston Ramirez netting. The lead was to last just seven minutes, though, as Carroll found the net after firing home a short free-kick from Gary O'Neil to earn the east Londoners a point.

Carroll was West Ham's only change at Southampton, who brought Danny Fox and Adam Lallana in for Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez. Morgan Schneiderlin received the afternoon's first booking after going down easy under a challenge from Kevin Nolan. Ricardo Vaz Te the flashed a 25-yard drive just over.

Fox was booked for a sliding challenge on Guy Demel. Fox was then easily turned on the wing by Vaz Te, whose pull back would have been turned in by Nolan had it not been for Jos Hooiveld's intervention.

Ramirez floated in a free-kick to the backpost and the Saints forward prodded goalwards, only for Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to superbly tip onto the post. Suggestions the ball was over the line were waved away by referee Mike Dean, who soon booked Carroll for repeated dissent.

Carroll flashed a strike inches wide after Saints failed to clear their lines in the 56th minute. The hosts took advantage of that miss by taking the lead just three minutes later. Boruc's long ball up field was only cleared by James Tomkins as far as Ramirez, who went through to net his fifth of the season.

However, the visiting fans did not have to wait long for something to cheer as West Ham won a free-kick on the edge of the box and O'Neil played it short for Carroll to fire low past Boruc via a slight deflection off Steven Davis.

Southampton brought on Rodriguez for Adam Lallana in a bid to find a winner. Carroll saw a low strike stopped by Boruc as he searched for his second, before coming back to deny Rodriguez at the other end.

The visitors saw handball appeals against Hooiveld waved away late on, before Rodriguez tested Jaaskelainen from distance.

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