Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Mixed emotions for Allardyce

West Ham's Kevin Nolan celebrates scoring the late equalising goal against Sunderland
West Ham's Kevin Nolan celebrates scoring the late equalising goal against Sunderland

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was relieved that his side snatched a point against Sunderland through Kevin Nolan's injury-time equaliser, but his overriding emotion was one of frustration.

Steven Fletcher's fourth goal in three matches had put Sunderland ahead and West Ham dominated the game without reward until Nolan beat goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with a shot on the turn in the dying seconds.

"Didn't we deserve more than that on the balance of play? I thought from the start to finish we were the dominant side and created far more chances," Allardyce said.

"Because we didn't capitalise by having enough players showing a clinical finish we have ended up having to be satisfied with a draw," added the Hammers boss.

"We are relieved and happy to have a point because, irrespective of who was the better side, we were still 1-0 down. At that late stage the point is something we are happy with but overall we are disappointed."

Sunderland had to settle for a fourth consecutive Premier League draw.

"I am obviously disappointed," manager Martin O'Neill said. "We looked as if we had dealt with just about everything that had been thrown at us but we were never able to kill the game off.

"We had some great opportunities in the second half. West Ham were pressing forward and leaving the door open for us. We should have taken advantage of it. We should have won the game.

"Fletcher is playing brilliantly for us. He has scored all of our goals so far.

"He is bringing players into play, he is proving himself an all-round high quality centre forward."

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