Bowen’s belter earns Hammers a point

Brian Jeeves
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AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United – Premier League – Vitality Stadium – Report

AFC Bournemouth 1-1 West Ham United

West Ham United shared the opening day Premier League spoils with AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, despite Jarrod Bowen’s wonderful opening goal for David Moyes’ men.

Since winning the UEFA Europa Conference League, it has been something of a summer of discontent for the Hammers’ support. And with Moyes still shaping his squad, optimism amongst the travelling contingent was, at best, questionable.

Moyes acknowledged the challenge: “I’ve always thought Bournemouth are a big test and they have been for many years,” the Scotsman explained.

“They’ve done brilliantly as a football club and with what they’ve tried to do on not as big a budget as many other clubs.

“Andoni Iraola is now in charge, a different manager. We have lots of good managers come into the Premier League from all over the world now and it’s great to work against them, compete against them.”

With their latest signing, Mexican midfielder Edson Alvarez, deemed not match-ready, while further deals for James Ward-Prowse and Harry Maguire remained incomplete, it was very much a case of ‘as you were’ for Moyes. Nevertheless, following the departure of Declan Rice, coupled with a less-than-impressive pre-season, it came as little surprise that the East Londoners struggled to exert themselves during the opening stages.

Indeed, it was Bournemouth who went close to opening the scoring when David Brooks’ left-footed attempt drifted off target. However, having found their feet, Tomas Soucek went agonisingly close, hooking against the foot of a post after Said Benrahma had played him in.

Ryan Christie drilled into Alphonse Areola’s midriff, while Kurt Zouma cleared in the nick of time as Dominic Solake lurked. Chances continued to come at a premium for West Ham, although Benrahma wasn’t far away with a speculative right-footed strike that was a fraction too high.  

Brooks again tested Areola’s resolve as Bournemouth continued to look the more likely side to break the deadlock during an otherwise scruffy opening period.

Brooks and Areola continued their duel after the restart. This time, the French stopper brilliantly turned over a fierce volley from the Cherries midfielder. But having survived that early scare, West Ham spectacularly snatched the lead.

Bowen’s left-footed strike arrowed high beyond Neto in the Bournemouth goal, this after Soucek had won possession just outside the box. 

West Ham United’s Jarrod Bowen celebrates scoring his side’s goal during their Premier League draw at AFC Bournemouth (Rob Newell CameraSport)

With the wind in the sails, Lucas Paqueta, heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, saw his thumping strike blocked as the East Londoners turned the screw. Meanwhile. Philip’s venomous free-kick was deflected behind as Bournemouth searched for a foothold.

The home side pressed with greater intent. Joe Rothwell hit the frame of the goal with Areola left clutching thin air, while Solake’s header was off-target. But with eight minutes remaining, the home side restored parity. Solanke tip-toed around Areola before rolling into the net., this after Antoine Semenyo’s initial attempt had found its way through a static backline.

Substitute, Danny Ings’ had an effort deflected just the wrong side of an upright after Paqueta had fashioned an opening. But at this stage, the Hammers were hanging on as the home side threw men forward in a bid to claim maximum points.

West Ham held firm under late pressure. They return to Premier League action on Sunday, August 20, when they face Chelsea at the London Stadium (4:30pm).

AFC Bournemouth: Neto (Capt), Aarons (Hill 75′), Zabarnyi, Senesi (Mepham 60′), Kerkez, Brooks (Semenyo 75′), Rothwell, Philip, Christie (Moore 67′), Anthony (Kluivert 60′), Solanke Subs not used: Radu (GK), Traoré, Kilkenny, Greenwood

Booked: Mepham (foul)

Goals: Solake 82′

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma (Capt), Aguerd, Emerson, Souček, Paquetá (Cornet 90+4′), Fornals (Kehrer 86′), Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio (Ings 78′)

Subs not used: Fabiański (GK), Anang (GK), Johnson, Ogbonna, Coventry, Mubama

Booked: Bowen (foul), Antonio (foul), Emerson (foul), Paqueta (handball)

Goals: Bowen 51′

Referee: Peter Bankes

Assistants: Dan Robathan & Nick Greenhalgh

Fourth Official: Gavin Ward

VAR: Michael Salisbury

Assistant VAR: Neil Davies

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk