Fan's View: Optimism undiminished despite Everton defeat (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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West Ham fan Jack Teague remains confident despite Hammers' 1-0 defeat to Everton in the Premier League
I knew our unbeaten run couldn’t go on forever but the fact I’m still a little disappointed at leaving Goodison Park with nothing perhaps shows how far we’ve come in recent weeks.
Pre-match the talk centered on the returning Andy Carroll and whether he’d dislodge Carlton Cole from the starting eleven but Allardyce stayed loyal and kept the same starting line-up that had done so well in recent weeks, meaning a place on the bench for Winston Reid too.
Everton are a good side and started brightly but once we’d weathered the initial storm we seemed to settle and looked a threat on the break.
Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say the referee was a major factor in us not getting anything, Jonathan Moss did make at least three decisions which went massively in the home side's favour.
First, when Kevin Nolan was clean through and only prevented from getting a shot in by Gareth Barry’s bearhug which didn’t even warrant a free-kick according to the man in black, when surely that and a red card should have been given.
Then James Tomkins went into Moss’s book for a perfectly good tackle which I can only assume was deemed too aggressive by the ref.
That was until not long after when young Everton defender John Stones launched into a not dissimilar challenge, didn’t even connect with the ball, and yet was let off with just a ticking off for his misdemeanor. It’s this kind of inconsistency which makes supporters so angry.
Carroll’s introduction came barely half an hour in after Allardyce had grown increasingly frustrated with Cole giving the ball away, but it almost backfired spectacularly when he went up for a header with James McCarthy and came down heavily on his ankle, not what you want to see happening to a striker only just returning from a long term injury.
Thankfully, despite also suffering a dislocated finger in the game, Carroll’s old injury problems didn’t return and he managed to play on for the duration.
We were second best throughout but it seemed we might hang on for an unlikely point.
However, much like the game at Upton Park earlier this season, the introduction of fit-again on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku proved to be our undoing, as he latched on to a Leighton Baines cross to slot home a late winner for The Toffeemen.
But still, a 1-0 defeat away to Everton is far from embarrassing and with games to come against Stoke and Hull I see no reason why we won’t get to that sacred 40-point mark sooner rather than later.