Michail Antonio got the winner again for West Ham and denied former boss Sam Allardyce a precious point towards West Brom’s survival bid.
Antonio, who scored the only goal of the game against Burnley at the weekend, struck again as the Hammers climbed to seventh following a 2-1 win.
The controversy started however before a ball was kicked with the omission of Robert Snodgrass from the West Brom squad. The Scot had impressed in the Baggies 3-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend but was left a spectator because of an agreement between his new employers and the Hammers with the Premier League now reportedly “looking into” the matter.
The story on the pitch was better for West Ham who had plenty of the ball in the first half but struggled to breakdown Allardyce’s defensive line.
Craig Dawson perhaps should have opened the scoring against his former side but planted a free header wide at the far post from a corner and just when the first half was meandering towards a goalless conclusion, Vladimir Coufal burst into the area from the right.
The Czech full-back drilled in a cross which Bowen, with little time to react, managed to divert in with his chest from four yards out.
Early in the second half Lukasz Fabianski kept out Conor Gallagher’s angled shot, but moments later the Poland keeper was beaten. West Ham’s defence backed off Pereira as he reached the edge of the box and the Brazilian winger made them pay with a low shot which arrowed into the bottom corner drawing the game level – despite calls from the West Ham defence that Gallagher was interfering with play in an offside position.
West Ham continued to press for the winner and it arrived on the 65th minute when Aaron Cresswell’s cross found the head of substitute Andriy Yarmolenko. His header back into the danger zone was heading behind Antonio but he twisted his body well to hook the ball in from six yards out.
The Baggies rallied late on with a series of freekicks pumped high into the West Ham area but they came to nothing and West Ham win their first four fixtures in a calendar year for the first time since 1958 whilst West Brom remain 5 points from safety in the Premier League.
West Ham United 2 – 1 West Bromich Albion.