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Newcastle revival continues after Joe Willock’s equaliser at West Ham

newcastle united vs manchester city
A file photo shows Newcastle's Joe Willock

Newcastle’s revival continued with a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw at top-four hopefuls West Ham.

Joe Willock’s scruffy equaliser cancelled out Craig Dawson’s header as the Magpies made it six Premier League games unbeaten.

It was another important point in Newcastle’s survival bid and was all the more impressive given they were without arguably their two most important players, with Allan Saint-Maximin and Kieran Trippier both injured.

For West Ham it felt more like two points dropped as they missed the chance to climb back above Manchester United into fourth.

Kurt Zouma was restored to the West Ham defence having missed the draw at Leicester through illness, and the Newcastle fans were quick to remind him of his cat-kicking shame, waving inflatable felines and booing the French defender’s every touch.

West Ham survived an early goalmouth scramble when Jacob Murphy’s shot was blocked with Willock firing the rebound over.

The hosts gradually got a foothold in the match, though, and Michail Antonio’s drive was blocked by Matt Targett.

Moments later Declan Rice’s diagonal ball found Ryan Fredericks, who deftly headed it into the path of Jarrod Bowen.

England hopeful Bowen strode forward before hitting an angled shot which Toon keeper Martin Dubravka tipped against the crossbar.

West Ham have been spreading the goals around this season and this time it was defender Dawson who chipped in with his second in two matches.

After Emil Krafth was booked for a crude body-check on Antonio, Aaron Cresswell swung in the free-kick from the left and Dawson powerfully headed home.

It was the Hammers’ 11th goal scored from a free-kick this season, and a seventh assist of the campaign for left-back Cresswell.

However, West Ham’s back four are not currently as proficient in their day job, and they gifted Newcastle an equaliser in first-half stoppage time.

Rice made a mess of his attempt to head Ryan Fraser’s cross clear and Willock got in between Fredericks and Dawson and prodded the ball in off the far post, with Lukasz Fabianski unable to scramble it clear before it crossed the line.

After the break Willock sent a curler narrowly wide after Joelinton had robbed the labouring Tomas Soucek in midfield.

David Moyes brought off Said Benrahma with 15 minutes left and the Algerian got a frosty reception from his manager as he trudged off too slowly.

His replacement, Nikola Vlasic, almost teed up a winner for Pablo Fornals but once again a wall of Newcastle bodies kept the hosts at bay to preserve a point.

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