Half-time substitute Rickie Lambert helped West Brom to a 1-1 draw against West Ham in the Premier League at Upton Park on Sunday.
Mauro Zarate put West Ham in front with a brilliant free-kick in the 17th minute, but Lambert, introduced in place of Stephane Sessegnon for the second half, had an effort deflected in off Winston Reid five minutes after the restart to earn West Brom a point.
Zarate, only in the West Ham side due to the recent injury suffered by playmaker Dimitri Payet, was at the heart of the action throughout the first half.
His first opportunity arrived after Manuel Lanzini’s delightful, jinking run into the area, but Zarate sliced his shot into the side-netting.
Moments later the former Birmingham striker lost the ball in midfield and Salomon Rondon was inches away from giving West Brom the lead with a fierce drive which flew just wide.
But in the 17th minute Zarate found the target in style after Gareth McAuley fouled Diafra Sakho just outside the area.
The Argentinian curled the free-kick up and over Albion’s defensive wall and out of the reach of goalkeeper Boaz Myhill into the top corner.
West Ham should have extended their lead but Cheikhou Kouyate glanced Aaron Cresswell’s inviting cross wide and Myhill twice denied the lively Lanzini.
Sakho would have scored but for a brave last-ditch block from Jonny Evans, while Victor Moses blazed an angled shot over the crossbar.
And West Ham were paid to pay for those missed chances five minutes after the interval when a half-cleared cross fell to Lambert, who fired the rebound straight at the arm of Hammers skipper Reid.
Lambert immediately appealed for a penalty but quickly changed his tune as he saw the ball bouncing past wrong-footed keeper Adrian and into the net.
Suddenly Adrian was the busier of the two keepers, getting down well to keep out a curling Lambert free-kick before pulling off a fine point-blank save from Rondon’s close-range header.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic threw on Andy Carrroll in search of a winner but promptly lost Sakho to injury after the striker stretched for a shot which was deflected into the side-netting by Jonas Olsson.
Moses had a chance to win it for the hosts two minutes from the end, but the Chelsea loanee volleyed Lanzini’s chip across goal and wide.