West Ham 1-1 Sunderland: Nolan rescues late point for Hammers to deny Black Cats and in-form Fletcher

The Hammers midfielder rescued a point for the home side in the last minutes of the game after Fletcher gave the visitors an early lead in a hard fought draw between the two sides
West Ham scored a late goal to get themselves a 1-1 draw, with Kevin Nolan netting to cancel out Steven Fletcher's earlier effort for Sunderland

Fletcher opened the scoring for Sunderland with an early strike in the first-half. Despite the Black Cats' early lead, West Ham constantly applied pressure on the visitors' goal and finally made a breakthrough when Nolan volleyed home a close-range effort in the last minute of the game.

West Ham named an unchanged side after their 0-0 draw with Norwich last weekend, Carlton Cole led the line for the home side with Andy Carroll still out with a hamstring injury.

Carlos Cuellar was absent for Sunderland with a hamstring strain, Titus Bramble brought in as his replacement. Adam Johnson missed out as he recovers from a thigh injury.

Sunderland took the lead early in the ninth minute. Sebastian Larsson chipped the ball into Fletcher who controlled the ball and fired a low shot into the bottom corner.

The hosts responded well after going a goal down by forcing a couple of corners but Sunderland cleared their lines both times and looked well organised in defence as they looked to stop West Ham from playing their game.

Ricardo Vaz Te missed a great chance to bring West Ham level after Matthew Taylor whipped in a cross from the left and the former Bolton player headed the ball down and wide at the far post.

West Ham looked the more dangerous side as the first half continued. The hosts had numerous openings and Cole missed a great chance for an equaliser on the 34th minute. Mohamed Diame delivered a good cross and Cole had beaten John O’Shea but saw his header fly over the bar.

Nolan had missed numerous half chances in the first half but the midfielder finally tested Simon Mignolet. Vaz Te floated in a cross and Nolan hit a spectacular bicycle kick which the Sunderland keeper managed to keep out with a superb save.

Substitute Matt Jarvis looked dangerous down the left as he aimed a cross towards Yossi Benayoun but Danny Rose headed the ball away from danger for Sunderland who was showing a solid defensive display against the hosts.

West Ham came close to coming level on the 76th minute as James Collins saw his header hit the top of the Black Cats' crossbar for the Hammers best chance of the game to go missing.   

Sunderland had a good chance to make it 2-0 with a rare break from the Black Cats as James McClean whipped in a ball across West Ham’s goal but David Vaughan couldn’t reach the cross.

On the 93rd minute, West Ham finally got the equaliser they had been pushing for. Modibo Maiga headed a loose ball into the path of Nolan who volleyed a strike into the top corner of the goal.