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West Ham Ties Stoke, Misses Chance to Go Fifth in Premier League

West Ham missed the chance to move up to fifth place in English soccer’s Premier League after a 1-1 home draw against Stoke City.

Jonathan Walters put the visiting team ahead at Upton Park in London last night when he swept in Glenn Whelan’s 13th-minute corner kick. Joey O’Brien tied it three minutes after halftime to extend Stoke’s winless league run on the road to 16 games.

“It is a great result after going 1-0 down and these lads, they make it tough for you,” West Ham captain Kevin Nolan said in a televised interview. “We were a bit gutted because we wanted to get the win to go to fifth.”

The result allows both teams to keep their positions in the 20-team standings. West Ham remains in seventh place, though moves level on Arsenal with 19 points after 12 matches. Stoke’s seventh draw this season keeps it in 14th-place.

After O’Brien pulled West Ham level with his first Premier League goal, Modibo Maiga and Gary O’Neil both went close for the home team, and Winston Reid put his stoppage-time header too close to Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

“We could have finished them off with more clinical finishing,” said West Ham manager Sam Allardyce. “Everyone in the second half raised their game, took Stoke to the wire, and I think everyone would say we deserved the three points.”

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