FULL TIME: Ashton earns Hammers a point at Everton
West Ham 1
(Barclays Premier League)
DEAN Ashton's header earned a West Ham a point against Everton in a pulsating game at Goodison Park this afternoon.
The striker outjumped Phil Jagielka to steer Lucas Neill's cross past the despairing dive of Tim Howard and in-off a post on 68 minutes.
Ayegbeni Yakubu opened the scoring for the Toffees in the seventh minute. The powerful Nigerian turned James Tomkins - making his Irons debut - and raced clear before lashing his shot past Robert Green.
A minute earlier Tomkins had almost got his Hammers career off to the best possible start with a header from Mark Noble's corner that crashed off the crossbar.
Yakubu had the ball in the back of the net on 22 minutes only to see it ruled out by a controversial offside decision.
Ashton missed Hammers best chance of the first half, screwing his effort wide from ten yards out after a mistake between Mikel Arteta and Jagielka had presented him with the opportunity.
The striker's free kick soon after was then well saved by the feet of Howard following a deflection off Joleon Lescott.
At the other end, Green had to be alive to block Victor Anichebe when the powerful forward burst through onto Yakubu's pass.
Freddie Sears, who came on as an early second half substitute and changed the game, nearly capitalised on Jagielka's slip late on, but the youngster's effort was blocked by Howard.
Mark Noble's rasping drive then only just cleared the crossbar after a neat lay off by Noberto Solano as Hammers finished strongly.
Sears almost won it in the 90th minute when he raced onto Ashton's flick only to toe-poke his effort onto a post.
West Ham: Green, Neill, McCartney, Tomkins, Ferdinand, Parker (Spector 83), Mullins, Noble, Ljungberg (Solano 80), Boa Morte (Sears 50), Ashton. Unused subs: Walker, Cole