Soucek’s Late Header Seals Dramatic Win For West Ham over Forest

(Image credit: West Ham United FC)

Tomas Soucek’s 88th minute header sealed a 3-2 win for West Ham against Nottingham Forest at the London Stadium. 

Soucek headed in from James Ward-Prowse’s 88th minute corner to wrap up a dramatic five-goal thriller, which ended West Ham’s three-match losing streak in the Premier League.

Lucas Paqueta earlier put the Hammers in front with a third minute strike until Taiwo Awoniyi equalised on the stroke of half time, whilst Anthony Elanga put Forest ahead with a 63rd minute strike from Ola Aina’s cutback pass.

Jarrod Bowen quickly pulled the hosts level with a 65th minute header from Ward-Prowse’s corner prior to Soucek’s winner.

West Ham now sit ninth in the table, whilst Forest remain 15th in the table heading into the final international break of 2023.

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Despite suffering three consecutive league defeats, West Ham began this game full of confidence following their Europa League win over Olympiacos last Thursday (9 November), as they quickly dictated the tempo in the opening minutes.

That bright start quickly yielded a third minute goal as Nicolas Dominguez’s side-pass for Forest was deflected for Paqueta, who intercepted and broke forward from which he calmly rifled in beyond Odysseas Vlachodimos’ reach to put the Hammers ahead.

Forest almost responded in the 12th minute as Dominguez whipped in a cross towards the top-right corner, which found Awoniyi to nod in until Alphonse Areola made a superb block to deny the Nigerian his first goal since late August.

West Ham subsequently decided to suck Forest in on the counter-attack and could of added two further goals, if only Paqueta hadn’t fumbled two shots – including a tame 14th minute effort which was saved by Odysseas.

Forest were able to weather the Hammers’ counter-attacking threat until Mohammed Kudus gave the ball away to Ibrahim Sangare on the halfway-line in the 44th minute, from which the Ivory Coast international played forward for Morgan Gibbs-White.

Areola however seemingly made a crucial save to deny Gibbs-White only to spill his save, which fell for Awoniyi to sweep in and calmly roll the ball into the empty net and restore parity into half-time.

West Ham quickly responded after the break but Kudus turned James Ward-Prowse’s cutback pass tamely onto goal, which allowed Odysseas to make the save with ease from close-range just two minutes into the second half.

Emerson Palmieri then rifled wide across goal with a 49th minute shot before the Hammers got lucky four minutes later, as Forest broke forward but Elanga’s shot was blocked out to Gibbs-White who rifled over the bar.

Both teams subsequently traded chances until Forest snatched the lead in the 63rd minute as Aina broke up the right, and played a low cutback pass for an unmarked Elanga to rifle into the far-bottom right corner.

Forest’s lead though only lasted two minutes as West Ham broke forward up the other end and won a corner, which saw Bowen flick Ward-Prowse’s delivery into the far-right corner to quickly pull the Hammers back level,

That goal briefly turned the tide towards the hosts who wasted a chance to regain the lead in the 69th minute, as Soucek picked up a direct cross into the box but the Czech Republic international only flicked his shot onto the bar and Odysseas saved the rebounding ball.

Forest soon settled but often defended heavily in the closing 15 minutes but were undone in the 88th minute, as Soucek nodded into the far-left corner from Ward-Prowse’s corner to put West Ham back ahead much to the home fans’ delight.

Forest substitute, Divock Origi almost clinched a third goal for the visitors in the third minute of injury time, but Areola made a crucial punch to clear the shot onto the post.

West Ham eventually clung on for a first win in four league matches which put them up to ninth in the table.


What’s Next?

West Ham head to relegation battling Burnley at Turf Moor after the international break, with the match scheduled for 3pm GMT on Saturday 25 November.

Forest will begin their festive run-in with a home clash against Brighton at the City Ground at 3pm on Saturday 25 November.



West Ham: Alphonse Areola, Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Emerson Palmieri, Edson Alvarez (Antonio 79′), James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek, Mohammed Kudus (Ogbonna 90+5′), Lucas Paqueta, Jarrod Bowen

Substitutes: Lukasz Fabianski, Angelo Ogbonna, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Thilo Kehrer, Pablo Fornals, Danny Ings, Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio

Nottingham Forest: Odysseas Vlachodimos, Ola Aina (Aurier 76′), Moussa Niakhate,, Murillo (Boly 76′), Harry Toffolo, Ibrahim Sangare (Origi 90+1′), Orel Mangala, Nicolas Dominguez (Danilo 45′), Morgan Gibbs-White, Taiwo Awoniyi (Wood 76′), Anthony Elanga

Substitutes: Matt Turner, Neco Williams, Chiekhou Kouyate, Chris Wood, Ryan Yates, Serge Aurier, Divock Origi, Danilo, Willy Boly

Referee: Michael Salisbury

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