West Ham's Carroll snatches late equaliser against Stoke

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Crouch's 79th-minute goal had looked like giving the Potters a smash-and-grab victory when Hammers goalkeeper Joe Hart, in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, spilled Xherdan Shaqiri's fierce shot.

"You need a little bit of luck at certain times but the performances have been incredibly high and the way we have played I couldn't ask for any more from the team".

The visitors had not won an away game since October, and it desperately showed.

BC-SOC-West Ham-Stoke, 1st Ld-Writethru, 408 Carroll equalizes late as West Ham holds Stoke to 1-1 in EPLAP Photo LON606, LON816Eds: Updates with detail, quotes.

Stoke are five points from safety with only four games left to avoid slipping into the Championship.

For Crouch, the finish gives him the title of all-time leading goalscorer for Stoke in the Premier League. I thought we played a really good game. "A win on Sunday would really set the cat among the pigeons".

Meanwhile, the Hammers sit seven points clear of the bottom three, and have an extra game in hand.

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Hart's failure to impress came while his Stoke counterpart Jack Butland - another contender for the England number one shirt - produced a solid display.

After West Ham's crucial home win over Southampton and a well-earned point at Chelsea, David Moyes' side were in confident mood and could have broken the deadlock after 55 minutes when former Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic directed a powerful header past Butland but was given offside.

Last Wednesday the 42-year-old was the centre of much controversy after awarding Real Madrid a soft penalty in their 3-1 Champions League defeat to Juventus.

Police have warned social media trolls they could be committing a criminal offence by abusing referee Michael Oliver and his wife Lucy. "Obviously Crouchy came on and scored, which is what he does best, and it was disappointing for us because we'd had a few chances and a couple of goals disallowed".

First, Arnautovic converted Aaron Cresswell's cross, but he had strayed marginally offside.

West Ham were again denied by the linesman's flag moments later when Javier Hernandez struck the ball past Butland, but Carroll was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

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