ALBION tasted a 2-1 defeat against West Ham tonight as the visitors came from behind to claim all three points at The Hawthorns.
An unmarked Craig Dawson headed home Graham Dorrans’ inswinging free-kick in the tenth minute to register his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season.
However, Hammers captain Kevin Nolan levelled from close range after Ben Foster parried Andy Carroll’s overhead kick in a crowded penalty area.
And James Tomkins then turned the game around on the stroke of half-time when he nodded in at the back post from Stewart Downing’s corner.
The Baggies went on to boss the second half, putting the in-form high-flying Hammers under a barrage of pressure, but they could not force the leveller their dominance undoubtedly deserved and were left to taste a fourth successive league defeat.
Victor Anichebe and Chris Baird returned to Albion’s starting XI, coming in for Youssouf Mulumbu, who dropped to the bench, and Sebastien Pocognoli, who failed to recover from the dead leg sustained against Arsenal on Saturday.
It was a positive start from Alan Irvine’s charges, with Anichebe, Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino attacking with intent.
And the hosts got their reward with just 10 minutes on the clock as Dawson escaped his marker to nod home Dorrans’ free-kick.
Yet the Hammers drew level shortly after the half-hour mark, Nolan reacting quickest to head in from close range after Foster had parried Carroll’s acrobatics.
Albion lost captain Chris Brunt to injury in first-half stoppage time.
And there was further disappointment to come as the visitors took the lead just before the interval, Tomkins leaping highest at the far post to connect with Downing’s corner.
Dawson pulled wide a great chance to level from 12 yards soon after the restart as Albion went on to enjoy a sustained spell of pressure in search of an equaliser.
Anichebe’s powerful low drive forced a solid save from Hammers goalkeeper Adrian, before Irvine turned to Silvestre Varela and Brown Ideye for extra added impetus.
And it was the home side who continued to dominate the second period, Dorrans the next to go close.
Yet Albion could not find the leveller their play deserved and now travel to Hull this weekend looking to get back on track.
Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Lescott, Dawson, Baird (Ideye 83’), Gardner (Varela 65’), Brunt (Mulumbu 45+2’), Dorrans, Sessegnon, Anichebe, Berahino.
Subs: Myhill, Gamboa, McAuley, Samaras.
GOAL: Dawson (10’)
BOOKED: Brunt (foul 34’)
West Ham: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Nolan (c), Tomkins, Kouyate, Carroll (Valencia 65’), Zarate (Cole 77’), Downing, Jenkinson, Amalfitano (Collins 65’).
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, O'Brien, Demel.
GOALS: Nolan (35’), Tomkins (45’)
BOOKED: Tomkins (foul 18’)
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Albion star man: Joleon Lescott