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LONDON, England (CMC):
Jamaica Reggae Boyz forward Michail Antonio scored a little before halftime to breathe hope into relegation-threatened West Ham United, but Crystal Palace frustrated them with a 4-3 win in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Tomas Soucek put the Hammers ahead inside 10 minutes, but Palace, also known as the Eagles, roared back with three first-half goals through Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, and Jeffrey Schlupp.
Antonio enabled West Ham to cut the deficit by the break, but a second-half penalty from Eberechi Eze restored the two-goal advantage for the Eagles before Nayef Aguerd netted the third of the afternoon for the visitors late on.
Palace deservedly edged the seven-goal thriller to reach the 40-point mark targetted by manager Roy Hodgson, leaving the Hammers in relegation trouble.
Former England boss Hodgson has led Palace to four wins in six matches since returning as manager last month to almost guide the Eagles, now 11 points clear of the bottom three, to safety.
A five-game unbeaten run for the Hammers ended in south London, and David Moyes’ men remain five points above the relegation places with five matches remaining.
“I was hoping we’d get a point in the end, but I didn’t think we played well enough,” Moyes said on the club’s Website. “My teams don’t defend the way we defended (here) and that would be the key message really.
“We lost a lot of first balls, we lost a lot of second balls, I nearly felt that every ball in midfield went to them, and we never picked anything up. They kept the pressure on us, and we didn’t deal with that part of the game well enough. That’s the reason why we didn’t take anything out of it.”
He added: “We’ve started to look more threatening from set plays in the last month, to be honest, and if you get one goal from a set piece, you’re doing well, but to get three (was great).
“But we never made enough chances in open play at all and that’s the bit that bothers me, that I can’t get enough goals in open play from the players I’ve got in the team. We look a threat when we’ve got a corner kick or a free-kick, but open play is becoming a problem at the moment.”
A late equaliser from Shaqai Forde, son of former Barbados international Fabian Forde, earned York City a 1-1 draw with Notts County at Meadow Lane on the final day of the National League season, ensuring their survival.
Former York man Macaulay Langstaff gave the Magpies, as Notts are known, a first-half lead, but the resolute visitors stayed in the match and the late equaliser ensured City earned a record of taking points from all of the National League’s top seven.
Forde beat the offside trap five minutes after entering play and made no mistake one-on-one sliding a low finish past Notts’ netminder Sam Slocombe.
The final day point meant City ended the season in 19th place, three points clear of the relegation zone.
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