Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score a late winner for Everton against a West Ham side that frustrated the hosts for the majority of the match.

Lukaku, making his first appearance following a month-long absence with an ankle injury, side-footed home Leighton Baines's cross in the last 10 minutes.

The hosts had monopolised possession, with Steven Naismith going close and Steven Pienaar hitting the woodwork.

But stubborn West Ham defending kept the hosts at bay until Lukaku struck.

Lukaku made the difference - Martinez

In a tale of two returning strikers it was Lukaku, rather than West Ham's Andy Carroll, who stole the show and kept alive his side's hopes of qualifying for Europe next season.

Carroll, available again after serving a three-game suspension, was on the pitch for longer, replacing Carlton Cole in the 28th minute, but it was the 20-year-old Belgian who made his presence felt after coming on in the 59th minute.

His strike, only his second league goal in 11 games, not only reduced the gap between Everton and fifth-placed Tottenham to two points but also ended West Ham's five-match unbeaten run in the league.

For possession and territory there was only one team in the match, but for all their dominance and neat passing the hosts were unable to break a West Ham defence that has kept 13 clean sheets this season, the most in the Premier League.

Everton's best chances in the first half fell to Naismith.

Lukaku leaves it late

  • Seven of Romelu Lukaku's 10 Premier League goals for Everton have come in the closing quarter of the game.
  • Leighton Baines has assisted his first Premier League goal of the season.

The striker was unable to keep two headers on target early on but, midway through the half, forced West Ham goalkeeper Adrian into a reflex save at the near post. That, however, proved to be the home team's only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Gerard Deulofeu also went close, weaving between a number of West Ham defenders before going inches wide with a low shot from the edge of the box.

West Ham occasionally threatened on the counter-attack, and Deulofeu was called into action at the other end of the field to prevent Matt Taylor running through on goal.

But even after the introduction of Carroll, the visitors were unable to muster a shot on target.

If the first half was a damp squib then at least Pienaar ensured the second half started with a bang, hitting the woodwork with a low shot across goal. The follow-up fell kindly for Deulofeu, but Adrian easily gathered the Spaniard's mis-hit half-volley.

Although this match would suggest otherwise, scoring has not been a problem for West Ham of late, with the Hammers hitting the net at least twice in each of their past four league matches.

'Wasted moments' frustrate Allardyce

A palm-stinging save from Tim Howard kept out Carroll's ferocious first-time strike and, moments later, Kevin Nolan was inches wide with a cleverly-worked curling effort - but that was as good as it got for Sam Allardyce's side.

It was no surprise that Roberto Martinez turned to Lukaku for inspiration, and the club's top scorer made the most of his opportunity.

The Belgian, on loan from Chelsea, could have added a second, but shot high with a first-time strike on the turn.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "Romelu is someone we have missed for a long time and it was a clinical touch.

"He had a bit of a chest infection and I knew he would be more effective finishing the game rather than starting.

"West Ham had an accumulation of bodies behind the ball, but the last few minutes become harder to defend with Rom with his freshness and power."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce: "Unfortunately, it wasn't quite good enough in the end.

"Our chances in the final third we should have done a lot better with and those wasted moments could have been the turning point for us.

"We never caused Everton too many problems because of our final ball and our final pass - they didn't put enough fear into their defenders."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 23 Coleman
  • 03 Baines Booked
  • 18 Barry
  • 26 Stones
  • 15 Distin
  • 10 Deulofeu (McGeady - 73' )
  • 16 McCarthy
  • 14 Naismith (Barkley - 85' )
  • 21 Osman (Lukaku - 59' )
  • 22 Pienaar

Substitutes

  • 01 Robles
  • 02 Hibbert
  • 07 McGeady
  • 11 Mirallas
  • 17 Lukaku
  • 20 Barkley
  • 36 Browning

West Ham United

  • 13 Adrián
  • 20 Demel (Reid - 80' )
  • 03 McCartney
  • 16 Noble
  • 19 Collins
  • 05 Tomkins Booked
  • 07 Jarvis (Diamé - 66' )
  • 14 Taylor
  • 24 Cole (Carroll - 29' )
  • 04 Nolan
  • 23 Downing

Substitutes

  • 02 Reid
  • 08 Armero
  • 09 Carroll
  • 21 Diamé
  • 22 Jääskeläinen
  • 26 Cole
  • 47 Nocerino
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 38,286

Match Stats

Shots

22 7

On target

3 1

Corners

11 5

Fouls

9 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Everton 1, West Ham United 0.

90:00 +3:22 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Everton 1, West Ham United 0.

90:00 +2:57

Corner, Everton. Conceded by James Collins.

90:00 +1:20

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

89:59 Booking

Booking Leighton Baines (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

89:51

Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).

89:51

Andy Carroll (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:56

Sylvain Distin (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:56

Foul by Kevin Nolan (West Ham United).

88:25

Attempt missed. Ross Barkley (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth Barry.

87:35

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:35

Foul by Kevin Nolan (West Ham United).

86:18

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Winston Reid.

85:46

Corner, Everton. Conceded by George McCartney.

84:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Ross Barkley replaces Steven Naismith.

83:05

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Gareth Barry.

80:50 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 1, West Ham United 0. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross.

79:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Winston Reid replaces Guy Demel.

78:20

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

78:20

Andy Carroll (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:16

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

76:16

Stewart Downing (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

75:24

Hand ball by Steven Naismith (Everton).

74:18

Attempt missed. Andy Carroll (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Kevin Nolan.

73:24

Offside, West Ham United. Kevin Nolan tries a through ball, but Mohamed Diamé is caught offside.

72:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Aiden McGeady replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

71:47

Attempt missed. Mark Noble (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

70:03

Offside, Everton. Gareth Barry tries a through ball, but Gerard Deulofeu is caught offside.

68:28

Attempt missed. Sylvain Distin (Everton) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a set piece situation.

67:48

Steven Pienaar (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

67:48

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

65:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Mohamed Diamé replaces Matthew Jarvis.

64:58

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

64:58

Stewart Downing (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:58

Attempt blocked. James McCarthy (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

62:36

Attempt missed. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Leighton Baines following a corner.

62:10

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Guy Demel.

58:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Romelu Lukaku replaces Leon Osman.

58:12

Corner, Everton. Conceded by James Tomkins.

56:53

Steven Pienaar (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:53

Foul by Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United).

56:19

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by John Stones.

55:41

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gareth Barry.

55:40

Attempt blocked. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stewart Downing.

54:12

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Tim Howard.

54:11

Attempt saved. Andy Carroll (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

53:14

Attempt blocked. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gerard Deulofeu.

50:13

Attempt missed. Steven Pienaar (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross.

48:55

Steven Pienaar (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

48:55

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

45:55

Attempt saved. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:52

Steven Pienaar (Everton) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

45:00

Second Half begins Everton 0, West Ham United 0.

45:00 +1:14 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Everton 0, West Ham United 0.

45:00 +0:46

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Leighton Baines.

44:43

Foul by John Stones (Everton).

44:43

Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

43:18

Attempt blocked. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

41:31

Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).

41:31

Stewart Downing (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

40:17

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

39:12

Delay in match Andy Carroll (West Ham United) because of an injury.

38:12

Attempt missed. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Pienaar.

37:12

Attempt blocked. Steven Pienaar (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James McCarthy.

35:49

Attempt missed. Gareth Barry (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a corner.

35:21

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Stewart Downing.

33:55

Attempt blocked. James McCarthy (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gareth Barry.

33:36

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Matthew Taylor.

32:55

Corner, Everton. Conceded by James Tomkins.

31:00

Attempt missed. Matthew Taylor (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Andy Carroll.

29:55 Booking

Booking James Tomkins (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

29:26

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:26

Foul by James Tomkins (West Ham United).

28:39

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

28:39

James Collins (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Andy Carroll replaces Carlton Cole.

27:23

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27:23

Foul by Guy Demel (West Ham United).

24:03

Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:03

Foul by Carlton Cole (West Ham United).

23:52

Attempt blocked. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

21:57

Corner, Everton. Conceded by George McCartney.

21:24

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Adrián.

21:23

Attempt saved. Steven Naismith (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James McCarthy with a through ball.

14:54

Attempt missed. Steven Pienaar (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth Barry.

13:55

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

12:56

Delay in match James McCarthy (Everton) because of an injury.

10:43

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gerard Deulofeu.

10:02

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Matthew Jarvis.

7:08

Attempt missed. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

6:26

Attempt missed. Gareth Barry (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by James McCarthy.

3:28

Attempt missed. Steven Naismith (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth Barry with a cross.

3:10

Attempt missed. Steven Naismith (Everton) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leon Osman with a headed pass.

2:05

Foul by Steven Pienaar (Everton).

2:05

James Tomkins (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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