ALLARDYCE: DRAWS WILL COST US
Sam Allardyce admits too many home draws could cost West Ham automatic promotion after Bart Ogbeche's fine late strike ensured a fifth consecutive failure to collect three points at Upton Park.
After a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough, West Ham are now unbeaten in nine matches, but their last four at home have ended in draws, leaving the Hammers outside of the top two in the npower Championship.
Allardyce's luck appeared to have changed when Abdoulaye Faye's 67th-minute header looped up off Boro defender Joe Bennett's head and into the far post but Ogbeche's fine strike six minutes from time denied the Hammers victory.
The final whistle was greeted by a chorus of boos, leaving Allardyce to bemoan his side's failure to find the net.
He said on Tuesday night: "Eventually these draws will cost us. We were very, very patient tonight and got into the lead which was not easy because of the way the opposition sets up against us.
"It's frustrating because this is the best unbeaten run we've been on this season but we're not getting the points that we need from these matches.
"We didn't have that little bit of quality or the ability to just add the killer instinct and then we go and concede one of the best goals this season, it was a real moment of quality.
"It is five draws at home but then one of those was against Southampton when we had 10 men for most of the game.
"The turning point for me is the save that their goalkeeper made from James Tomkins when we were 1-0 up. If we had got it to 2-0 I think that would have been game over."
Neither of those incidents were adjudged to be penalties however. Referee Scott Mathieson decided Matthew Bates blocked Tomkins' first-half header with his shoulder while Jason Steele was not punished after Matt Taylor just chipped wide in the second half.
Thanks to Reading's shock defeat at Peterborough it leaves West Ham just two points adrift of the Royals in third place while Boro are now up to fifth place.
"It's a bit crazy that it's all doom and gloom and here we are, both clubs in the top six," said Boro boss Tony Mowbray.
"I was pleased with the way that we came here and set up to frustrate West Ham because of the run they've been on we thought we could play on their anxiety a bit.
"We're in the top six and with a bit of luck and a few players back hopefully we will stay there in the last nine games of the season and get into the play-offs.
"I'm pleased for Bart - he does that kind of thing every day in training but he's been coming into my office this week and asking me for more game time.
"Had he not done that would he have got his chance today? It's very hard to say but I'm pleased that he did."
Latest Football News at 08:00 GMT