Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Ham: Declan Rice penalty saved as Hammers begin new season with two straight losses

·2 min read
Declan Rice missed a second-half penalty as West Ham were beaten by Nottingham Forest  (REUTERS)
Declan Rice missed a second-half penalty as West Ham were beaten by Nottingham Forest (REUTERS)

Declan Rice saw a second-half penalty saved at Nottingham Forest as West Ham slumped to a second successive defeat to begin the new Premier League season.

The Hammers captain’s tame spot-kick was easily repelled by England colleague Dean Henderson after Scott McKenna had blocked Tomas Soucek’s goal-bound strike with his arm in a fast and furious affair at a raucous City Ground on Sunday.

Said Benrahma had a goal ruled out for a barge by Michail Antonio on the unsuspecting Orel Mangala in the first half, while the Algerian international and Pablo Fornals also both struck the woodwork on a day of huge frustration for David Moyes’ side - beaten by reigning champions Manchester City on opening weekend - in the searing East Midlands sunshine.

Instead, newly-promoted Forest were left to celebrate their first top-flight victory since May 1999 courtesy of full debutant Taiwo Awoniyi, one of Steve Cooper’s 14 summer signings (so far) who bundled home on the stroke of half-time after a scuffed Jesse Lingard shot was inadvertently deflected into his path by Ben Johnson.

Lingard was the subject of much ire from the travelling fans, some of whom threw fake banknotes onto the pitch in order to demonstate their anger at the England midfielder rejecting a summer return to West Ham in favour of a reportedly more lucrative one-year deal at Forest.

West Ham spent much of the second period on the offensive in search of an elusive equaliser, with Kurt Zouma’s header from a corner brilliantly turned off the line by a determined Neco Williams.

New signings Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet were both thrown on to no avail as Moyes, frustrated with West Ham’s slow progress in the transfer market this summer as he named three goalkeepers in his matchday squad, was left to dwell on back-to-back losses before the start of their latest European campaign against Danish outfit Viborg FF in the Europa Conference League play-offs on Thursday night.