By Nick Ware

19th May, 2021 | 9:21pm

Alan Smith slams Semi Ajayi in West Brom clash v West Ham

Alan Smith blasted West Brom defender Semi Ajayi after a glaring mistake in the first half of their clash against West Ham on Wednesday night.

The Nigerian international had an absolute howler in the early openings of the game at The Hawthorns with his back pass falling woefully short of its intended target, allowing Michail Antonio to nip in and bear down on goal.

Albion goalkeeper took extreme measures to prevent the West Ham striker from getting a shot on goal, blocking his path and conceding a penalty in the process.

Speaking on Sky Sports commentary during the incident, ex-Arsenal striker Smith lambasted Ajayi for the role he played.

“Nightmare for Ajayi,” he said.

“It’s a short back pass, miles short, Johnstone is claiming his innocence but just when you want a solid start that’s nowhere near is it from Ajayi.

“Maybe he was trying to find [Kyle] Bartley rather than Johnstone I don’t know, but what a gift for West Ham.”

Basic errors

Sam Allardyce will be fuming with Ajayi for his lax play, and rightly so.

The 27-year-old is a towering presence in the Albion defence and has impressed at times this season, in his own area and in the opposition’s, but he has also looked woefully short of Premier League standard on occasions.

He gave away a penalty in the Midlands derby clash with Aston Villa recently following a clumsy trip which, while possibly considered soft, was a lazy movement and we couldn’t have any faults with the decision really.

It didn’t take him long to make an embarrassing gaffe on Wednesday, either.

We’re lucky nothing came of it as Rice fluffed his lines and hit the post, and Matheus Pereira put us in the lead later in the first half after his corner made its way into the West Ham goal.

Ajayi might have got away with one but Big Sam won’t be forgetting that mistake.

We’re not suggesting Ajayi’s Albion future is in doubt, certainly because we’re dropping back down to the Championship and it should be easier for him there, but he needs to step up and cut out these silly moments.

In other West Brom news, Reliable journo: Club contact WBA over move for towering player who has ‘Excelled’ in 20/21.

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