Hammers to Face Robins in Fourth Round
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 14 Jan 2015 15:26:00
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West Ham United will face Bristol City in the fourth-round of the FA Cup after seeing off the challenge of Everton but the Toffees took them all the way at Upton Park on Tuesday night.

Sam Allardyce was back in the dugout after recovering from a chest infection and he made two changes from the original tie at Goodison Park a week ago. Andy Carroll kept his place from Saturday's draw at Swansea after he missed the first match due to a minor foot injury and Alex Song was restored to the starting line-up after he missed the last three games due to international call ups and illness and was made captain for the evening in the absence of both Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble.

This replay gave the Hammers the opportunity to wear their third kit as they had originally planned for all games in this season's competition.

Although the home side had to deal with some early pressure, they had a great chance to take a foothold on the game on 12 minutes when Enner Valencia found himself through on goal with only goalkeeper Joel Robles to beat but the striker's attempted chip deflected off the Spaniard's arm. Carroll raced onto the rebound and his header hit the post but it wouldn't have counted, as he was flagged for offside.

The visitors were really piling the pressure on but on 30 minutes, West Ham went close again when Stewart Downing's effort went just past the post. Four minutes later, Song nearly broke through when he found himself in a good area but unfortunately Valencia was in his way when he released his shot.

Five minutes before the break, Aiden McGeady was booked for halting the run of Matt Jarvis after the winger had accelerated past him.

Minutes later, Ross Barkley found himself in space but he was under pressure from Aaron Cresswell and saw his effort go just wide.

Although both teams created numerous chances in the opening 45 minutes, when referee Neil Swarbrick blew for half-time, the scoreline remained exactly the same as a week ago... Goalless.

The second-half started well for the Hammers and they could have even gone ahead on 49 minutes, when James Collins could have got his second goal within a week against the side managed by Roberto Martinez, as a corner was sent in from Downing and Carroll found the Welshman but his header spun wide.

On 51 minutes, the hosts opened the scoring and it was a first goal at home for Valencia. Carroll had spotted the Ecuadorian striker's run and set him up perfectly to slot past Robles into the bottom left-hand corner.

The yellow card given to McGeady earlier in the game was to prove costly for the midfielder on 56 minutes, as he brought down Noble. Swarbrick brandished a second yellow from his pocket and Everton were down to ten men.

Just after the hour, Allardyce made his first change, replacing Song with Nolan and nine minutes later, a second substitution was was brought on with Morgan Amalfitano entering the fray for Jarvis.

On 78 minutes, James Tomkins made a miraculous interception on Kevin Mirallas after Romelu Lukaku had set him up for a tap in.

Two minutes later, Downing delivered another corner for Collins to get his head to, only for the Welshman to again see his header superbly saved by Robles.

Another two minutes had gone by before Collins had switched from nearly putting his team in front to costing them big-time as he gave away a freekick for a foul on Lukaku. Mirallas stepped up to take the set-piece and curled it past Adrian for a late equaliser.

In the last minute of normal time Nolan forced a great save out of Robles when he volleyed the ball goalwards but the Spaniard was equal to the effort.

Four minutes of injury time were signalled but a winner could not be found, so 30 extra minutes where needed to see who would progress.

Extra time begun and the home side could have taken the lead when Noble's shot had Robles worried, and he punched away but only as far as Carroll's arm. The striker was then penalised and a freekick was given.

Seven minutes later and the Hammers just survived; Everton were combining to good effect, but the move was broken up by Noble. Seconds later, Everton equalised and it was that man again; Mirallas took the ball to the byline and pulled it back for Lukaku to place past Adrian and put the visitors in front.

Just after the start of the second period of the added 30, Swarbrick initially gave Everton a goal kick but on the advice of his linesman, he then awarded a freekick for a foul on Lukaku by Tomkins. Replays show that the home side were fortunate not to have given away a penalty.

On 111 minutes, Big Sam made his final substitution and it was met with disapproval as Collins, who had been the game's best player by far and was later voted the man of the match came off to make way for another striker in Carlton Cole. Two minutes later however, the decision from the boss had certainly paid dividends as Cole headed into the net to keep the hosts in the tie.

The Toffees had one last chance to win it when Lukaku received the ball from Tomkins' heavy touch and ran the ball across the area evading the run of Carl Jenkinson in the process, but eventually his shot went wide.

There was still time for the home side to win it without the need for the penalties, but Amalfitano made Robles work again, as he made another fantastic save. Even from the rebound Carroll was unable to force the ball home.

In the one minutes of added time at the end of extra time, Cole had the chance to finish it but Robles was there to gather at the second attempt.

The whistle blew for the end of extra time and penalties were needed. With the goalkeepers having to take the final two spot-kicks, it was Adrian who had the responsibility of taking the shot that ensured the Hammers' progress to the fourth-round for the first time since the 2010/11 season after what had been a long and thrilling night.

Attention now turns back to the Barclays Premier League and the visit of Hull City to East London on Sunday before they head to Aston Gate as they attempt to progress further in their FA Cup campaign.


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