Robins Seen Off in Fourth Round
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 25 Jan 2015 17:45:00
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Half of the Premier League teams have been dumped out of the FA Cup so far this season but, West Ham United aren't one of them, as the Hammers overcame the challenge of Bristol City by beating the team who are second in League One 1-0 at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Sam Allardyce once again named a strong side for the tie but as James Collins was injured he welcomed Winston Reid back into the starting line-up. Diafra Sakho was named in the squad but was only fit enough for the bench.

The home side controlled possession in the early stages and could have gone ahead as early as the sixth minute but Mark Noble was on hand to head Matt Smith's effort off the line.

The Robins were still having the best of the play and trying to exploit their opponants' weaknesses. They went close again on 24 minutes, however this time it was Andy Carroll who cleared Smith's second header off the line and the Irons survived that spell of pressure.

A first real chance for West Ham came on 38 minutes, when Carl Jenkinson sent over a cross and Carroll tried to poke the ball goalwards but goalkeeper Frank Fielding was in the way and dealt with the danger.

At the break, the game was still goalless but the visitors were hoping to find the back of the net in the second-half in order to avoid another replay.

The second-half started with West Ham playing much better than they did in the ending 45 minutes. They were able to pass the ball around and enjoy a spell of possession but still weren't able to break down the Robins' defence.

On 57 minutes, Big Sam decided to make a double change replacing Alex Song and Valencia with Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano.

Just after the hour mark, Stewart Downing gained possession of the ball and ran into the box to try and test Fielding but instead he sent his effort high over the bar.

On 74 minutes, the visitors went ever so close to the opening goal as Aaron Cresswell got around the back of the home side's defence and slipped in Sakho but Aden Flint blocked the striker's effort. However, when Sakho had another go it unfortunately hit the crossbar.

There was then action at both ends as a frantic three-minute period ended up with the deadlock being broken. Firstly, Luke Ayling headed over Adrian's bar when it seemed easier to score, then Amalfitano's curling effort found its way into the grateful hands of Fielding. Finally West Ham grabbed the lead, as Carroll sent a great cross over for Sakho to power past the goalkeeper.

With West Ham edging closer to another win, Allardyce decided to use his final change replacing captain Kevin Nolan with Guy Demel. Noble took the armband for the final few minutes.

Steve Cotterill's side had a chance before the end of the game but Smith sent his header miles over and West Ham were grateful that they didn't need a replay this time around.

All eyes will now be on the draw on Monday evening to see who are their next opponents.

Big Sam's men are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they face what is always a tricky trip for them as they take on Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

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