Disastrous Day at The DW
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 28 Jan 2018 14:56:00
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When the draws for both rounds of the Emirates FA Cup were made, West Ham United couldn't have dreamt of facing two of the promotion hopefuls from Sky Bet League One. After squeezing past Shrewsbury Town at the last stage, they were victims of a shock result on Saturday afternoon, as they were beaten 2-0 by leaders Wigan Athletic at The DW Stadium.

David Moyes again named a blend of senior and Development Squad players for the match, as Reece Burke, Sam Byram, Josh Cullen and Antonio Martinez all kept their places from the last tie and were joined by Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, Arthur Masuaku, Angelo Ogbonna, Javier Hernández and Pedro Obiang.

New signing João Mário was named amongst the substitutes, despite only completing a loan move on Friday afternoon.

The Latics knocked out AFC Bournemouth in round three and were keen to take another Premier League scalp here, despite their main priority being automatic promotion.

They took advantage of West Ham's slow start and went ahead with only seven minutes gone. A cross from Nathan Byrne allowed Will Grigg to send a powerful header into the net and out of Hart's reach.

Paul Cook's men were sensing another shock could be on the cards and went close to stretching their advantage on a number of occasions. Nick Powell sent two efforts over the bar and they also had a goal ruled out for offside.

Moyes has already seen Cheikhou Kouyaté and Marko Arnautovic added to a lengthening injury list this week and matters were made worse for the manager when Obiang suffered medial ligament damage after a tussle with Max Power on 34 minutes and had to be stretchered off. He was immediately replaced by Reece Oxford.

The visitors should have levelled just before the break when they finally found themselves with space to work in. However, Hernández had his effort blocked following a cross from Martinez and then Oxford fired over from the follow-up.

When the teams went down the tunnel for the interval, the Hammers could count themselves lucky only to be one goal behind.

Mário was introduced at half-time in place of Zabaleta as the manager made a second change.

The switch seemed to make a difference when the game restarted, as the new man began to make an impact. However, this was all undone when Masuaku was given a straight red card by referee Christopher Kavanagh, after he spat in the face of Powell.

Kavanagh was at the centre of things again just after the hour mark when he awarded the hosts a penalty following a harsh call for handball by Burke.

Hart was beaten by Grigg again and if the visitors were going to get back into this one, they would have had to have produced another Tottenham Hotspur-style comeback.

West Ham made their final change on 79 minutes, as Sead Hakšabanovic took the place of Martinez.

Wigan were still having the best of the match, as their opponents were unable to come up with anything remotely able to test goalkeeper Christian Walton. Burke did well to block Powell's effort, while Byrne saw his cross go wide.

West Ham's cup exit meant an end to their unbeaten start to 2018. Moyes could have José Fonte and Michail Antonio back, as they have the chance to continue their excellent league form when Crystal Palace visit Stratford on Tuesday night for a London derby.

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