Forrest Dumped
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 31 Jan 2011 13:38:00
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After being knocked out of one cup on Wednesday, West Ham United are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after overcoming a tough test against Nottingham Forrest on Sunday afternoon.

Avram Grant was able to welcome back Victor Obinna and Frederic Piquionne from suspension replacing Carlton Cole and Luis Boa Morte. The latter took his place on the bench. There were wholesale changes in defence as Lars Jacobsen returned from a spell on the sidelines after picking up a heel problem in the win against Wigan on 27th November. Winston Reid and Danny Gabbidon were restored to the starting line up in place of Julien Faubert and James Tomkins who were both dropped to the bench. Herita Ilunga also earned a start while Matthew Upson and Wayne Bridge were left out. Freddie Sears, Radoslav Kovac, and Pablo Barrera came in as Scott Parker and Jonathan Spector missed out and Zavon Hines was dropped to the bench.

West Ham started the beter of the two sides and their intent to make up for the dissapointment at Birmingham was shown from the outset, with Sears coming close on two occasions within the first three minutes as his first shot flew wide from 25 yards while his second was deflected wide for a corner. Jacobsen took the corner which he rolled to Mark Noble, whose shot was going wide until Obinna deflected it goalwards as he stuck out a foot and managed to put the home side ahead.

After the Hammers' initial spell of pressure, Forrest took control and on 18 minutes it paid off as David McGoldrick picked out Dele Adebola who squeezed the ball past Robert Green at the far post from about eight yards.

Three minutes later, former Hammers' Academy graduate Chris Cohen had his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Barrera for another corner which wasn't dealt with well enough and ended up with Noble conceding a free-kick. Cohen took this and again troubled Green as it flashed just wide of the post.

It took until the 40 minute mark for the game to burst back into life as first the majority inside Upton Park were stunned as Forrest took the lead when Ilunga's foul gave them another free-kick. Cohen curled it over the wall and Green struggled to deal with it, meaning McGoldrick was there to bundle the ball over the line from close range. Minutes later the Hammers equalized when Obinna unleashed a venemous shot which swerved past visiting keeper Lee Camp.

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After an impressive opening to the first half, West Ham again started well. On 51 minutes, Reid won a penalty after being pulled back by Joel Lynch. Obinna stepped up to try and complete his hat-trick and duly did so as he slammed the ball low and to the keepers right.

West Ham continued to pile on the pressure after the hour mark. After a corner was awarded, Jacobsen found Reid, who controlled and played a one-two before playing in Piquionne, whose effort was superbly saved before the ball bounced back to Kovac whose left-foot shot was blocked.

A minute later from Jacobsen's cross, Wes Morgan headed clear, but only found Barrera whose shot was again superbly clawed behind by Camp.

On 71 minutes the Hammers came close through Sears' shot when perhaps passing to Obinna might have been the better option. Camp was there to produce another outstanding save to prevent the Hammers from inflicting more misery on the visitors.

Minutes later, Grant made his first change replacing Noble with Boa-Morte. He went off to resounding applause from the home faithful, whereas the Portuguese midfielder received his usual home reception of a few boos.

On 83 minutes, Forrest came close to an equalizer when Morgan's powerful header flew wide of the left-hand post from a Lewis McGugan corner.

Three minutes later, the visitors went even closer, but Rob Green did well to gather Chris Gunters' low shot.

On 87 minutes Frank Nouble was introduced for Piquionne and as the game entered stoppage time, Hines came on for Barrera.

The final whistle blew confirming the Hammers' place in the fifth round and it's another home tie with Championship opposition, as Burnley visit on the weekend of the 19th Feburary.

After the game, following much speculation, it was confirmed that Robbie Keane's on-off move to West Ham had been finalised. He will hope to make his debut when the Hammers visit Blackpool on Wednesday night.

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