FA Cup: Wigan Athletic 2 West Ham United 0
PUBLISHED: 17:15 27 January 2018
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Hammers dumped out by League One leaders as Masuaku sees red
Woeful West Ham United crashed out of the FA Cup on a disappointingly dour, dismal day at the DW Stadium, where on-fire Will Grigg’s double-barrelled blast shot League one Latics into the fifth round.
Northern Ireland international Grigg laid the foundations for a shock with a seventh-minute header and, after Pedro Obiang was stretchered away with a nasty-looking knee injury and Arthur Masuaku saw red for appearing to spit at Nick Powell, Grigg sealed victory from the penalty spot to compound the misery for 10-man Hammers.
David Moyes’ men had finally tamed Shrewsbury Town following a hard-fought, third-round replay and, 11 days on, they found themselves facing another high-flying, League One team, who had already dispatched top-flight opposition from the competition.
Last Saturday’s draw with Bournemouth had left West Ham sitting in 11th spot in the Premier League but, now decimated by injuries – and with one eye on Tuesday night’s crucial Crystal Palace showdown – the Hammers boss made half-a-dozen changes for this tie.
That meant call-ups for Joe Hart, Javier Hernández, Toni Martinez, Sam Byram, Reece Burke and Josh Cullen as Manuel Lanzini (hamstring), Mark Noble (calf), Marko Arnautović (hamstring) and Cheikhou Kouyaté missed out, while Adrián and James Collins were named on the bench, alongside Inter Milan loan-signing João Mário.
And within just seven minutes, the reshuffled Hammers found themselves chasing the tie, when Nathan Byrne floated a deep, right-wing cross towards the far post, where Grigg rose highest to nod the ball under the left angle.
Five minutes later, it could have got yet worse for West Ham, when Max Power’s free-kick towards the edge of the six-yard box was headed home by the diving Chey Dunkley, but Moyes boys were rescued by an offside flag.
Table-topping Wigan had won at Plymouth Argyle last weekend to go five points clear in League One and, having beaten Crawley Town, Fylde and Premier League Bournemouth in the previous rounds, the Latics made just one change from the team that had won at Home Park last time out, as Callum Elder replaced substitute Reece James.
A goal to the good, the 2013 winners continued to press and Powell sent a rising 20-yarder whistling over the crossbar before Dan Burn headed Power’s hanging cross high into the 4,759 Hammers fans packed behind Hart’s goal.
Midway through the half, Masuaku forced West Ham’s first corner of the afternoon but when it was half-cleared to Aaron Cresswell, the England defender could only slice his 20-yarder high into the wintry Wigan skies, while at the other end, Angelo Ogbonna’s last-gasp header denied Grigg at the expense of a flag-kick.
Ten minutes before half-time, things turned yet worse turn for Moyes, when Obiang twisted and fell awkwardly in a challenge with Power and that saw the Spaniard stretchered away to be replaced by Reece Oxford, who became one of seven defenders in the Hammers line-up.
With the interval approaching, Grigg nodded down for Michael Jacobs whose low, 20-yard half-volley was held by Hart but just before the break the Hammers had a great chance to level, when Martinez robbed Elder but neither Hernández nor Cullen could convert the young Spaniard’s byline cross before Oxford lashed the loose ball high and wide to leave Wigan’s lead intact.
Having swapped the San Siro for Wigan’s DW Stadium, Mário replaced Pablo Zabaleta after the restart but, within just five minutes of stepping into the fray, the Portuguese playmaker must have been wondering what he had let himself in for, when Masuaku was shown a straight red card for appearing to spit towards Powell – an offence that could carry a stinging six-match ban.
On the hour, the mountainous task facing the 10-man Hammers took on Everest-like proportions, when Grigg attempted to juggle the ball past the furious Burke, who was adjudged to have handled by the referee’s assistant.
After patiently waiting for the protests to die down, Grigg calmly drilled the consequent spot-kick down the middle as Hart headed off to his left and, as the Wigan hit-man celebrating his 14th goal of the season, the weary and dejected visiting fans protested: “We want our money back.”
But sadly West Ham were not destined to get any change out of the lively Latics and by the time that Grigg eventually departed to rapturous applause, many of the visiting supporters were already contemplating the long trip home to London at the end of this fruitless, forlorn FA Cup journey.
Wigan: Walton, Byrne, Elder (James 85), Dunkley, Burn, Morsey, Power, Massey (Colclough 75), Powell, Jacobs, Grigg (Roberts 87). Unused subs: Jones, Perkins, Bruce, Fulton.
Hammers: Hart, Zabaleta (Mário 46), Byram, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Burke, Obiang (Oxford 36), Cullen, Hernández, Martinez (Hakšabanović 80). Unused subs: Adrián, Collins, Quina, Diangana.
Sent Off: Masuaku (49).
Referee: Christopher Kavanagh.