West Ham make hard work of FA Cup win over League One Shrewsbury Town
PUBLISHED: 22:29 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 22:29 16 January 2018
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Reece Burke grabs extra-time winner for Hammers to make fourth round
West Ham United 1 Shrewsbury Town 0 (after extra time)
FA Cup third round replay
At long, long last, the Hammers finally tamed the Shrews after rookie Reece Burke blasted them into the FA Cup fourth-round with an electrifying extra-time winner at the London Stadium.
Following their glum goalless draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow last Sunday both teams had to do it all again on a nippy night in the East End.
And, nine days on, it simply did not get any better as these goal-shy sides played out another blankety-blank 112 minutes before Burke – who has just returned from a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers – finally gave the chilly claret and blue fans in the crowd of 39,867 something to cheer.
West Ham had climbed to 11th-spot in the Premier League – 35 places above the third-tier Town - with their formidable 4-1 win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday and, with his side now returning to FA Cup action, David Moyes had made seven changes.
Handing a full debut to Spanish striker, Toni Martinez, the Scot also showcased Reece Oxford following his recall from Borussia Mönchengladbach, while fit-again Sam Byram returned alongside Burke, André Ayew, Josh Cullen and former Shrewsbury starlet, Joe Hart.
With four minutes on the clock, Manuel Lanzini almost followed up his deadly double at Huddersfield with another superb strike but his early 20-yarder flew just inches over the top.
Arthur Masuaku then tried to catch-out Dean Henderson with a left-wing cross that the alert ‘keeper held under his crossbar, before the Hammers left-back then sent a low cross into the near post, where the stumbling Martinez bundled wide.
Defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday had ended the Shrews 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions but that still left them in second place in League One and they made a trio of changes with Stefan Payne, Joe Riley and Max Lowe each coming in for substitutes James Bolton, Alex Rodman and Carlton Morris.
Midway through the opening period, Payne forced Burke to concede the first corner of the game but the Hammers easily cleared and, as the half-hour mark approached, Masuaku’s foul on Shaun Whalley gave the Shrews wide-boy the chance to dust himself down and send over a right-wing free-kick but, once again, West Ham easily dealt with the Town threat.
At the opposite end, Lanzini’s 18-yard curler was deflected behind and, then eight minutes before the break, the Argentinian ace let fly with a swerving, curving 25-yard free-kick that Henderson gratefully parried high into the Stratford skies to keep it goalless at the break.
Surprisingly, Moyes decided to keep the likes of Marko Arnautović and Mark Noble wrapped-up on the bench for the restart and that did little to warm the hardy home supporters that had just witnessed a forlorn 45-minute stalemate.
On 56 minutes, Ayew’s 20-yarder ricocheted behind and, when Cullen sent the consequent corner into the danger-zone, Oxford could not bundle home. Lanzini’s shout for a penalty also fell on the deaf ears of referee Jeremy Simpson, before the South American delivered a 25-yarder high into the visiting fans.
But on the hour, Payne was presented with the best opening of the game, to date, when he burst clear of the pushed up defence but the advancing Hart brilliantly thwarted Town’s lone-striker with his legs to keep Moyes boys in the tie.
Having survived that let-off – and seen Whalley fire behind, too - the Hammers boss finally opted to make a double-switch midway through the half as Noble and Arnautović tellingly stepped from the bench to replace Oxford and Ayew.
Both Jon Nolan and Aristote Nsiala were booked for ploughing Pedro Obiang into the London Stadium turf with agricultural tackles and, with West Ham stuck in their own furrow, too, goal chances were becoming few and far between.
Byram whipped a low right-wing centre across the face of goal but the advancing Arnautović could not apply the required stud and, with just five minutes remaining, the Austrian sent an angled shot ripping into the side-netting, before also rifling a low 20-yarder past the base of Henderson’s left-hand upright to leave the long-suffering crowd facing extra-time.
Just three minutes into that unwanted additional half-hour, Noble saw his looping header cleared off the line by Ben Godfrey after Masuaku’s long-ranger had been deflected for a corner and, shortly afterwards, Martinez nodded into Henderson’s clutches.
On 101 minutes, Shrewsbury introduced Bolton as their fourth substitute of the night to make a little piece of FA Cup history down West Ham way and, within seconds of his arrival, the Town replacement brilliantly chested off the line to block Lanzini’s 10-yard rocket after Arnautović had presented the Hammers No. 10 with the perfect pass.
The second period of extra-time saw Obiang fire wide from distance before Burke finally broke the deadlock with just eight minutes remaining.
Noble’s half-cleared corner was hooked back into the danger-zone by Martinez and, although the Shrews were again first to deal with danger, this time the ball fell to Burke 15-yards out and he finally fired the Hammers into a fourth-round encounter at Wigan Athletic or Bournemouth with a scorching shot that crashed into the net off the crossbar.
HAMMERS: Hart, Byram (Zabaleta 90+1), Masuaku, Ogbonna, Burke, Oxford (Noble 69), Obiang, Cullen, Ayew (Arnautović 69), Lanzini, Martinez. Unused subs: Adrián, Hakšabanović, Samuelson, Makasi.
SHREWS: Henderson, Riley (Dodds 74) Lowe (Bolton 101), Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles, Godfrey, Whalley (Rodman 78), Ogogo, Nolan, Payne (Morris C. 83). Unused subs: MacGillivray, John-Lewis, Morris.
Booked: Nolan (65), Nsiala (71)
Referee: Jeremy Simpson