Search

West Ham take the FA Cup seriously at last as they beat Gillingham

PUBLISHED: 12:42 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 06 January 2020

West Ham United's Sebastien Haller in action during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

West Ham United's Sebastien Haller in action during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

PA Wire/PA Images

Resolute defence and two late goals see Hammers through to round four

West Ham United players battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.West Ham United players battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

Make no mistake, West Ham would have almost certainly have been beaten in this game under Manuel Pellegrini.

For him, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup were an inconvenience and he would have played a weakened team and like against Oxford United this season and AFC Wimbledon last term, he would have paid the price.

It was vital that David Moyes and his boys kept up the momentum gained from the Bournemouth victory and with only three changes, two of them because of injury and one because of a formation change, they did just that.

It was never going to be easy. League One Gillingham were on a good run, they were playing on a tricky pitch in front of a capacity crowd and for them it was like their Cup Final.

Gillingham's Brandon Hanlan (left) and West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.Gillingham's Brandon Hanlan (left) and West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

And in the first half you could see how much they wanted it. They harried and hassled the Hammers, peppered them with corners and long throws and dominated the game.

With Roberto in goal and maybe only two centre backs, the Hammers would surely have crumbled, we have seen it all before, but with Lukasz Fabianski resolute in goal and the three centre-backs just about holding firm, they were able to keep the Gills at bay.

Manager Moyes was certainly not happy with the team's first-half display.

"It was a really, really tough game," he said. "I think everyone that was here could see the pitch was really difficult and it was tough to have any composure on the ball.

Gillingham's Alfie Jones (left) and West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.Gillingham's Alfie Jones (left) and West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

"That's what we lacked badly in the first half, but I thought it was a bit better in the second half.

"We had to deal with throw-in after throw-in and corner after corner at times, but a lot of that was our own doing as we didn't keep the ball well enough or play out with it well enough from the back. So, there is lots of room for improvement, but the good thing was the resilience and character of the players," he added.

It was. In the second half, Gillingham still huffed and puffed, but the Hammers had more of the ball in the right areas and should have been in front long before they finally took the lead.

Sebastien Haller missed a sitter after being put through by Felipe Anderson, while just a couple of minutes later he hit the woodwork from a tight angle.

West Ham United's Felipe Anderson (left) and Gillingham's Connor Ogilvie battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.West Ham United's Felipe Anderson (left) and Gillingham's Connor Ogilvie battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

The opening goal certainly came from an unexpected source. Pablo Zabaleta has never really got close in all his time at the club and his shot was hardly convincing, but it went through Jack Bonham in the Gillingham goal and slipped into the net.

The finishing touch was made by the other sub Pablo Fornals, who latched on to Anderson's pass to fire home in injury time.

"I know from my time here how difficult these types of games have been just recently, so you have to give the players a bit of credit for sticking at it," insisted Moyes.

"Two clean sheets in a row gives us something to build on and six goals as well is good.

Gillingham's Brandon Hanlan has a shot saved by West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.Gillingham's Brandon Hanlan has a shot saved by West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the FA Cup third round match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham.

"I think we want to keep progressing in the tournament and we're going to do everything we can to keep winning through, and we showed that with the team we put out.

"Our priority will always be the Premier League, but only just slightly below that would be the FA Cup for me."

That must be music to the ears of all West Ham fans.

An FA Cup run is something sadly lacking in recent years and with a bit of luck in the draws, they could do it this season.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

17:24

An unbeaten county-best 55 by Jack Leaning helped Kent to hold their nerve and land a four-wicket win with only two balls to spare over south group rivals Essex Eagles in Canterbury.

15:53

West Ham boss David Moyes has been impressed with Mikel Arteta’s start to management at Arsenal but is eager to provide a bump in the road when they face off this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye gives his views on the club’s performance during the opening weekend.

Wed, 17:17

Aron Nijjar celebrated career-best bowling figures as Vitality Blast holders Essex Eagles thrashed Hampshire by 54 runs to keep their faint quarter-final dreams alive.

Wed, 12:00

League cricket bid farewell to Victoria Park for another year with a one-off rescheduled match, as the unbeaten Royal Tigers took on local rivals Sylhet, with the Division Three title going to whichever team won the game.

Wed, 12:00

It was a busy weekend at Lee Valley with Wapping men’s 1st XI enduring three tough pre-season friendlies.

Wed, 11:00

Midfielder Declan Rice became the youngster West Ham United player to reach 100 Premier League appearances when he faced Newcastle United, at the age of just 21 years and 242 days.

Wed, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton admitted it means ‘a hell of a lot’ to progress into the third round of the Carabao Cup where they will face Tottenham Hotspur.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For the past six months, employers and employees have been adapting to ways of working from home. The green light has now been given to many people to go back to offices safely. From flexible hours and staggered starting times to deep cleaning, we’re getting ready for new ways of working.

School’s in for summer – and beyond – with health experts agreeing that pupils safely returning to their studies is “positively” the right thing to do. It’s vital for all children’s welfare, not just in terms of students’ future education but also mental and physical well-being, as well as social interaction of classmates.

The NHS Test and Trace system provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community, and is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely. We take a look at how the system is working and talk to one member of the thousands of team members about her experiences.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser