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Match Reports

West Ham United 1 Town 0

16 January 2018

Late Hammer blow for Town as West Ham progress

Town: Dean Henderson, Joe Riley (Louis Dodds 74), Max Lowe (James Bolton 101), Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley (Alex Rodman 74), Abu Ogogo ©, Jon Nolan, Aristote Nsiala, Stefan Payne (Carlton Morris 84)
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Carlton Morris, Louis Dodds, James Bolton, Lenell John-Lewis, Bryn Morris, Alex Rodman

West Ham: Joe Hart ©, Manuel Lanzini, Pedro Obiang, Andre Ayew (Marko Arnautovic 69), Angelo Ogbonna, Sam Byram (Pablo Zabaleta 90+1), Arthur Masuaku, Toni Martinez, Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford (Mark Noble 69)
Subs: Adrian, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic, Mark Noble, Saed Haksabanovic, Martin Samelsen, Mases Makasi

Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Assistants: Ian Hussin and Akil Howson
Fourth Official: James Linnington

Attendance: 39,867

It was heartbreak for Shrewsbury Town at the London Stadium as a 112th minute goal sent West Ham through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Town had performed admirably throughout the evening, having a good chance of their own in normal time through Stefan Payne, but in the second-half of extra-time Reece Burke eventually broke the deadlock after Town failed to clear a corner. It was disappointing for Town who put up a great fight across the two games, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

Team News:
Paul Hurst sprang a surprise by moving away from his preferred 4-1-4-1 formation and instead going with five at the back. Town therefore made three changes from the side that lost 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. Joe Riley and Max Lowe came in as wing-backs, whilst Stefan Payne led the line. It meant that James Bolton, Alex Rodman and Carlton Morris are the three men to miss out. The hosts meanwhile included Argentine international Manuel Lanzini in their midfield.

Manuel Lanzini was seen as a bit of a surprise inclusion for West Ham as he has been a regular in the Premier League this season, but you could see his quality from word go and he was the first man to have an effort on goal when he shot from 25 yards, but it went a couple of yards over Dean Henderson’s goal.

However, Town were more than holding their own in the opening 10 minutes and they were able to get onto the ball at times and show off the passing game, which has become so common place in League One games this season.

One such passing move ended with Abu Ogogo being fouled 25 yards from the West Ham goal. Joe Riley took the free-kick but his effort was straight at the wall and West Ham managed to clear.

With 22 minutes on the clock Town forced the first corner of the game as Stefan Payne forced Reece Burke into a mistake, however Toto Nsiala didn’t get the connection he desired on Shaun Whalley’s delivery and West Ham were able to pick up the pieces.

The Iron then forced their first corner of the game when the influential Lanzini had his shot blocked from distance, but Town dealt with the delivery well as Dean Henderson punched well clear.

It perhaps comes as no suprsie that the first save by either ‘keeper came courtesy of a shot from Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine midfielder won a free-kick after running into Abu Ogogo and his powerful effort from 30 yards seemed to swerve awkwardly, but Henderson did well to get two strong hands to the shot and palmed it clear.

At the other end some good work from Stefan Payne, Abu Ogogo and Ben Godfrey led to the latter being fouled 30 yards from goal. Town decided to cross the ball into the back stick where Toto Nsiala met it with his head, but referee Jeremy Simpson had already blown for an infringement in the build-up.

Half-Time: 0-0

The first-half had lacked any real excitement for either side and the second 45 minutes started slowly as well due to a lengthy head injury to Andre Ayew. The experienced Ghana striker was down a couple of minutes before he eventually got back to his feet and play was allowed to continue.

West Ham were now beginning to get on top and they had a shout for a penalty when Lanzini wriggled his way past Nsiala, but the Town defender appeared to recover and win the ball, as Referee Simpson waved away the Irons appeals.

The tie was now 150 minutes old and neither side had been able to break the deadlock, but Town were then handed a brilliant opportunity as the ball rebounded into the path of Stefan Payne, who found himself all alone in behind the West Ham back four. The Town striker ran 20 yards with the ball before trying to flick a shot past Joe Hart, but the England goalkeeper made himself big and the shot hit his legs.  

Shaun Whalley was the next to try his luck for Town as he used his pace to get away from a couple of defenders, but his shot from the edge of the box always looked as if it would head over the bar and it kept on rising.

With just over 20 minutes of the game to go it appeared that West Ham had decided it was time to really try and put this game to bed, so they brought on Premier League regulars Marko Arnautovic and Mark Noble in place of Reece Oxford and Andre Ayew.

Town then made their first substitution of the night five minutes later and it led to a change of formation as Joe Riley was replaced by Louis Dodds. It meant that Town went to four at the back with Omar Beckles moving to right-back and Dodds moving into the number 10 position in behind Payne. Shaun Whalley was then replaced a few minutes later by Alex Rodman on the left wing.

West Ham were now really throwing men forward and when Mark Noble picked out Sam Byram at the back-post with a sumptuous ball it looked as if Town might be in trouble, but Bryam’s first time cross went straight across the face of goal, with no one in a Claret and Blue shirt there to poke it home.

West Ham then twice hit the side-netting as first Toni Martinez had a shot from a tight angle and then Marko Arnautovic found room inside the box, but both efforts failed to test Henderson in the Town goal.  

Arnautovic certainly looked the most likely to break Town hearts and a shot from the edge of the box went just inches wide of Dean Henderson’s goal, with the Manchester United loanee at full stretch.

The fourth official indicated that there would be a minimum of four additional minutes and in those dying minutes Town forced a corner. Louis Dodds took it and although the initial ball was punched away by Hart, Town recycled it well and picked out Toto Nsiala with a cross, but the Congolese defender could only head over from eight yards.

With just seconds of stoppage time to play West Ham were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Manuel Lanzini took it, but his effort went high and wide as Town survived to take it to extra time.

Full-Time: 0-0

First-Half of Extra Time:
There were bound to be some tired bodies out there in blue and amber, but they didn’t show it at the start of extra-time as Alex Rodman showed a clean pair of heels to Pablo Zabaleta, but his cutback didn’t quite fall for Carlton Morris who took an air shot.

At the other end, Ben Godfrey was forced to clear off the line when Dean Henderson came to punch a cross but it only went as far as Mark Noble who helped it towards goal, but Godfrey was in the right place to head it clear.

The game was now really opening up and it appeared to be playing into Town’s hands, who looked the fitter of the two sides. Abu Ogogo was continuing to break forward from midfield and he even tried a volley from distance, although it went tamely wide.

New rules allow a fourth substitution to be made in extra-time, so Paul Hurst decided to utilise this by replacing Max Lowe with James Bolton. It meant that Omar Beckles moved into his third position of the night, this time at left-back, with Bolton slotting in on the right of the back-four.

With a minute left in the first-half of extra-time West Ham had their best chance of the tie to date. Marko Arnautovic managed to get in behind the Town defence and he then fed Manuel Lanzini. Lanzini twisted and turned to allow him to get his shot away, but by the time he had picked his spot James Bolton was on the goal line to throw himself at the shot and the block fell into the grateful arms of Dean Henderson.

Half-Time in Extra-Time: 0-0

Second-Half of Extra-Time:
The second-half of extra-time was a more frantic affair as both sides desperately went in search of the winning goal. West Ham were beginning to lose patience and Pedro Obiang tried his luck from distance, but pulled the shot well wide.

However, with eight minutes of the game remaining the deadlock was finally broke by the hosts and with it the hearts of 3,000 travelling Salopians. Town failed to clear a Lanzini corner and the ball eventually broke for Reece Burke who fired in a venomous shot from 15 yards which hit the underside of the crossbar before going over the line.

Cries of Salop, Salop, Salop, continued to emanate from behind the goal, but unfortunately for Town’s travelling faithful, West Ham held onto the ball immaculately in the final stages and Town never had a sniff of finding a late equaliser.

End of Extra-Time: 1-0

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