West Ham United secured their place in the fourth round draw with a narrow 1-0 victory against Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers at Upton Park in Saturday.
Both teams entered this game in good form. West Ham were unbeaten in seven games while Wolves have won three consecutive games without conceding.
Rajiv Van La Parra’s teasing cross and Bjorn Sigurdarson’s inviting corner gave West Ham early warning signs of the strength of the opposition.
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The Hammers had their first sights of goals after 17 minutes as the visitors dominated proceedings. Argentine attacker Mauro Zarate’s stinging drive was well handled by Carl Ikeme before Pedro Obiang’s deflected effort went narrowly wide.
With half an hour played, the quality in the final third was dreadful from both teams.
The first piece of quality was witnessed at the climax of the first half as on loan Arsenal right back Carl Jenkinson’s rasping drive from just outside the area was tipped over brilliantly by Ikeme.
When Wolves’ Icelandic forward Sigurdarson was stretchered off the field with what looked like a serious injury after going down unchallenged, Adam Le Fondre came on.
Just over 10 minutes after Sigurdarson’s injury, the home faithful cheered and roared as if they had just scored. However it was the introduction of Dimitri Payet that prompted the delirium as he replaced captain Mark Noble.
Slaven Bilic’s men were urged on by the Hammers fans as the hosts dominated possession but the Wolves back line was extremely resilient.
It would take something brilliant to break them down. And that is exactly what happened. With six minutes of normal time remaining, Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic notched his first goal since his summer arrival from Hull City with a drilled left footed strike from 12 yards that ensured the east Londoners were in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup.
West Ham: Randolph, Jenkinson, Reid, Collins, Cresswell; Song, Noble © (Payet, 63), Obiang, Antonio; Zarate (Carroll, 73), Jelavic (Oxford, 87).
Subs Not Used: Adrian, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Cullen.
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Doherty, McDonald, Van La Parra (Graham, 83) , Coady, Edwards, Zyro (Henry, 83), Sigurdarson (Le Fondre, 50).
Subs Not Used: Martinez, Golbourne, Saville, Byrne.
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