After a gut-wrenching, white-knuckle, edge-of -your-seat re-match, West Ham United beat Everton to go through to the 4th round of the FA Cup. For all the neutrals out there, it made for thrilling viewing – a perfect example of two teams throwing everything they had at the game, throughout the full 90 minutes, into extra time and then into a blistering penalty shoot out. For fans of either team, the stress was incredible – more likely to cause a heart attack than consuming a crate of Krispy Kremes via intravenous drip.
Valencia scored first for West Ham, but echoing the match the week before, a shot from Mirallas in the dying minutes of the match secured the lifeline of extra time for Everton. A shot from Lukaku in the 97th minute saw a period of play in which it looked more likely that Everton would snatch the win, despite being down to ten men. In response, West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, substituted defender James Collins for more strike power in the shape of West Ham favourite, Carlton Cole. Within two minutes the tactic paid off as Cole scored, leaving both teams facing a penalty shoot out.
Goal-keeper Adrian saved Naismith’s shot, giving the hammers the advantage, but a weak shot from Stewart Downing, put the teams back on level terms. Everton goal-keeper Robles’ shot hit the cross-bar, then in a remarkable show of steely confidence, Adrian threw his gloves off, stepped up to the mark and scored the winning penalty, his first goal ever in professional football. Total hero!