West Ham United and Bristol City will have to go again after they couldn’t be separated in Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round tie in Stratford as a second-half equaliser from the Sky Bet Championship side meant the match ended 1-1.
David Moyes made four changes from Tuesday’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion, as Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma, Vladimír Coufal and Lucas Paquetá all came into the starting line-up, as Alphonse Areola, Ben Johnson, Angelo Ogbonna and Saïd Benrahma dropped to the bench. Divin Mubama and Connor Coventry were involved in the matchday squad.
After a goalless draw with Roberto De Zerbi’s side five days earlier, the Hammers were keen to start scoring goals again and within four minutes, Jarrod Bowen had given his team the perfect start, as he raced on to a ball from Paquetá and then found himself in the clear to take it around visiting goalkeeper Max O’Leary and kept his composure to slot into the empty net to have the home fans cheering early!!!
The Robins should have been on level terms minutes later when Sam Bell evaded the attentions of both Emerson Palmieri and Zouma but the majority inside the stadium needn’t have worried, as Fabiański was behind his effort and able to make the save.
Moyes was forced into a early change as the returning Paquetá had to go off and was replaced by Mubama.
O’Leary had to prevent teammate Cameron Pring from extending the hosts’ lead which he managed to do comfortably, while he also denied efforts from Pablo Fornals, Tomáš Souček and James Ward-Prowse.
There were two further scares for the Irons before half-time. Firstly, Konstantinos Mavropanos picked up a chest injury, meaning Ogbonna entered the fray and then Liam Manning’s side almost levelled when Rob Dickie headed on from a corner but thankfully, Fabiański was alert to the danger and held the ball well.
Having made such a great start to the game, it would be fair to say that the shoe was on the other foot when referee Graham Scott blew the whistle to start the second-half. On fifty seven minutes, Bell sent over a cross and Pring had a very good chance to convert but fortunately, his effort never troubled Fabiański as his attempt went well wide of the far post.
The visitors were piling on the pressure by this point and the equaliser they were threatening finally arrived as Tommy Conway beat the Pole just past the hour mark following great combination play from both Dickie and Joe Williams.
The impetus was on the side of the Robins now and they went close to turning the game on its head minutes later when Williams tried his luck but Fabiański was in the right place to thwart him.
Obviously, West Ham were keen to find a way back into the game and had chances to do so but neither Souček, nor Zouma were able to get the better of O’Leary.
Moyes then made use of his last three substitutions, as Johnson, Maxwel Cornet and Danny Ings all came on for to take the places of Coufal, Fornals and Edson Álvarez.
Once Manning’s team had got back into the match, they were determined not to lose. Ings had a late chance to win the tie after Bowen was denied a second goal but unfortunately, the former AFC Bournemouth, Burnley, Liverpool, Southampton and Aston Villa striker could only send the ball into the side netting.
At the end of the match, it appeared that Bowen had sustained a leg injury and may be out for a few weeks.
The result means it will go back to Bristol for a replay on Tuesday 16 January. Before then though, both teams will know who they are likely to face in Round Four as the draw will be made at 7:40pm tonight.
One piece of transfer news that has happened today is that young goalkeeper Krisztián Hegyi has cut short his loan spell at Sky Bet League One side Stevenage to spend the rest of the current campaign on loan at Dutch club FC Den Bosch. If any more deals are done throughout January then as always, details will be available on this site as soon as they are confirmed.