West Ham eased past League One side Doncaster to earn their spot in the FA Cup’s fifth round. Pablo Fornals opened the scoring before Andriy Yarmolenko doubled the lead before half-time. The Hammers got a third via a deflected corner kick to put them out of sight.
The win means that David Moyes’ side will play one of Liverpool or Manchester United in the next round of the FA Cup. They will find out who when the two giants play at
Match Build Up
David Moyes named a strong team for the FA Cup tie against Doncaster. Lukasz Fabianski made his first appearance in the cup this season, and Nathan Trott was called up to the bench. There was one drastic change to the team.
Declan Rice was also dropped to the bench for a well-deserved rest. Club Captain Mark Noble was called into the starting eleven to play next to Tomas Soucek. Rice has played every minute in the Premier League and FA Cup so far this season.
West Ham have won all five of their matches that they have played in 2021 as they continue to impress.
West Ham started the game in perfect fashion. Yarmolenko combined well with Ryan Fredericks on the right flank. The defender cut the ball back to the penalty spot. Both Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma were waiting for the ball; the Spaniard was the one that got to it and volleyed home.
After the goal, the Hammers should have doubled their lead on a few occasions. Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini and Fornals all had efforts off target. The football being played though was brilliant with quick passing.
Benrahma was running the game for the home side. The Algerian looked as though he was playing a free role as he drifted across the pitch. Benrahma was linking up the team’s attacks with brilliant quick feet and passing moves.
The second goal did come, and it was Benrahma’s through ball that created the opportunity. The midfielder played a perfectly weighted pass for Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian cooly chipped the onrushing Ellery Balcombe to double the lead.
The goal meant that West Ham were winning a game by more than one goal for the first time since beating Leicester City 3-0 back in October.
Doncaster did have a couple of attacking plays and did look dangerous at times. The Donny’s, however, weren’t able to find a clear shooting opportunity to really test Fabianski. The Hammers back line was very solid and dealt with any attacks coming their way.
The Hammers almost added to their lead within two minutes of the restart. Yarmolenko was fouled on the edge of the area. Benrahma’s effort was almost perfect as Balcombe made a great save to keep the score deficit at two.
Balcombe then denied Soucek on two occasions. The first was a brilliant fingertip save to keep a volley from 30-yards out. The keeper then denied the Czech after sending a header goalbound.
The Hammers did get their third from the resulting corner. Noble whipped in a corner which evaded everyone except Doncaster’s Andy Butler. The defender tried to clear the ball but misjudged the ball’s flight and diverted it into the goal.
Doncaster almost grabbed themselves a lifeline on the hour mark. A cross into the box made it out to Matthew Smith. The midfielder controlled the ball well and smashed his effort past Fabianski. The ball, however, rattled the crossbar.
David Moyes then gave a West Ham debut to Oladapo Afolayan. The youngster replaced Tomas Soucek and would lead the line for the remainder of the match. The Czech would have appreciated some extra recovery time ahead of the Premier League match with Cyrstal Palace next week.
The debutant got on the scoresheet moments after coming on. Fredericks smashed a shot at goal which was saved by Balcombe. The ball rebounded to the youngster who hammered home to extend the lead to four.
Moyes then made a surprise pair of substitutes. Fabianski was given a break, and Nathan Trott sent on for his full West Ham debut. Jamal Baptiste was also given a full debut as he replaced Fredericks. The defender impressed during pre-season and would get five minutes of the first-team action in the Cup.
The outfield duo weren’t on just to give the first-teamers a rest. Afolayan and Baptiste were getting involved and contributed to the attack very well in the match’s closing stages. The Hammers closed out the game on top and progressed to the next round of the FA Cup.
Man Of The Match – Said Benrahma
The Algerian ran the game from start to finish. Benrahma was responsible for the second goal with his measured pass to Yarmolenko. The forward was desperate for his first goal and went close on multiple occasions, but will have to wait a bit longer.