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22:12 9th January 2016

Late Blow At The Boleyn

West Ham United 1 (Jelavic 84)

Wolves 0

A late goal from West Ham’s Nikica Jelavic meant that Wolves’ last ever visit to Upton Park ended in defeat and an FA Cup exit. Yet it was a brave effort from Kenny Jackett’s men and few could have argued had the game gone to a replay.

Polish winger Michal Zyro made his debut, Rajiv van La Parra, back from his loan at Brighton, and Bjorn Sigurdarson were also named in the starting eleven. Missing out were Jordan Graham and James Henry, who were named as substitutes, and Benik Afobe.  

Wolves kicked-off defending the end of the ground that housed 3,100 of their supporters. And those fans could have been cheering after just 20 seconds as van La Parra’s cross bounced through the home six-yard box with no-one getting the touch that was needed.

In the second minute Conor Coady’s attempted cross was turned behind by Aaron Cresswell with Ethan Ebanks-Landell heading wide from Zyro’s flag kick.

Wolves were taking the game to their Premier League opponents and the Hammers defence had to clear another Zyra corner before the home team’s first attempt at goal – a low drive from Mauro Zarate that went straight to Carl Ikeme.

In the 18th minute the keeper needed to be at his best to turn aside a shot from Pedro Obiang that had taken a hefty deflection.

A promising break down the right flank by van La Parra ended with a touch that was too heavy allowing a defender to clear and then Cresswell hurt himself getting in an angled shot that Ikeme saved at the near post.

Danny Batth was in the right place to clear from Michail Antonio as a half bereft of goalmouth action drew to a close. It did, however, take a fingertip save from Ikeme to keep out a ferocious 20-yard effort from Carl Jenkinson that looked destined for the back of the net.

Half-Time: West Ham 0 Wolves 0

Sigurdarson dispossessed James Collins and released Coady on the left but the West Ham defender got back to clear Coady’s cross at the expense of a corner.

Van Le Parra played the corner short to Kevin McDonald and after the pair had exchanged passes again, McDonald hit a low shot that took a deflection but ran nicely through to Darren Randolph in the home goal.

The game was then held up for several minutes after Sigurdarson dropped to the floor on all fours. The Icelander was surrounded by medical staff before being stretchered off wearing a neck brace. He was replaced by Adam Le Fondre.

Collins cleared as Dave Edwards tried to reach a through ball from Zyra who then tested Randolph with a cross-shot from the corner of the area. For West Ham, Obiang was wide with a first time shot and then he missed after trying to place the ball into the corner.

Wolves made a double switch in the 81st minute with Graham and Henry taking over from van La Parra and Zyra.

Batth was harshly penalised for a foul on Andy Carroll, on as a substitute for Zarate, when the pair just appeared to collide. From 22-yards out, it was another substitute, Dimitri Payet, that landed the free-kick on the roof of the net.

But in the 84th minute Carroll played in Jelavic who finished with a low shot into the far corner.

Wolves had chances to snatch the equaliser they deserved in the six minutes of stoppage time with one centre from Henry somehow going through a crowded box with no-one able to make contact.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Dominic Iorfa present Le Fondre with a chance but, as the home fans held their breath, his scuffed shot dribbled inches wide. 

Hammers: Randolph, Reid, Cresswell, Song, Zarate (Carroll 71), Jenkinson, Obiang, Noble (capt) (Payet 66), Collins, Jelavic (Oxford 86), Antonio.

Unused subs: Adrian, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Cullen. 

Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Doherty, Coady, Batth (capt), Ebanks-Landell, van La Parra (Graham 81), Sigurdarson (Le Fondre 57), Edwards, McDonald, Zyro (Henry 81).

Unused subs: Martinez, Golbourne, Saville, Byrne.

Referee: A. Taylor.

Attendance: 34,547.

Wolves Under 18s 4 (Ronan-pen, Carnat, Allan-pen, Delacoe) Stoke City 2


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.