A high-flying Premier League outfit met Championship opposition in this FA Cup tie at the London Stadium. West Ham came into this on the back of a goalless draw against Brighton last time out, while Bristol City suffered heartbreak late on at home to Millwall.
WHU: Fabianski; Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma, Emerson; Alvarez, Soucek; Paqueta, Ward-Prowse, Fornals; Bowen
BCI: O’Leary; Tanner, Vyner, Dickie, Pring; Williams, Gardner-Hickman; Bell, Knight, Mehmeti; Conway
West Ham’s second home game in the space of a week couldn’t have started out any better for the Hammers, as they took an early lead. Lucas Paqueta received the ball from his Brazil colleague Emerson Palmieri down the left hand side, and the midfielder lobbed the ball over the Robins defence to Jarrod Bowen. The England international then raced forward before rounding Max O’Leary and slotting the ball into an open net.Embed from Getty Images
Bristol City replied in kind, as Sam Bell got forward down the right hand side before cutting inside and firing a shot towards goal; only for Lukasz Fabianski to be equal to the winger’s effort. Cameron Pring also saw his cross in from the left a few moments later collected comfortably by the former Arsenal goalkeeper.
Down the other end, West Ham almost extended their lead through Tomas Soucek, but steering home Jarrod Bowen’s cutback forced Max O’Leary to make a wonderful save to keep the scoreline at 1-0. Bowen himself was denied his second of the game moments after following a block by Zak Vyner.
Cameron Pring looked very impressive for the Robins at the London Stadium, and his latest cross was unlucky not to find Sam Bell at the far post to head in, with Fabianski collecting the ball calmly. Rob Dickie, however, went close just before half-time with a header that fell straight into the arms of the Polish goalkeeper.
The start to the second half was reasonably quieter than the first half, but it was still David Moyes’ side who threatened first, as Jarrod Bowen’s long-range effort was blocked at the last moment by Taylor Gardner-Hickman.
Liam Manning’s visitors, however, took the game to West Ham in the second 45 and continued to find gaps in the Hammers defence, with Anis Mehmeti’s header flying just wide of the near post; albeit with the flag raised already for offside. Cameron Pring was also unfortunate to not find the back of the net from close-range.
With just over an hour gone, though, the Championship side got their reward as they levelled matters at the London Stadium. Joe Williams looked up and found Tommy Conway with an excellent long ball forward. The young striker then latched onto the ball and smashed it home past Fabianski to send the 9,000 away fans into raptures.Embed from Getty Images
Up the other end, Kurt Zouma had the chance to put the Hammers back in front, but his header from James Ward-Prowse’s corner sailed just over the bar. Tomas Soucek also suffered the same fate with his headed effort a few minutes later.
Tommy Conway thought he had put Bristol City in front with 10 minutes to go in South East London, but the linesman’s flag cut short any celebrations.
Hammers substitute Danny Ings could have won the game for David Moyes’ side five minutes from time, but the former Southampton striker’s shot blasted straight into the side netting. It proved to be the last real chance of the game, as both sides would do it all again at Ashton Gate on January 16th at 7:45pm.
While West Ham now prepare for the replay in the West of England, Bristol City have another matter to tend to first, as they return to Championship action next Saturday, where Preston are the visitors to Ashton Gate in a 3pm kickoff.