|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Shrewsbury take insipid West Ham to replay on Joe Hart’s return
Paul Doyle at New Meadow
Date Published Sun 7 Jan ‘18 16.20 GMT
West Ham United will not relish a replay against Shrewsbury Town, and not only because of the imposition on their schedule. The League One side proved vexing opponents for the Premier League strugglers, who never looked superior to Paul Hurst’s team. Quite the contrary.
“Shrewsbury were better so we’re fortunate to still be in the Cup,” said David Moyes, who did not try to dress up a performance devoid of class and even of more basic traits. “I don’t think we showed any quality,” he said. “The bigger thing and more disappointing thing for me was we didn’t show enough steel.
“When you come to these places you have to show you’re up to it physically and you can battle and compete, but that was probably for me the worst thing about it. It’s a mentality thing – you’ve got to show that whatever players you’re up against you’ve got to recognise it’s going to be tough whether it be Tottenham or Shrewsbury. For the first half especially, we didn’t compete at all.”
Joe Hart, the only goalkeeper required to make any saves here, agreed Shrewsbury were superior. The England goalkeeper had hoped to make a triumphant return to the town of his birth and the club where he started his career, but a clean sheet was the extent of his success.
It seemed symptomatic of West Ham’s slipshod approach that Hart arrived without appropriate headwear to shield his eyes from the low-hanging sun and found himself having to don a cap thrown to him by one of the travelling fans. “I think the fans could see I was impeded and someone threw one on and I was very grateful for that,” he said before revealing that naff banter was partly to blame. “We have one [cap] in the kit but Aaron Cresswell’s hair is that bad that apparently after the last game he took it and he is rocking the Umbro cap. I would have taken a hat, sunglasses and all sorts, I couldn’t see a thing.”
Hart is perhaps Shrewsbury’s most famous son after Charles Darwin and a theory quickly evolved here that if this clash was to be about the survival of the fittest then the underdogs would prevail.
Shrewsbury were by far the more vigorous side. This was, in fairness, West Ham’s third match in six days and Moyes redeployed seven of the players who drew with Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, the only non-regulars being Reece Burke and Josh Cullen, a pair of 21-year-olds recently returned from loans at Bolton Wanderers. Moyes later said Cullen was West Ham’s best player on the day, but the Irishman was not around to hear that as he had already left for hospital to see whether the two teeth that he lost in a second-half collision could be reinserted.
Cullen aside, most of Moyes’s troops looked reluctant to meet the challenge laid down by Shrewsbury. After Cheikh Kouyaté failed to get a telling touch to a dangerous cross by Cullen in the ninth minute, any whiff of a breakthrough by the away team vanished. Javier Hernández, West Ham’s lone striker, got only a few more touches than anyone in the 9,535-strong crowd before being substituted in the second half.
Hurst’s men were not only more committed and compact, they also showed themselves to be nimble passers and movers. And they forced Hart, at least, into earnest action. The keeper’s first save, admittedly, was more straightforward than it might have been, the goalkeeper needing only to fall on the ball to snaffle a scuffed effort by Ben Godfrey after West Ham failed to deal with a free-kick by Shaun Whalley.
Mat Sadler’s shot in the 35th minute packed more power and demanded a solid save from Hart, who had to repeat it moments later when Alex Rodman let fly from a similar position at the left-hand corner of the West Ham box.
The Premier League team managed to secure slightly more possession in the second half but it would be going too far to suggest they enjoyed it. Shrewsbury looked to be their equals, at least, and for that caps must be doffed to Hurst and his team. Jon Nolan, the most elegant performer on the day, nearly crowned the hosts’ display by nicking a winning goal near the end, but he was unable to keep his shot down from eight yards out.
Hurst agreed that Shrewsbury were the better side but rued the fact that they did not produce their best. “I’ve seen us to do better,” he said. “We’ve had tougher games and that’s why I thought the game was there to be won.
“I don’t mean that being disrespectful to West Ham but I really felt the game was there to be won. But we can’t be too disappointed. I’m sure the chairman will be happy, he spoke about a replay a while ago and has got his wish.”
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS
Shrewsbury Town (4-1-4-1): Henderson 6.5; Bolton 6, Sadler 7.5, Nsiala 6.5, Beckles 6.5; Godfrey 6; Whalley 6 (Gnahoua 88), Nolan 6.5, Rodman 6 (Lowe 6.5 75); C Morris 6 (Payne 82).
Subs not used: MacGillvrary, Lowe, Dodds, John-Lewis, B Morris
Manager: P Hurst 6.5
West Ham United (4-4-1-1): Hart 7; Burke 6.5 (Quina 86), Reid 6, Ogbonna 6, Rice 6.5; Cullen 7, Kouyate 6, Obiang 5.5, Masuaku 6.5; Ayew 5; Hernandez 5 (Martinez 71)
Subs not used: Adrian, Haksabanovic, Quina, Samuelsen, Neufville, Makasi
Manager: David Moyes 5
Referee: P Tierney (Greater Manchester) 6