By JOHN CHUBB
The fourth round of the FA Cup saw West Ham United progress to the last 16 of the famous competition – but only just!
David Moyes’ men were drawn away to National League North outfit Kidderminster Harriers – five tiers and 113 places below them – and the Premier League high-flyers were given quite a fright, as the non-League side took the lead in the 19th minute through Alex Penny and were still in front with 90 minutes on the clock.
But England international Declan Rice – who had entered the tie as a second half substitute – levelled the scores in the first minute of injury time to force an additional half-hour.
And right at the end of extra-time, Jarrod Bowen’s goal sealed a 2-1 win for the Hammers as the hosts – judged the better side on the day by many observers – were cruelly denied what would have arguably been the biggest shock in the competition’s 150-year history.
United have been drawn away to fellow Premier League side Southampton in the Fifth Round, scheduled for Wednesday 2 March.
In League Two of the EFL Leyton Orient’s dismal run of form continued, as a fourth minute goal from Freddie Sears gave Colchester United a 1-0 win at the Breyer Group Stadium.
Kenny Jackett’s O’s have now gone seven league games without a victory, although other results saw them remain in 15th place.
Disappointment too for Dagenham & Redbridge who lost their third National League game out of four, slipping to a 2-1 defeat away to high-flying Chesterfield, but the Daggers stay 9th in the table.
Our featured game in the National League South saw Billericay Town remain in last place, after losing 2-1 at Hemel Hempstead Town.
Josh Wright gave Ricay a first-half lead, but Hemel replied twice after the interval to take all three points.
Braintree Town remain one place above them after a goalless draw with Eastbourne Borough, and there was another defeat for out of form Concord Rangers who lost 1-0 away to Chippenham Town.
But the other Essex side in the NLS – Chelmsford City – enjoyed an excellent win at Dulwich Hamlet in front of a capacity crowd of over 3,300.
Goals from Danny Imray, Dara Dada and Charlie Sheringham saw the Clarets return from South London with all three points after a 3-1 victory.
Our other featured non-League match was in the Isthmian North, where Maldon & Tiptree faced Brentwood Town.
Ade Cole gave the Jammers the lead from the penalty spot just before the break before Tom Richardson’s reply 15 minutes from time ensured that honours were shared.
Brentwood are just outside the play-off spots in sixth place, whilst Maldon & Tiptree are in 10th but both clubs currently have games in hand on most of the sides in the top half of the division.
Local Rugby Union action saw Westcliff of the English National League Two South finally have something to cheer about after a challenging campaign.
They went into yesterday’s home match against fellow strugglers Barnstaple rock bottom of the table, having not won a league match all season.
But they secured their first victory of 2021/22, scoring 28 points to the Devon side’s 20.
This week’s playlist:
Wham! – Edge Of Heaven
Adele – Oh My God
Astrid – Through The Darkness Of Your Life
Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent
Paul Weller – Shades Of Blue
Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
Supremes – Stoned Love
Jody Watley – Looking For A New Love
Richard Ashcroft feat Liam Gallagher – C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)
Traffic – Hole In My Shoe
James Morrison – Don’t Mess With Love
David Gray – Babylon
Matt Berry feat Emma Noble – Beatmaker
Sea Power – Green Goddess
Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone
George Benson – On Broadway
Staple Singers – Respect Yourself
John Miles – Music
Toploader – Achilles Heel
Placebo – Try Better Next Time
Arthur Conley – Sweet Soul Music
Whispers – Rock Steady