Minnows and Banana Skins

A look back as West Ham battle it out with non-league opposition.

FA Cup 1993/ 94 5th Round (Football Conference v Premier League)
19 February 1994 Kidderminster Harriers 0 v 1 West Ham United

Kidderminster had seen off Chesham United, Kettering, Woking, Birmingham and Preston to reach the 5th Round. The Hammers, on their promotion to the Premier League, had beaten Watford and Notts County in earlier rounds. West Ham had the lion’s share of the match at the packed Aggborough stadium with Clive Allen spurning several half chances that he had regularly put away during his itinerant career. Kidderminster had a great chance to go ahead in the second period but were thwarted by a timely interception from a 35 year old Alvin Martin who had been specially re-assembled for the game after a lengthy absence. West Ham won the game around the 70 minute mark when the Kidderminster keeper misjudged the flight of a Keith Rowland cross and Lee Chapman’s header looped into the unguarded net. Kidderminster might have had a late penalty (at least based on today’s interpretations) following a Tim Breacker challenge but it was not to be their day.

Miklosko, Breacker, Rowland, Potts, Martin, Bishop, M Allen, Marsh, Chapman, C Allen (Morley), Holmes

Despite the victory the Hammers did not make it past the next round losing 2-3 in a replay away at First Division Luton after a drawn game at Upton Park.

FA Cup 1997/ 98 3rd Round (Premier League v Unibond League)
3 January 1998 West Ham 2 v 1 Emley

As non-league minnows go Emley were down there with the tiddliest; and so it was a fantastic achievement for the team, from a small West Yorkshire village, to make it through to the 3rd round of the FA Cup. They had entered in the 1st Qualifying Round and to get this far had beaten Workington Town, Durham City, Belper Town, Nuneaton Borough, Morecombe and Lincoln City. The game was played in wet and blustery conditions and the pre-match predictions of a landslide victory for the Hammers looked to be on the cards as first Kitson hit the bar and then Lampard opened the scoring in the 4th minute. The weather though provided the only deluge as Hartson, who was leading Premier League scorer at the time, fluffed chance after chance. West Ham’s inability to extend their lead gave Emley confidence and they came out in the second half determined to give it a go. Their efforts were rewarded when Paul David outfoxed Rio at a corner to head home an unlikely equaliser. It was not to be a fairy-tale ending for Emley though as with less than 10 minutes to go a Skippy Lazaridis cross from the left was finally headed home by a grateful John Hartson. A West Ham victory but the day belonged to Emley who received a standing ovation from the Upton Park crowd.

Forrest, Breacker (Abou), Lazaridis, Potts, Pearce, Unsworth, Lampard, Berkovic, Kitson, Hartson, Ferdinand

Following victory over Emley the West Ham cup run saw an away win at Manchester City, two draws and a win on penalties against Blackburn before losing on penalties (Abou) following two drawn games with Arsenal in the 6th Round.