Bolton Wanderers ended West Ham United's Carling Cup hopes for the season with a 3-1 third-round win at the Reebok Stadium.
After a series of decent chances at both ends in the opening 45 minutes, Herita Ilunga gave the Hammers the lead from an Alessandro Diamanti corner just before the hour mark. It looked as though it would be enough to see the visitors progress until Kevin Davies headed an equaliser with four minutes left of normal time. Gary Cahill then struck a killer second on 96 minutes when he beat Robert Green from the edge of the area.
In the build up to the match both managers had promised to name strong sides and they were true to their words.
Gianfranco Zola made four changes to the side that faced Liverpool on Saturday. In defence, Jonathan Spector and Manuel Da Costa, in for his first-team debut, took the place of Julien Faubert, who dropped to the bench, and Matthew Upson, who had yet to recover from the minor calf injury picked up at the weekend. Further forward, Kieron Dyer came in to midfield to make his second start of the season, where he was joined by Radoslav Kovac. Guillermo Franco travelled with the squad but was not quite ready for the game after only training with his new team-mates for the first time on Sunday.
West Ham United went into the game hoping to avoid a repeat of the 1-0 defeat that saw them knocked out of the competition at the same venue and stage in October 2005. And after clearing an early corner, for which they left three players upfield for, they soon showed how they planned to avoid the same fate with a swift counter attack that left four on three in their favour. Scott Parker's through-ball played in Dyer and his shot was deflected inches wide.
The resulting corner led to a crazy few minutes as shot after shot rained in on Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal. First, Diamanti stung the hands of the Finnish international with a bouncing effort from the right and Noble followed suit after being teed up by Zavon Hines. Finally, Parker skimmed the woodwork with a rasping effort from the edge of the area as the Zola's side started strongly.
Bolton hit back, though, and Robert Green was forced to demonstrate why he is currently Fabio Capello's No1 with a smart save from a Zat Knight header.
Saturday's encounter with Liverpool proved to be a corker and this game showed signs of following suit as a Diamanti through-ball sent Hines in one-on-one with Jaaskelainen. But, once again, the Bolton No22 was there to thwart the visitors with a smart save to deny the forward his second goal in this season's competition.
West Ham had a real let-off in the 27th minute when Croatia international striker Ivan Klasnic mis-kicked when just three yards from goal and, minutes later, the 29-year-old was denied once more by the superb fingertip save by Green.
West Ham took the lead from a corner after Ricardo Gardner was forced to head behind an Ilunga cross. Diamanti's flag-kick was drilled along the floor, Matthew Taylor completely missed his clearance and Ilunga was on hand to stab the ball home to send the 1,000-or-so travelling support into ecstasy.
Zola handed out his second debut of the evening when reserve-team captain Bondz N'Gala came on for Da Costa, who had dealt with the physical threat of Davies admirably. N'Gala's arrival added to the Academy spine with both central defenders, a central midfielder and striker all nurtured on the pitches of Little Heath.
A couple of long-rangers followed at either end with Davies going close and Diamanti following suit for the visitors. Then, in a flurry of substitutions, Bolton changed Chung-Yong Lee, Johan Elmander and Tamir Cohen for Ricardo Gardner, Klasnic and Gavin McCann. West Ham made their second change by swapping Dyer for Carlton Cole after a lively 75 minutes from the winger.
Bolton continued to press forward but the Hammers stood strong and looked to have done enough to progress to the fourth round until Davies met Taylor's corner to head past Green with just four minutes remaining.
West Ham's final throw of the dice saw Faubert replace the lively Hines with two minutes left. There was still time for Cole have a great chance to send his side through when he dispossessed Jaaskenainen, but chose to pass when the shot appeared to be the better option.
The first action of note in extra-time saw Parker pick up a booking for a foul on Cohen 25 yards from goal. The Israel international stepped up to smash the resulting free-kick against the base of Green's right-hand post.
The home support did not have to wait long for their side to take the lead, though, as six minutes into extra-time, Cahill smashed an unstoppable half-volley past Green from the edge of the area. Fabrice Muamba nearly put the game out of reach with a 30-yard chip, which Green did well to palm over.
West Ham pushed with everything they had and came within a lick of paint of forcing penalties when Diamanti's superb curling effort clipped the Bolton crossbar on the way over early in the second extra period.
However, the final nail in the visitors' Carling-Cup coffin came when Elmander slid home Lee's centre with just one minute left on the clock to book Bolton's place in Saturday's fourth-round draw.
West Ham United return to Barclays Premier League action with a trip to Manchester City on Monday.