James Collins' brace so nearly earned West Ham United a famous FA Cup third-round victory against Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

As it is, the Hammers had to settle for a highly-creditable 2-2 draw with the eleven-times winners and players and fans alike can look forward to an Old Trafford replay in ten days' time. Central defender Collins glanced in two superb headers from Joe Cole crosses either side of half-time to strike out Tom Cleverley's opener and the hosts looked on course for a brilliant cup victory in east London before Robin van Persie's late leveller.

"I'm delighted to get the two goals but ultimately disappointed we didn't win the game," Collins said. "You know you're going to get quality delivery [from Joe Cole]. They're both from a set-play, the balls gone out and then come back in so you've just go to try and make the run and the ball's there. I didn't need to move too much and the ball just landed on my head.

"I've seen their goal on the replay in the changing room and sometimes you've just got to hold your hands up. It was an unbelievable ball and the touch and finish was top drawer.

"We are happy with the way played. Their goal at the end has put a bit of a dampener on it but if you look at the performance and the team they put out I think we'll sit down on Monday and probably be really happy. We had a chance to make it 3-1 which would have probably killed it but we take massive plusses out of the performance."

Collins was voted Man of the Match by match sponsors Sure Men for his efforts as he was back to his customary best after missing the New Year's Day win at home to Norwich City through suspension. The performance was particularly pleasing for the Wales international after his mistake cost the Hammers dear in the 1-0 defeat at Reading.

"The Reading game was the ultimate disappointment. I've done it twice now this season and I don't think I've done it once before in my career. It would have been nice if this game was in the league so I can rectify it. Those things happen in football, though, I've just got to put it behind me and get on with it."

The 2-2 draw sets up a mouthwatering replay in Manchester, which will take place at 8pm on Wednesday 16 January. West Ham are likely to be allocated a large section of the ground and the travelling claret and blue army will head to the north west hoping for a repeat of the famous 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round win at Old Trafford back in 2001.

"I'm sure both managers might say it's a game they could've done without with the heavy league fixture. But we'll go there and try our best. We went there in the league and were disappointed to lose in the end. We'll go there with confidence having played them twice now and done very well each time. It's the FA Cup so we'll hope we can cause an upset."

Collins is also happy to see that car parking spaces at West Ham's Chadwell Heath training complex are getting harder to come by as more bodies return from injury or are added to the squad. New signing Joe Cole made an immediate impact against the Red Devils and 'Ginge' has backed loanee Marouane Chamakh to follow suit, possibly in the Hammers' next game - away at Sunderland next Saturday.

"Chadwell Heath is getting busier. Chamakh has been at Arsenal and Bordeux before, where he's done well. If he can come here and we can get the best out of him that's a plus and with Joe's performance against United to look at we're only going to get better. It's great to have bodies about as we had a couple of injuries a few weeks ago and it didn't seem like we'd have anyone about so it's great."