West Ham United Ladies made a belated but successful start to 2014 with a thrilling FA Women's Cup second-round win at C&K Basildon.
The Hammers, who had not played since early December due to bad weather, came from behind before securing a thrilling penalty shootout victory.
In a nail-biting shootout it was West Ham goalkeeper Jess Parlane who made a splendid one-handed save low to her left to send the Hammers through to round three.
Both teams had been without a competitive fixture for six weeks and it was only with C&K Basildon's generosity of hiring Harlow Town FC 4G pitch that the fixture could finally be played.
West Ham started the better and looked likely to score first and when Emily Masters got the final touch to put the ball into the Basildon net on eleven minutes, the signs looked good.
With Sarah McCrea and Kelley Blanchflower powering down both flanks the Hammers looked certain to increase their lead. Stacey Little went close when she blasted a shot just wide from 20 yards and Hannah Gowland was a constant threat to the Basildon back four.
However, on 31 minutes it was C&K Basildon who struck with a scrambled goal from Karissa Rodney. The equaliser gave Basildon the lift they needed and they started to control the game until the break.
The second half saw the Hammers on the back foot as Basildon pushed forward. On 55 minutes Basildon got the break the were looking for, when a loose ball was sent across the Hammers goal for Rodney to bang home her second goal.
However, less than 60 seconds later, West Ham were level when Blanchflower converted Cherrelle Albert's left-wing cross.
The Hammers looked like ending the see-saw tie in normal time when Gowland collected the ball on the edge of the Basildon 18-yard box, turned her marker and volleyed a shot into the top left-hand corner of the net with just 12 minutes to go.
Once again, the lead only lasted about sixty seconds, but this time a little more controversial. The ball came over from the right into the West Ham box and was running out of play when the Basildon winger went to ground. The referee awarded a dubious penalty, which was neatly converted.
The game slowed in extra-time as both sides tired and, with no further goals scored, the tie went to penalties.
Basildon went first and all of the first six penalties were scored, with McCrea, Stacey Little and Albert scoring for the Hammers. Basildon's fourth sailed over the bar, Lily Mellors stepped up for the Hammers and scored easily, and when Parlane saved the hosts' final spot-kick brilliantly, the celebrations began.
West Ham have beend drawn at home to Watford Ladies in the third round, with the tie set for Thurrock FC at 2pm on Sunday 16 February.
Ladies: Parlane, King, Morgan, Revell (Mellors 87). West, Masters, Blanchflower, Little, Albert, Gowland (Lipley-Hinton 113) McCrea
Subs not used: Solly, Reed.