West Ham United 0 Fulham 3

West Ham's dreams of FA Cup glory are over for another year after Fulham grabbed an undeserved 3-0 victory in the fifth round replay at Upton Park.


After dominating the entire first half and creating several good chances in the second, Hammers were left stunned as late goals from Brian McBride, Barry Hayles and Luis Boa Morte took the Cottagers into a quarter-final clash at Manchester United.


The result brought Hammers' unbeaten run of six matches to an end and signalled our heaviest home defeat of the season - yet ironically, in the first half especially, the Boleyn Ground faithful were treated to one of the most impressive performances witnessed at Upton Park in recent months.


A break from League football once again gave Alan Pardew the chance to introduce his very own version of squad rotation - albeit a slightly more enforced one than that enjoyed by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.


With new loan signing Pavel Srnicek added to the six outfield players ineligible for the tie - Zamora, Harley, Melville, Reo-Coker, Nowland and McAnuff - the Hammers boss named a completely different substitutes' bench and made four changes to his starting line-up.


Anton Ferdinand, Kevin Horlock and Brian Deane came in for Harley, Reo-Coker and Zamora but Pardew's hopes of sending out the same 11 that bravely battled to a 0-0 draw in the original tie were dashed before kick-off when Tomas Repka failed to recover from illness.


That meant the versatile Hayden Mullins switching to the centre of defence, with Wayne Quinn coming in at left-back for his first start since the visit of Preston North End on January 10. After sitting out the trip to Carrow Road, Steve Lomas was back on the bench again, as was another long-term injury victim, Rob Lee.


Fulham boss Chris Coleman - who incidentally was forced to stay at home through illness - also made adjustments following his side's lacklustre display at Loftus Road, bringing in Bobby Petta and Martin Djetou for Barry Hayles and Zat Knight.


The 27,934 crowd at a freezing Upton Park were warmed up prior to kick-off by a stirring rendition of Nessun Dorna by local tenor John Innes, while supporters on both sides remembered the late, great Bobby Moore on the 11th anniversary of his sad death, adding an emotional touch as Mooro's former clubs eyed a mouth-watering quarter-final trip to Old Trafford.


Just as they had done 10 days earlier, Hammers made the livelier start against their Premiership opponents, with Etherington replicating the pacy run and cross in the very first minute that was almost converted by Harewood, but this time Van der Sar comfortably collected the centre.


Horlock then tested the Dutch keeper with a stinging 30-yard effort, before Connolly's fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area was also saved.


In the 20th minute, it appeared that Hammers had finally made the breakthrough. Connolly's clever pass released Harewood, who held off a defender and surged into the box, only to see Van der Sar deny him once again with a stunning reflex save.


Deane then had an effort deflected over from just six yards out and, with the exception of Volz's low shot that had Bywater scrambling across in the 27th minute, it was all one-way traffic.


The visitors almost took the lead against the run of play in the 41st minute, when Petta's cross from the left was somehow headed wide by Boa Morte, but it was Hammers who should have gone in ahead at the interval, when Harewood was again handed a glorious chance in stoppage time at the end of the half.


Another neat pass from Connolly released Hammers' top scorer, who this time beat Van der Sar with his shot, but looked on in horror as it rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.


Harewood nearly made amends early in the second half with a driven shot across the face of goal that missed the boot of Etherington by inches but, as the frustration of so many missed chances began to take hold, the visitors began to find more rhythm with their counter-attacking play.


Malbranque dragged a shot wide from a decent position on the hour, before substitute Knight headed over from six yards out and midfielder Sean Davis saw a near-post effort superbly tipped round the post by Bywater.


Hammers continued to plug away, though, and Harewood again should have done better when Connolly cut the ball back from the by-line, scuffing his shot wide of the target.


Just as he had done at Norwich on Saturday, Pardew made a substitution in the 74th minute, this time replacing Brian Deane with Lomas - who received a magnificent reception as he stepped on to the pitch - to allow Harewood to move forward for the final quarter of an hour.


However, history repeated itself in more depressing fashion moments later when, just as Darren Huckerby had done three days ago, Brian McBride found the net in the 76th minute.


A long ball forward from American defender Carlos Bocanegra was misjudged by Mullins and McBride made it a Yankee double by firing a superb volley past Bywater and into the corner of the net.


Despite most of Upton Park being stunned into silence by Fulham's opener, Hammers created an almost immediate chance to draw level. Yet again, Connolly threaded a pass through for Harewood and, yet again, Van der Sar was equal to the effort.


A minute later, it was game over. Another hopeful long ball forward wasn't dealt with by Lomas or Ferdinand, and Malbranque stole round the back to hook the ball across for substitute Hayles to tap into an empty net.


A cut to his head that eventually required stitches forced Dailly out of the action soon after, with Neil Mellor thrown on in the hope of producing a miracle comeback, but Fulham kept possession cleverly and then rubbed salt into the wound with a third goal in the closing stages.


A neat interchange between Boa Morte and Malbranque sliced open the Hammers rearguard and the Portuguese striker's toe-poke had enough power to carry it over the line before Ferdinand could clear.

 So the chance to upset the odds at the Theatre of Dreams goes begging, and Hammers fans will no doubt console themselves by reciting that famous old cliché: 'At least we can concentrate on the league now…'