Hammers v Bolton

Marlon Harewood's superb strike in extra-time finally earned Hammers a deserved victory over Bolton Wanderers at the fifth time of asking, and secured a place in the last eight of the FA Cup in the process.

The Hammers striker struck the winner in a thrilling 2-1 victory, after Jussi Jaaskelainen's own goal had been wiped out by Kevin Davies' 31st minute strike.

Following Saturday's 4-1 defeat at the Reebok Stadium, Alan Pardew made four changes to his starting line-up. Captain Nigel Reo-Coker made a welcome return after illness, allowing Anton Ferdinand to step back into the centre of defence at the expense of Elliott Ward, while Yossi Benayoun came in for Shaun Newton, and Dean Ashton and Marlon Harewood replaced the front two pairing of Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora.

After a rousing pre-match build-up that warmed the Upton Park faithful on a freezing night in east London, Hammers soon set about raising the atmosphere further and, after just nine minutes, found themselves in front against Bolton for the first time this season.

Reo-Coker cleverly delayed his pass to allow Harewood time to come back from an offside position before racing down the right, but the striker's low cross appeared to be causing no danger as Hunt stepped across to clear, only for the ball to ricochet off the back of Jaaskelainen and roll into the empty net.

Minutes later, Matthew Etherington and Kevin Nolan were both shown a yellow card by referee Rob Styles for a spat on the halfway line, before Harewood found himself in the book soon after for an innocuous challenge on Okocha, and it was clear that both sides were giving everything for a quarter-final place.

On 21 minutes, Hammers almost doubled their lead, as Ashton picked the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and curled in a measured effort that Jaaskelainen could only parry out to Etherington, who missed the opportunity to fire in an instant rebound, and saw his low cross turned wide for a corner.

Ten minutes later, the hosts were rueing that missed opportunity, as Bolton drew level against the run of play. After Reo-Coker was dispossessed in midfield, Nolan fed Davies, who was allowed time and space on the edge of the penalty area to fire in a swerving shot that deceived Hislop and found the corner of the net.

The setback was harsh on the Hammers, who had enjoyed virtually complete control up until then, but they responded well and almost restored their advantage on the stroke of half-time, as Benayoun received a return pass from Reo-Coker in the area and fired in a fierce low effort that Jaaskelainen blocked with his legs.

The second half began with both sides once again throwing everything at each other, but it was Hammers who enjoyed the greater opportunities in front of goal. First Harewood chested down a cross from Etherington and volleyed straight at Jaaskelainen, then the striker returned the favour for his team-mate, who attempted to turn in the six-yard box with his back to goal but was crowded out by opponents.

With 20 minutes remaining, Etherington - by now becoming a key figure in the game - looked to have found an opening when he ghosted past two defenders and into the penalty area, but Ben Haim got across to block his low effort.

Bolton threw on Henrik Pedersen with 10 minutes left to add a greater attacking threat, but Pardew resisted the temptation to make changes before the end of normal time.

Davies might have won it with just a few minutes remaining, but hooked over from close range and, as extra-time began, the same player saw another glorious opportunity go begging, when he somehow headed over from just a few yards out.

The visitors were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal as, just five minutes into the first period, Harewood grabbed what proved to be the winner. Again Etherington was at the heart of the move, skipping through the centre of midfield before sending a fine pass out to Benayoun on the right.

The Israeli jinked past Gardner and delivered an inviting near post cross that Harewood met with a superb clipped effort that found the far corner of the net for his 15th league and cup goal of the season.

Pards then sent on Christian Dailly in place of the tiring Reo-Coker, who had performed heroically after just two days of training following a gastric virus, and the remainder of extra-time was, not surprisingly, spent battling against Bolton's direct bombardment as they searched for an equaliser.

Etherington and Ashton were withdrawn at half-time in extra-time as cramp took its toll, and on came Sheringham and Zamora as Hammers fought to hold on to their lead. The two forwards added fresh legs and a much-needed outlet, and then combined with just five minutes remaining to create a chance that should have resulted in a third goal.

Jaaskelainen raced out to clear but only found Sheringham, whose attempted lob struck a defender and dropped perfectly for Zamora who, six yards out and with just the keeper to beat, somehow headed over the bar.

Thankfully the miss didn't prove costly and, with Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon again playing a starring role in the centre of defence, the visitors couldn't find the vital breakthrough.

Hammers can now look forward to a quarter-final clash up at Manchester City - just five days from now - and with just 180 minutes between ourselves and a third successive appearance at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the claret and blue faithful are beginning to dream of another unforgettable day out at the end of the season!