Keepers on top in cup stalemate

Both sides must do it all again on Wednesday 16 January after the goalkeepers came out on top in this goalless FA Cup third round tie at the Boleyn Ground.

After Joe Hart and Robert Green made some spectacular stops to keep the scoreline blank, at least West Ham United can head north knowing they have won the previous two FA Cup ties between these clubs on City soil. Alan Curbishley had been forced to shuffle the pack, yet again, following the New Year's Day defeat at league-leaders Arsenal, as Matthew Etheringon came in for Freddie Ljungberg (hamstring), while striker Dean Ashton replaced substitute Jonathan Spector in a 4-4-2 lineup.

Although West Ham United had triumphed in those previous two FA Cup ties in 1998 (fourth round) and 2006 (quarter-finals) by the same 2-1 scoreline, last time out in the Premier League, City had won 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground. Indeed, following that opening day victory back in August, Sven-Goran Eriksson's fourth-placed side have lost just four league games and, following their midweek 2-0 win at Newcastle United, they made just one change as Mexican Nery Castillo made his debut at the expense of the unwell Elano.

Certainly, the Brazilian did not look to be the only one feeling under the weather in a subdued opening that saw both teams showing the effects of festive fatigue. Matthew Upson headed well wide and both Etherington and Ashton were equally off target with long-rangers, while at the other end Stephen Ireland hooked high over from ten yards and the marauding Martin Petrov had his vociferous claims for a penalty turned aside by referee Rob Styles.

Both teams gradually clicked into gear and, midway through the half, Green finally gave the sold-out Boleyn Ground crowd of 33,806 something to cheer when he palmed Ireland's rising, angled, eight-yard shot high into the damp East End sky after Petrov had carved his way down the left wing. On 25 minutes, Hart was in equally defiant mood, turning aside Etherington's powerful 12-yarder from the base of his right-hand post after Carlton Cole had nodded on the impressive Hayden Mullins' cross into the danger area.

The City keeper was again called into action on the half-hour mark, when he beat away Mark Noble's well-flighted, 18-yard free-kick and, in the closing seconds of the first period, Castillo - under pressure from Anton Ferdinand - scooped over Petrov's dangerous low cross into the six-yard box, to leave it goalless at the break.

Curbishley replaced skipper Lucas Neill with Spector for the restart and, with the replacement right-back still finding his feet, the American saw the alert Green bravely claim the ball off Vedran Corluka's studs, before Ireland again tested the home keeper with an angled screamer that was scrambled to safety. As the hour-mark passed, Mullins drilled an angled 20-yard attempt through a pack of bodies and beyond the far post, while Spector spooned Cole's flick-on into the middle reaches of the Bobby Moore stand.

Midway through the second period, Ireland and then Castillo retired as Kelvin Etuhu and Gelson entered the fray, while Curbishley made changes, too, as the understandably exhausted Etherington made way for the fresh legs of Kyel Reid, before Lee Bowyer replaced Mullins.

With the clock ticking down, Micah Richards saw his diving header charged down and then City's chief architect, Petrov, cleverly lofted the ball on to the top of the crossbar from the byline. Then with just minutes remaining Ashton met Reid's cross with a point-blank header that the alert Hart again tipped over the top, to earn his side that inevitable replay on Wednesday week.

West Ham United: Green, Neill (Spector 46), Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Pantsil, Noble, Mullins (Bowyer 75), Etherington (Reid 69), Ashton, Cole
Subs not used: Wright, Collins

Manchester City: Hart, Onohua, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Corluka, Hamann, Ireland (Etuhu 66) , Petrov, Vassell (Bianchi 79), Castillo (Gelson 72)
Subs not used: Schmeichel, Garrido

Click here for the official team sheet