Specs the cup king

Jonathan Spector was delighted to help West Ham United bounce back from a disappointing midweek by firing the Hammers through to the FA Cup fourth round.

The American netted his third knockout goal of the season to set Avram Grant's side on the way to a 2-0 third-round victory over Championship challengers Barnsley.

Aside from the personal glory of netting West Ham's opening goal at the Boleyn Ground, Spector said the win was vital following Wednesday's horror-show at Newcastle United.

"All the goals have come in the cups! It was a great victory for us, especially after such a disappointing game at Newcastle," he told WHUTV. "After something like that, the best thing we could do was come back to Upton Park and get a win and that's exactly what we did. It was a good result and we're happy to be in the next round."

Both before and after Spector opened the scoring on 29 minutes, the home side missed a host of opportunities to score, with Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele performing heroics to keep his side in the game.

After half-time, the Tykes were more threatening, with Adam Hammill's delfected shot hitting the crossbar before substitute Frederic Piquionne finally killed Barnsley off with a 94th-minute blast from the edge of the penalty area.

"Sometimes these games can be more difficult because the other team is really up for it, coming to a great stadium like this with our renowned support. I'm sure they were excited to be here for this game.

"We obviously wanted to put the game to bed earlier and the second goal came later than we'd have liked."

With the Hammers safely through to round four and a home date with Nottingham Forest, Spector and his team-mates' attentions will turn to Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first-leg meeting with Birmingham City at the Boleyn Ground.

"Hopefully I'll start but we'll see. We'll be looking to get a good result here on Tuesday night and then to going there and getting another good result.

"Hopefully we can get off on the right foot in the semi-final. A clean sheet is always a key in a home and away fixture. A win and a clean sheet would be great."

Looking even further forward, the Hammers play host to Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League next Saturday evening, with everybody at the club - Spector naturally included - desperate to climb off the bottom of the table.

"I think we're up for every game. Results didn't really go our way in the week and we're disappointed about that and obviously our last game.

"At the same time, we're only a couple of points off 14th or something like that, so we know a couple more wins and we'll move up the table."