Big Sam on cup exit

Sam Allardyce believed West Ham United's lack of clinical edge cost them their place in the FA Cup with Budweiser fourth round following defeat by Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon.

The home side secured their passage and a trip to Blackpool in the next stage after edging a competitive game by the game's only goal, which arrived in the 88th minute. West Ham were on top for large periods of the match and Big Sam felt they should have done better with a number of the chances they created, most notably a saved Sam Baldock penalty four minutes after the interval.

"We did everything right apart from not finishing off the chances we created and not scoring the penalty," the manager said.

"Our failure to make the goalkeeper make the saves is always the problem. If you hit the target, like they did, our keeper makes a mistake and they score. Too many of our chances didn't hit the target hence why we haven't scored again."

Baldock also saw a shot cannon back off the inside of the post, Frank Nouble had a good chance late on and, most notably, Big Sam felt Freddie Sears should have done better when well-placed inside the box in the first half.

"I didn't think there was a better chance than the header Freddie Sears had. Freddie was three or four yards out and somehow managed to put it over the bar. Yes Wednesday had some chances but we had the best one.

"In between of all that we've been great and a lot of the players have played really well and taken control of a game that was a very difficult one. They didn't put us under any sustained pressure; we were always in control of the game but what disappoints me is that we're not in the draw for the next round or at least taken them back to Upton Park to try and finish the job off."

The hosts had their chances too, however, with several clear cut opportunities passed up before Chris O'Grady drilled home the game's decider following a lengthy break in play to treat a nasty-looking injury to Wednesday defender Julian Bennett, which resulted in eleven minutes of added time at the end of the match.

The Hammers appeared to have let their concentration slip during the pause as the hosts scored a minute after the restart with O'Grady's shot slipping under Ruud Boffin's body in goal. Boffin was one of seven changes, with Robert Green joining the rested James Tomkins and Papa Bouba Diop on the bench.

"After a long delay and the unfortunate injury to the Sheffield Wednesday player we must have just lost our concentration at the back. It's really a nothing shot that the keeper should have dealt with but unfortunately he didn't. There are no second chances in the cup and we find ourselves out of the tie.

The Hammers were cheered on once more by an impressive following of 4,000 fans and the manager was frustrated his side, who saw Winston Reid give a commanding display at the back, could not reward their backing with a win.

"I'm sure they're disappointed like I am that they're going home all that way but it's not as if we've not been the best side here. We've dominated the game and we've created the chances to win it but unfortunately we haven't and we've got to look forward to next week and Portsmouth."

West Ham's thoughts will now return once more to their push for promotion and the trip to the south coast next Saturday, when Julien Faubert, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole will all return to contention after also being rested on Sunday.

He will also have to decide whether to allow Dan Potts and Rob Hall, who impressed again in a late cameo, to feature in the FA Youth Cup fourth round on Wednesday night, when Brighton & Hove Albion come to the Boleyn.

The homegrown duo were part of an extremely young eleven that finished Sunday's game with 18-year-old Brian Montenegro the latest teenager to be given his chance by the manager as he made his debut as a late substitute. In fact, with only skipper for the day George McCartney was over 25,