Hammers held at Shrewsbury in FA Cup
Shrewsbury Town 0 – 0 West Ham United
Emirates FA Cup third round
West Ham United and Shrewsbury Town battled out a 0-0 draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow as neither side were able to settle Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup third round tie at the first attempt.
Shrewsbury, flying high in League One, gave a good account of themselves as the Hammers were unable to get going and show the two-division gulf between the sides.
Home goalkeeper Dean Henderson was untroubled throughout while former Shrews keeper Joe Hart had to make the game’s two outstanding saves – down low to his left in quick succession from Mat Sadler and Alex Rodman – before the break.
The result is the teams will have to replay at London Stadium to decide who will progress to the competiton’s last-32.
David Moyes was without several senior members of his squad through injury, but was still with the likes of Hart, Winston Reid, Andre Ayew and Chicharito as he selected as strong a side he had available to him.
One of his younger players, Josh Cullen, came straight into the starting XI following his return from a loan at Bolton and his delivery almost led to a goal on nine minute, but Cheikhou Kouyate couldn’t get enough on the header.
Shrewsbury settled well and Jon Nolan fired a 25-yard free-kick into the Hammers wall nine minutes later.
With 26 minutes on the clock Shaun Whalley whipped a free-kick in from the left and Norwich loanee Ben Godfrey touched towards goal, but Hart got down to save at his feet.
Hart was back at the club where it all began for him, and he was called into action twice in quick succession ten minutes before the break.
First, he had to dive low to his left with a strong hand to deny Sadler after the Shrews defender, who had earlier sustained a cut to his head, burst through and shot for goal.
Then, second later, he had to repeat the trick to keep out a low drive from Rodman.
The League One Shrews had enjoyed the better of the opening period, showing that they weren’t overawed by the occasion and West Ham were unable to impose themselves on the contest.
The start of the second period followed a similar pattern, although Shrewsbury were not able to make the same headway against the Hammers defence.
It was a similar story at the other end as the Shrews backline showed why only Manchester City and Wigan Athletic have conceded fewer goals in the top four divisions this term.
Ten minutes from time Pedro Obiang dragged a left-footed shot wide of the far post from 20 yards, while at the other end Nolan leant back and fired over when picked out in a good position by a low cross from the left.
Neither side could find that moment of quality in front of goal and they will have to do it all again at London Stadium.
Shrewsbury Town: Henderson, Bolton, Sadler, Nsiala, Beckles, Whalley (Gnahoua 87), Nolan, Godfrey, Ogogo, Rodman (Lowe 76), C. Morris (Payne 82)
Subs: MacGillivrary, Dodds, John-Lewis, B.Morris
West Ham United: Hart, Burke, Rice, Reid (Quina 86), Ogbonna, Masuaku, Cullen, Obiang, Kouyate, Ayew, Chicharito (Martinez 71)
Subs: Adrian, Neufville, Makasi, Haksabanovic, Samuelsen
Referee: Paul Tierney