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Bristol City 0-1 West Ham: Substitute Sakho fires Hammers into FA Cup fifth round

first_img West Ham striker Diafra Sakho Substitute Diafra Sakho scored on his return from injury to send West Ham into the FA Cup fifth round draw with a 1-0 victory over a spirited Bristol City.The lively League One side caused Sam Allardyce’s men all sorts of problems in a bright first half performance, with the Hammers twice clearing off the line to deny the hosts.But the Premier League outfit looked more comfortable after the break and began to pose more of a threat following the introductions of Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano, with the returning frontman hitting the bar before nodding in Andy Carroll’s cross on 81 minutes to seal a slender win.It was all Bristol in the opening 25 minutes, the Hammers struggling to get the ball and Mark Noble heading off his own line following a corner as the hosts pressed for an early lead.Perhaps keen to add another giant killing to the fourth round weekend’s tally, the Robins continued to threaten, the impressing Luke Freeman orchestrating the hosts’ attacks with West Ham barely keeping the lively third tier side at bay.Full-back Joe Bryan squandered a great chance to open the scoring for City, playing a neat one-two in the box to go through on goal but shanking his angled effort out for a throw in.And Carroll was next to save the Hammers, the striker bailing out goalkeeper Adrian with another goal-line clearance from Matt Smith’s header, the big frontman proving a constant threat in the air.Allardyce’s men managed to dial down the tempo midway through the opening half, with Noble and Alex Song asserting their dominance in the middle of the field, and their first extended period of possession set up Carroll just before the break, though the striker could only prod a sliding effort into the arms of goalkeeper Frank Fielding.The London side received an attacking boost during a stale second-half with the introduction of star forward Sakho, who has been out with a back injury since January 1.The Senegal striker struggled to get the service initially but eventually grew into the game, going close to the opener when his zipped volley grazed the top of the crossbar after beating two defenders with a neat flick on the edge of the box.That chance came moments after Bristol, too, came inches away from breaking the deadlock, Smith towering above his markers to win a header in the area but sending it just over the bar from Bryan’s whipped cross.Bristol impressed in the opening half but were given less room to operate by their Premier League opponents after the break, and they failed to hit the target with the chances they did create.And West Ham’s building pressure eventually bore fruit as substitute Sakho nodded the Hammers in front with nine minutes remaining, the striker finding the net with an unmarked header at the back post following a juggernaut run down the right wing from Carroll.It was a cruel blow for the League One side, who had given a good account of themselves against the top flight visitors, but their big boys’ resilience was the difference as the Hammers put their name in the hat for the next round. 1last_img

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