STOCKPORT: West Ham United staved off potential embarrassment in the FA Cup after a late Craig Dawson header gave them a 1-0 win at National League (fifth tier) site Stockport County in the third round on Monday.
A game that was briefly paused in the 15th minute because of a fireworks display near Edgeley Park failed to light up as West Ham struggled to cope with a cut-up, boggy field and driving rain.
The Hammers, who are just three points off the top four of the Premier League, created few chances before central defender Dawson met a Jarrod Bowen cross from the right and steered the ball into the bottom right corner past home goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe in the 83rd minute.
“It was a tough match,” Dawson told BT Sport. “Stockport are doing great in their league and it’s not easy coming to these grounds — so a great performance from the lads tonight. It’s been a while since I’ve played in conditions like that but it’s great to get a goal at the end.”
West Ham will next face League One (third tier) side Doncaster Rovers at home and the winners of that tie will book a clash with either Manchester United or Liverpool in the fifth round.
UNITED TO FACE LIVERPOOL
United will host Liverpool in the fourth round after the two arch rivals were drawn together on Monday, with the game set to be played a week after their Premier League summit clash.
The two sides, who are both top of the Premier League table and go head-to-head in the league on Sunday, meet in the cup for the first time since Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner as Liverpool beat United 2-1 in January 2012.
Another highlight of Monday’s FA Cup draw was sixth-tier Chorley, who stunned second-tier Derby County in the third round on Saturday, getting a home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Premier League.
Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur were also given away matches against lower-division sides. City will take on fourth-tier Cheltenham Town and Tottenham plays Wycombe Wanderers, who are in last place in the second-tier Championship.
Holders Arsenal must travel to the winner of the third-round match between Southampton and Shrewsbury Town, a date for which has yet to be decided.
Chelsea host Championship side Luton Town while Sheffield United host Plymouth Argyle. Fulham take on Burnley in an all-Premier League matchup while League Two side Crawley Town, who upset Leeds United, are away at Bournemouth.
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021