Sunday, January 25

Diafra Sakho… He scores when he wants!

Bristol City 0 West Ham 1 (FA Cup)

Able to watch this one at home as my front room becomes an imaginary pub. The first half is as might have been predicted. City really come at West Ham and to make it worse they have a Time Lord up front in Matt Smith. When not waving psychic paper at our defence Smith has a header cleared off the line by first Mark Noble and then another header brilliantly headed off the line by Andy Carroll. Overlapping left back Joe Bryan also shoots across our goal. West Ham come into it a bit more for the last 15 minutes but the only half chance is when Jenkinson gets in a cross but Andy Carroll, under pressure from Flint, prods straight at the keeper. Tomkins is the pick of our defenders and Bristol are lucky to escape bookings for a couple of agricultural challenges on Reid and Jenkinson.

We show a bit more energy in the second half, though Smith heads over when he should have done better. Downing gets across the box to fire over. Sakho and Amalfitano replace Valencia and Song. The subs improve things. Amalfitano has a curling shot easily gathered byFielding. Sakho goes very close after a brilliant lob over Ayling's head and then a dipping shot on to the top of the bar. It looks like we might have to settle for a replay until the 81st minute when Andy Carroll bulldozes his way down the right and does really well to lob in a cross. Sakho has a lot to do at the far post but heads in off the underside of the bar before running to our 1,100 fans.

There's one late Smith herder wide, but we see out time as our fans sing "Diafra Sakho…He scores when he wants!" and "Que sera sera…" Plus "Is there a fire drill?" as there City fans sneak off early.  Not a great performance, but a professional one. We could easily have been embarrassed on a cold January afternoon at a three-sided stadium in the West Country. All that hard work against Everton hasn't been wasted; what matters is that we're in the draw for the next round.

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