FA Cup
West Ham United 1 Middlesbrough 1

Saturday, 14th February 2009
by John Simkin

In my report on the Arsenal game I argued that the real test will be when Zola is forced to make changes to a team that was performing well. I raised doubts about the quality of the players in the squad who will need to come in if anyone gets injured.



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Player Ratings

Robert Green
Made some excellent saves from Downing and Alves.


Lucas Neill
For the first time in several games he was not targeted by the opposition. Benefited by the fact that Downing played in the centre instead of wide left.


Herita Ilunga
His overlapping on the left caused constant problems for the Middlesbrough defence. Capped off a fine performance with the equalizing goal.


James Collins
fault for the goal but was generally solid.


Matthew Upson
A poor clearance in the opening minutes led to Johnson shooting just wide. After that, he comfortable dealt with Alves.


Scott Parker
A quiet afternoon for a player who usually dominates midfield.


Mark Noble
Another disappointing performance from a player who could be carrying an injury.


Jack Collison
Lively as always but it was a terrible miss in the 38th minute.


Luis Boa Morte
Tried hard as usual but is still to achieve the standards he regularly showed at Fulham. His passing was extremely poor. The worst moment was when he was under no pressure at all he passed the ball to the centre of a group of three Middlesbrough players.


Carlton Cole
Injured early on and it was foolish to keep him on the pitch for so long.


David Di Michele
Showed some nice touches but is still too easily knocked off the ball. Probable the miss of the season when he blazed over in the 72nd minute.



Substitutes

Diego Tristan
(Replaced Cole, 34 mins) He rarely beat the Middlesbrough central defenders in the air and his first touch is lamentable. He is a ponderous runner with the ball and panics when in sight of the goal.


Fred Sears
(Replaced Boa Morte, 49 mins) Fairly lively but unfortunately none of the real chances came to him. Needs to play from the beginning if he is to show what he can do.


Savio Nsereko
(Replaced Noble, 74 mins) Despite the injury to Behrami he was left on the bench. He was also ignored when Cole had to come off and he was only given the last 16 minutes to show what he could do. A good dead ball kicker, his corners were a marked improvement on those provided by Noble. Provided the cross for Illunga?EUR(TM)s equalizing goal.


Jan Lastuvka
Did not play.


Walter Lopez
Did not play.


Jonathan Spector
Did not play.


Radoslav Kovac
Did not play.



Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Lucas Neill, Herita Ilunga, James Collins, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Jack Collison, Luis Boa Morte, Carlton Cole, David Di Michele.

Goals: Herita Ilunga 83                  .

Booked: Mark Noble 45 David Di Michele 87        .

Sent off: None.

Middlesbrough: Jones, Hoyte, Pogatetz, Wheater, Huth, Digard, Johnson, O'Neill, Arca, Downing, Alves.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Emnes, Bates, McMahon, Bennett.

Goals: Downing (22).

Booked: O'Neill (82).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Peter Walton.

Attendance: 33,658.

Man of the Match: Robert Green.