MX23RW : Friday, January 15 15:12:34| >> :600:268138:268138:

Alan Irvine admits West Ham lacked cutting edge in Stockport win

Alan Irvine admits West Ham lacked cutting edge in Stockport win
© Reuters
Stockport will now turn their attentions to a return to the Football League.

West Ham assistant Alan Irvine felt the Premier League side lacked a cutting edge but was ultimately relieved with a 1-0 victory over Stockport in the driving rain at Edgeley Park.

Craig Dawson’s header from Jarrod Bowen’s cross with seven minutes remaining proved the difference in their FA Cup third-round encounter as the Hammers, 86 places above their Vanarama National League opponents, avoided a major upset.

It was a crucial goal in worsening weather conditions, with persistent and heavy rain leaving the pitch resembling a mud bath, which seemed to narrow the gulf in class between the two sides.

Irvine factored in the difficult circumstances but, on a night where a brief firework display just outside one end of the stadium led to a stoppage in play, the Scot believed West Ham lacked a spark up front.

“First of all, the main thing is that we’re through; secondly, we were pleased with the way the players went about things,” Irvine said, as he stepped in to fulfil manager David Moyes’ media obligations.

“One of the big worries about these kind of ties is that your players maybe think it might be a bit easier than we knew it was going to be and so we were pleased with the attitude.

“Our football up until the final third was good but we didn’t penetrate enough against what was a very well-organised and a very hard-working and disciplined Stockport defence.

“I did feel that we needed to start putting some crosses into the box than we had done previously, because a lot of the play, we’d been trying to penetrate by sliding things through what was a very compact defence.

“As it happens, the goal came from one cross that led to a corner then another cross that obviously led to a fantastic header.”

Said Benrahma struck the outside of the post with a curling effort early on and although the Londoners had the upper hand for most of the tie, they were unable to fashion many clear cut chances.

Until Dawson popped up to head beyond Ben Hinchliffe as the Hammers progressed to the next round – where they will face Doncaster – Irvine admitted he was concerned at the prospect of an additional half-hour.

He added: “We certainly weren’t worried about the attitude but certainly we were looking at extra-time, that was becoming a realistic possibility.

“It would have meant playing on in even more difficult conditions – for both teams, not just for us.”

This was Stockport’s first appearance at this stage of the competition since 2007, while in their last competitive meeting against West Ham, it was the Hatters who prevailed 2-1 in the 1996/97 League Cup.

They acquitted themselves well here and had a couple of half-chances after the interval but their attentions will now be on a return to the Football League.

Jim Gannon was pleased with the way Stockport acquitted themselves
Jim Gannon was pleased with the way Stockport acquitted themselves (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manager Jim Gannon said: “The lads are naturally disappointed but isn’t that a sign of how well they competed?

“That feeling will dissipate over time and they’ll feel they gave a good account of themselves, so it’s a cliche to say ‘I’m very proud of them’.

“I would have been proud of them no matter what they did, all I wanted was them to perform as well as they could, and they’ve competed with a Premiership side.

“We stretched them all the way. I’m a little bit disappointed but I’m really proud and pleased with the way we presented ourselves.”

ID:430173:cQx

Click here for more stories about Alan Irvine

Click here for more stories about Stockport County

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Torquay UnitedTorquay Utd17122338172138
2Hartlepool UnitedHartlepool179352619730
3Sutton UnitedSutton148332516927
4Stockport CountyStockport147342216624
5AltrinchamAltrincham186662021-124
6Halifax TownHalifax176562821723
7Notts County147251913623
8Maidenhead UnitedMaidenhead147252121023
9Bromley146442317622
10Boreham WoodBoreham Wood146441711622
11Solihull MoorsSolihull137151813522
12Woking166372018221
13Aldershot TownAldershot166372222021
14WealdstoneWealdstone166372333-1021
15Eastleigh135532115620
16Wrexham146261716120
17Chesterfield156182620619
18Dagenham & RedbridgeDag & Red145361114-318
19Yeovil TownYeovil154562024-417
20King's Lynn TownKing's Lynn144371831-1315
21Weymouth1623111731-149
22Barnet142391135-249
23Dover AthleticDover Athletic11218726-197
24Macclesfield TownMacclesfield00000000

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!