Bournemouth 2-1 Crawley: Jack Wilshere makes goalscoring return in FA Cup tie

Jack Wilshere scores on second full debut for Cherries after rejoining following West Ham release; Josh King nets winner in fourth-round tie; Bournemouth face Burnley in fifth round

Jack Wilshere, Bournemouth
Image: Jack Wilshere set Bournemouth on course for victory in the FA Cup

Jack Wilshere marked his return to Bournemouth with a goal as the Cherries reached the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Crawley.

Wilshere, making his second full debut for the Cherries after rejoining Jason Tindall's side following his release from West Ham in October, fired the hosts into a first-half lead - his first goal for 18 months.

Crawley were briefly level in the second half thanks to Tom Nichols' equaliser (59) but Josh King struck soon after (65) to set up a fifth-round trip to Burnley.

Wilshere, who spent the 2016-17 season on loan at the Vitality Stadium, admitted he "forgot how to celebrate" after ending his long wait.

"From a personal point of view it was just a pleasure to be back starting a game," he said.

"Last time I was here I didn't score and it didn't sit well with me. I forgot how to celebrate.

"I was a bit shocked. I probably should have had a couple more - I got into some good positions."

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This was Crawley's first game since they ousted Leeds from the competition due to a coronavirus outbreak and five players were still missing as a result.

Bournemouth had had their own problems on the pitch without a win in three but enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, Arnaut Danjuma testing Glenn Morris with a fierce early shot.

Philip Billing then struck a post with a header from David Brooks' corner, with Crawley's sole opportunity when Ashley Nadesan saw his powerful effort saved by Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth took the lead when an incisive pass from Danjuma and a clever touch from King allowed Wilshere to sweep home first time from the edge of the area.

Brooks then saw a goal-bound shot blocked on the line but John Yems' side made it to half-time only one goal behind.

Four minutes into the second half, Wilshere almost added his and Bournemouth's second as he hooked a shot from close range which Morris saved superbly.

Crawley's best chance came when Begovic dithered on his goal line and Nadesan got a foot to his attempted pass. Nichols seized on it but Begovic recovered quickly to block his shot.

Nichols then had his penalty appeals waved away as he tumbled under Lloyd Kelly's challenge, but a minute later he had equalised.

A well-worked move culminated with Josh Wright heading the ball to Nichols and he finished with a side-footed volley from close range.

The League Two side were only level for six minutes however, as King crisply put Bournemouth back ahead after Danjuma and Brooks had opened up the defence.

It was the Norway international's third goal of the season after scoring twice against Oldham in the third round.

Bournemouth missed numerous chances to make the end of the game more comfortable, perhaps the best of which was when Steve Cook headed wide, but they had done enough to progress.

FA Cup 2020/21 - key dates and draw

The FA Cup schedule has been confirmed, with the final set to take place at Wembley on Saturday May 15.

There will be no replays this season to help ease fixture congestion.

  • Fifth round: Wednesday February 10
  • Quarter-finals: Saturday March 20
  • Semi-finals: Saturday April 17
  • Final: Saturday May 15
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