Spector strike sinks Tykes
Unlikely cup hero Jonathan Spector was on target again for West Ham as they beat Barnsley 2-0.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 08/01/11 7:19pm
West Ham's unlikely cup hero Jonathan Spector was on target again as they beat Barnsley 2-0 in the FA Cup.
Spector's first goals in three years had sent West Ham storming into the Carling Cup semi-finals with a 4-0 victory over Manchester United.
And the American, playing in the same central midfield role, added to his cup tally when he put the Hammers ahead again before substitute Frederic Piquionne rifled home a late second.
West Ham made hard work of the cup win at Upton Park and could have had the game killed off by half-time but came up against a brick wall in the shape of Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele.
The former Manchester United youth shot-stopper produced four vital saves in the first-half, three of which came from Zavon Hines.
After the interval, Avram Grant's men looked nervy and stuttered to seal the win and could have seen themselves facing a replay had Adam Hammill's deflected shot not hit the wrong side of the bar.
But Piquionne's injury time strike was enough to see the Hammers progress in the competition.
Grant made eight changes to the side that were thumped 5-0 by Newcastle in midweek.
Hines and striker Frank Nouble came in for their first West Ham starts this season. Robert Green took on the captain's armband as usual skipper Scott Parker joined first-team centre-back Matthew Upson on the bench.
Luis Boa Morte came in at left-back with Spector alongside Mark Noble in midfield.
The South Yorkshire side had a penalty appeal dismissed by referee Neil Swarbrick after Hammill's fall in the box.
Garry O'Connor had a long-range effort in the first-half but the Hammers dominated.
Steele then denied Hines and twice from Nouble as West Ham spurned a host of first-half chances.
Barnsley's number one was finally beaten in the 29th minute when Spector nestled a low angled drive inside the far post after great work from Noble.
Steele produced yet more saved with a double block from Hines before the interval.
Barnsley boss Mark Robins took off Goran Lovre for Jacob Butterfield who made an immediate impact with a tricky run into the West Ham box before going down under Winston Reid's challenge.
However the referee waved play on, much to the dismay of the Barnsley contingent, and that proved fatal for the visitors as substitute Piquionne came on and netted in injury time.