ON LOAN West Ham defender Craig Dawson spared Hammers blushes against a spirited performance from non-league side Stockport in the FA Cup Third Round.
The National League side weathered the storm, and the sodden pitch, for the majority of the game and looked likely to push the Premier League side into extra time until 30-year-old Dawson popped up to head home a Jarrod Bowen cross on 83 minutes.
Dawson, on loan from Watford, broke the hearts of Stockport fans as the team, who sit 86 places below West Ham in the English football pyramid, were unable to find an equaliser.
West Ham will now face League One side Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup Fourth Round, with the winner of that game travelling to either Manchester United or Liverpool in the fifth round.
Stockport boss Jim Gannon told BT Sport: “The players are disappointed, but that’s testimony to how they played to come off disappointed, to lose the game.
“They had lots of possession, lots of penetration, but the lads did really well. We gave ourselves a chance of getting a goal and possibly winning the game with the opportunities we had.
“But it was always a stretch for us. I think the performance showed my players are a cut above this level, so hopefully we can continue to show that through the league season.
“We tried to play, tried to play in the right areas and the right type of game. We showed what we are about and that’s all I wanted from tonight’s game.”
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