LONDON – When the FA Cup fourth-round game entered stoppage time, West Ham was facing a humiliating loss to sixth-tier side Kidderminster.
Alex Penny had scored in the 19th minute for the National North division’s third-place team who were outplaying the millionaires from London who are only point away from the Champions League places in the Premier League.
Only Declan Rice's equalizer forced the game into extra time to prevent West Ham from being on the receiving end of the biggest upset in the 150 years of world soccer's oldest competition.
Then to avoid a penalty shootout at the 6,000-capacity central England stadium, it took Jarrod Bowen scoring in stoppage time of extra time to recover a 2-1 victory against the team 113 places lower in the English league system.
“It is the magic of the cup, isn’t it? With two minutes to go I was believing it," Kidderminster manager Russ Penn said. “Things like this don’t happen in other countries. It is something special.
“I thought there would be another chance but to score from that chance was heartbreaking. I thought we’d get blown away in extra time but we didn’t. I’m gutted for the lads. They’re crawling around in the dressing room. They were piling the pressure on but it was just unfortunate they scored from the last phase of the game."
It was a struggle too in London for European champion Chelsea, needing to come from behind to eliminate third-tier Plymouth 2-1 in extra time at Stamford Bridge to reach the fifth round.
Macaulay Gillesphey headed Plymouth into an early lead and Cesar Azpilicueta leveled via a fine backheel finish just before halftime.
But Chelsea couldn't find a winner inside 90 minutes. Even after Marcos Alonso scored at the end of the first half of extra time, Plymouth still had a chance to level.
But goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s guessed correctly to save a late penalty from Ryan Hardie after the Plymouth striker had been fouled by Malang Sarr.
LAMPARD'S DEBUT JOY
Fired by Chelsea a year ago, Frank Lampard began his return to management at Everton with a 4-1 win over Premier League rival Brentford. Yerry Mina's headed goal was the first time Everton had taken the lead in a match since October under Rafa Benitez.
After Richarlison had doubled Everton's advantage shortly after halftime, Ivan Toney pulled one back for the west London club with a penalty. However, Mason Holgate’s first goal since December 2020 made sure of Everton's progress to the last 16 to prompt chants of “Super Frankie Lampard” from all four sides of Goodison Park. The mood was lifted further by substitute Andros Townsend’s stoppage-time strike.
Manchester City was stunned by Fabio Carvalho putting Fulham ahead after four minutes but the Premier League champions quickly leveled through Ilkay Gundogan and went on to eliminate the second-tier side.
City goalkeeper Zack Steffen avoided conceding again on his return from a month out with a back injury that caused him to miss U.S. World Cup qualifiers. John Stones headed City ahead before a double from Riyad Mahrez, the first from a penalty.
Norwich reached the fifth round for just the second time in a decade as Kenny McLean’s header clinched a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton. First-half goals by Marc Guehi and Michael Olise gave Crystal Palace a 2-0 win over Hartlepool.
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