We haven't managed to get tickets for the game so Matt, Lisa and Fraser are at the Secret Pub with the dodgy feed, having caught Wilko Johnson at Rough Trade on the way, and I’m at home with a bad back listening to the game on Radio London. West Ham are playing a weakened midfield having rested Morrison, Noble and Diame, while Adrian is in goal and Tomkins is out injured.
The West Ham fans are in magnificent voice throughout, though Spurs have the early pressure. Defoe pokes wide after 90 seconds, Townsend has another effort go close and O’Brien heads just wide of his own goal. Spurs run out of ideas though and the Hammers hold on and defend resolutely to be level at the break. Our only effort on target comes from Carlton Cole who forces a save from Lloris.
Andros Townsend goes close for Spurs early in the second half. Just as West Ham force a corner, we lose the ball and it seems all over on 67 minutes when the restored Adebayor performs to script and scores with a thumping shot in off the bar after a run and cross by our old pal Jermain Defoe.
Matt texts: “Horror show. Our corner, counter attack, Taylor wins ball gives it back, Linda misses it… My granny could have put it in!” Though his granny must have bee quite a good finisher on that form.
That goal sparks the Irons into life. Diame and Maiga come on for Joe and Carlton Cole and on 79 minutes Morrison replaces Diarra. The subs change the game. Diame forces a good save from Lloris with a shot from Maiga’s knock-on. Matt Taylor has a fierce shot from the edge of the box saved by the keeper. Spurs are having problems coping with the extra class of Allardici’s substitutes.
THIS IS THE MODIBO WORLD
Adrian takes a free kick, Maiga nods on, the ball falls to Matt Taylor in the box who pays a great reverse pass to Matt Jarvis who fires home into the top of the net. GOAL! Cue mayhem in the away end. Anyone’s tie now.
At 1-1 a combination of O’Brien’s block and a decent save by Adrian thwarts Chadli. We counter attack. Jarvis and Morrison retrieve the ball after a poor Diame cross and Ravel finds Diame again wide on the right. Mo’s cross is perfect and there is Modibo Maiga rising superbly between two defenders to send his header skimming into the corner of the net.
“MYEAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!” screams the Radio London commentator in disbelief. It can’t be. It is. Modibo Maiga has scored! His first goal in one year and 17 days. I sit open-mouthed before my computer monitor. Modibo!!!!
Professor Brian Cox tears up his latest thesis on the laws of the cosmos. Scientists at the Hadron Collider in Geneva give up their search for the Higgs-Bosun particle, throw down their white coats and decide that some things are simply unquantifiable. That Chinese probe on the Moon detects seismic shock waves and a disturbance in N17 that can be seen from the lunar surface. Inside the Tardis the Doctor detects a rift in the time-space vortex and suspects that Big Sam has reversed the polarity of the neutron flow. On board the bridge of the USS Enterprise Mr Spock declares: “This is most illogical. It’s a goal Jim, but not as we know it.” While Matt simply texts “OMG.” Luckily Modibo is quickly engulfed by claret and blue shirts as he has presumably forgotten how to celebrate.
CAN WE PLAY YOU EVERY WEEK?
There’s still time for Adrian to make another fine one-handed save from Sigurdsson’s shot and Diame to find the side netting from another header won by Maiga. WHU break again. Amazingly Maiga, who has won every ball in the air, then proves that he is fact the next Lionel Messi, turning inside a defender to send a brilliant 30-yard effort whacking into the bar. Where has this player been hiding? Tim Sherwood is regaled with a chorus of "You're getting sacked in the morning!"
There’s a fire drill in the Spurs stands as after five minutes of added time the ref finally blows his whistle and the West Ham fans sing:
It’s happened again
It’s happened again
It’s happened again!
We could do with slightly longer to savour being in the semi-final as within minutes we’re drawn against Manchester City. Still, we’ll see off those northern no-hopers and then it’s cup final breakfast round at Nigel’s in Kew. Irons!