West Ham twice came within touching distance of exiting the FA Cup against Kidderminster today, as goals in injury time of both normal and extra-time were enough to send the Hammers through.
Substitute Declan Rice scored in the 91st minute to send the game to added time, before the superb Jarrod Bowen netted as the 120th minute mark ticked by to make it 2-1 to the Hammers. For the non-league outfit, it was a heart-breaking finish to what could have been a memorable day.
However, the Hammers eventually had enough quality to see the Harriers off. Well, Declan Rice did. The England midfielder was introduced at the break and Rice ensured West Ham got back into the game. And according to BBC pundit Alan Shearer, the Hammers owe a huge thank you to Rice.
“They only got grips with the game when Rice came on, they have him to thank for getting into the next round. Kidderminster were seconds away from getting the biggest shock in FA Cup history. It is heart-breaking and they did not leave anything out there,” Shearer told the BBC.
Rice has been one of West Ham’s best players yet again this season. Amid continued speculation over his future, the midfielder remains integral to David Moyes.
TBR’s View: Declan Rice Shows His Class For West Ham
In key moments of the season you need big players to step up and Declan Rice certainly did that today. Yes, it was against opposition who they should have beaten. But the moment was still required, and Rice stepped up.
The big problem for the Hammers now is keeping Rice in the summer. Everyone knows he is a Chelsea fan, and the Blues are interested. Likewise, clubs like City, United, and Liverpool will all be keeping tabs.
But for today, Rice reminded everyone just how important he is to the club.
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