STOCKPORT, England (AP) — West Ham staved off potential embarrassment in the FA Cup by scoring an 83rd-minute goal to see off non-league Stockport 1-0 in the third round on Monday.
A game that was briefly paused in the 15th minute because of a fireworks display near Edgeley Park failed to light up as West Ham struggled to cope with a cut-up, boggy field and driving rain against an opponent from the fifth tier.
It was left for Craig Dawson to save the visitors as the game approached a period of extra time, the center back timing his late run into the penalty area to perfection following a quickly taken corner to meet an inswinging cross by Jarrod Bowen and head the ball into the bottom corner.
“It was tough,” Dawson said. “It’s been a while since I’ve played in conditions like that but it’s great to get a goal at the end.”
It earned West Ham a home match against third-tier Doncaster in the fourth round.
Stockport was looking to follow fellow non-league team Chorley, which eliminated second-tier Derby on Saturday, in humiliating a side from the leading divisions, and included John Rooney — the brother of Derby manager and former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney — in its lineup.
The northwest team matched West Ham for large parts of the game, and gave up few clear-cut chances.
“West Ham had lots of possession but the lads did really well,” Stockport manager Jim Gannon said.
“It was always a stretch for us but the performance showed we are a cut above (non-league) level.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports