So close - yet so far

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 15th February 2010

Dean Ashton has revealed that he thought West Ham had won the FA Cup in 2006 - only for Steven Gerrard to spoil the party with a last-minute equaliser.

Ashton, who put West Ham 2-0 up on the day when he pounced on a spilled Matthew Etherington shot just ahead of the half-hour mark revealed that he was all ready to celebrate, moments before Gerrard fired home a last-gasp equaliser in the first minute of second-half injury time.

"I felt like we were going to win it," the retired former number nine told Five Live. "A few of the Liverpool players were getting cramp within 90 minutes and I just thought 'this has got to be our final'. Then, when [Paul] Konchesky crossed it in you think 'it's got to be ours'.

"I remember when I went off as a sub foolishly putting my tracksuit top on, on the bench ready to go on the pitch - and as I zipped it up, [Steven] Gerrard scored. But I still thought we'd win in extra time so it was really disappointing - but it was a great, great day."

Newly-promoted West Ham, massive underdogs according to the bookies, went ahead in the game - dubbed the greatest FA Cup final in recent years - through a Jamie Carragher own goal on 21 minutes before Ashton doubled United's lead seven minutes later.

The Reds drew level through Djibril Cisse (32 minutes) and Gerrard (54) before Paul Konchesky put the Irons ahead again with a cross-come-shot that flew in to Pepe Reina's far corner on 64 minutes. Gerrard snatched his second of the game in the first of four added-on minutes at the end of the 90 before Liverpool went on to win 3-1 on penalties after no more goals followed in extra time.

Many West Ham fans have since admitted to never having watched a replay of the game - the first FA Cup final the Hammers had lost since going down 2-0 to Bolton in the very first FA Cup final held at Wembley some 83 years earlier.

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