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‘Golden Gloves’ Adrian Recalls Moment of Glory for West Ham United


Adrian was savoring his "best moment" since joining West Ham after the goalkeeper scored the winning penalty in the Hammers' FA Cup third-round replay win over Everton.

Tuesday night's contest went the distance after the two sides could not be separated in the initial tie at Goodison Park seven days previous.

Enner Valencia put West Ham in front at Upton Park, with Everton winger Aiden McGeady sent off shortly afterwards to put Sam Allardyce's side in charge of the tie.

But the introduction of Kevin Mirallas changed the game as he scored a free-kick to take the game to extra-time, where he then provided the assist for Romelu Lukaku to put the visitors ahead.

Carlton Cole made it 2-2 with his first touch after coming off the bench to set up a penalty shoot-out and, after Steven Naismith and Stewart Downing had missed, it came down to the goalkeepers.

Everton's Joel Robles saw his effort crash off the bar before his fellow Spanish stopper Adrian coolly slotted home the decisive penalty.

"In that moment I felt so quiet and relaxed and I didn't have nerves," he told West Ham TV.

"I thought 'I'll take off my gloves, this game is over' and I struck the ball. I have never taken a penalty before – only in training for a joke, but not serious. Never in life had I struck a penalty in an important game.

"I think this is my best moment for West Ham. I feel really, really happy for keeping us in the FA Cup. My team-mates kept working in the game

"It's a big win because we now have so much confidence. The team played well and worked so well. The game was long but we needed to keep going and finally we got a nice win."

Despite missing his kick, Joel had kept Everton in the tie until that point with some fine saves from the likes of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and James Collins.

Lukaku, who extended his scoring run against West Ham to five consecutive games, was full of praise for the Toffees goalkeeper.

"Joel was brilliant," Lukaku said of the 2013 FA Cup winner.

"He saved us a lot of times throughout the game and showed a lot of composure. It's very promising. He was unlucky to be the one to miss the penalty but that's football.

"It happened to me in the past and I spoke to him about it. He still has a lot of opportunities to show himself and I think he will deliver on Monday against West Brom."

Both sides went into the tie without a victory in all competitions since before Christmas and it will be West Ham who take the momentum from this win – with Adrian and company welcoming struggling Hull to Upton Park on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Adrian moved to West Ham from Real Betis at the start of last season and eventually forced his way past the experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen to establish himself as first choice at Upton Park.

Spain currently have a wealth of talented goalkeepers, with Iker Casillas still captaining the 2010 World Cup winners and Manchester United's in-form stopper David De Gea pushing the Real Madrid man for the number one spot.

But Adrian is hopeful of catching the attention of coach Vicente del Bosque if he can continue his fine form.

"That is the decision of the national team boss," Adrian said when asked about making a mark for Spain. "I feel completely prepared, but I wait for the call.

"I have had another good game for West Ham but the only thing that makes it special is that I scored the last penalty to get the win. I have been playing well anyway.

"The league is different in Spain. You don't have so many people close to you. As soon as somebody sticks too close to you in Spain, it is a foul and the referee stops play.

"People in Spain are talking about me playing for the national team but all I can do is keep playing in the same way and doing my job for West Ham. Anything from there is up to the manager of the national team."

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