Cole leads hammers cruise
West Ham 5
Thomas Hitzlsperger marked his West Ham debut by smashing home a 25-yard thunderbolt to set the Hammers on course for a thumping FA Cup fifth-round win over Burnley at Upton Park last night, WRITES PAUL HIRST.
A Carlton Cole brace, Winston Reid and Freddie Sears sealed a comfortable victory, with Jay Rodriguez netting a consolation for the underdogs. West Ham can now look forward to a quarter-final showdown with Stoke.
Burnley started well and Rodriguez's clipped effort was cleared off the line by Reid in the early exchanges. Robert Green then superbly tipped over Rodriguez's lob in the 14th minute.
The home crowd were beginning to get anxious but their nerves were settled when Hitzlsperger charged at the visitors' defence in the 23rd minute and unleashed a blistering strike to give the hosts the lead.
Two Cole goals in two minutes just after the break ended the game as a contest. The striker bundled home in the 48th minute and curled in another soon after, with Reid glancing in a corner just before the hour mark to make sure of the win.
Rodriguez pulled one back for the visitors with 19 minutes left, but Sears put the icing on the cake in injury-time.