West Ham goalkeeper Adrian was the hero as he scored the winning penalty in an FA Cup classic against Everton on Tuesday.
The third-round replay at Upton Park ended 2-2 after extra-time, and Adrian converted his team’s 10th penalty after opposite number Joel Robles missed, sealing a 9-8 triumph and a fourth-round trip to Bristol City.
West Ham were heavy favourites to progress inside normal time when Aiden McGeady needlessly got himself sent off for a second booking shortly after Enner Valencia opened the scoring early in the second period.
But Everton substitute Kevin Mirallas had other ideas, as he scored a magnificent free-kick eight minutes from the end to send the tie into extra-time.
And there was more Mirallas magic in the 97th minute as the winger danced around the West Ham defence to slot across goal from the left and leave Romelu Lukaku with a tap-in.
Sam Allardyce’s last throw of the dice was to call on Carlton Cole and, with an almost instant impact, he dispatched James Tomkins’ knockdown from Aaron Creswell’s 113th-minute corner to force spot-kicks.
Following Adrian’s excellent stop to deny Steven Naismith and four converted West Ham penalties, Stewart Downing had the chance to send West Ham through but Robles guessed correctly to stop his poorly stuck effort
The quality of penalties left the keepers second best throughout sudden death, before Robles clattered the crossbar and Adrian stroked home to secure a 9-8 shootout triumph.
Both teams looked to impose themselves during some fast-flowing opening exchanges and Everton defender John Stones was almost left red-faced when the first clear chance fell to the hosts.
The England youngster took too long on the ball when coming out of defence, with Valencia alert to dispossess him and draw a sharp stop from Robles having darted through on goal.
But West Ham had to wait until six minutes after half-time to break the deadlock, as Andy Carroll picked out Valencia, who got the better of Stones and slotted a low finish across Robles.
Martinez’s men were left with a mountain to climb after 56 minutes when McGeady – who cynically brought down Matt Jarvis six minutes before half-time – foolishly went to ground in a challenge on Mark Noble to pick up his second caution.
But Mirallas made light of their numerical disadvantage, capitalising with a sumptuous free-kick from the left corner of the box as Adrian left him too great a gap to exploit.
West Ham were aggrieved to see Stones punished only with a free-kick when he appeared to handle marginally inside the area during a frantic finish to normal time and their misery was soon compounded.
Lukaku appeared to have let them off the hook when he missed his kick from close range but he did not need a second invitation when super-sub Mirallas dazzled once more.
Allardyce’s then called on Cole and that decision paid off just 100 seconds later as he bundled home the leveller.
Carroll and Lukaku came close to winners for their respective sides, Morgan Amalfitano threatened to continue the story of the substitutes as Robles denied him with a firm hand.
The ultimate result was penalties, and it was Adrian who eventually stepped up to win it for the hosts in the most dramatic of circumstances.