The former Leeds United trainee Caleb Folan was Chesterfield's match-winner as Roy Mcfarland's League One team added West Ham to their list of high-flying victims to advance to the fourth round of the Carling Cup last night.
The 24-year-old striker, who scored in his side's second-round defeat of Manchester City, created an equaliser for team-mate Colin Larkin to cancel out Marlon Harewood's fourth-minute opener for West Ham and then struck the winning goal himself three minutes from the end as pressure mounted on the Hammers manager, Alan Pardew.
"Caleb is a great talent who just needs to show what he can do consistently," he said. "He is awesome in training every day but I've been on at him to make sure he doesn't remain a star on the training ground only.
"Now he is beginning to show regularly what he can do and I've no doubt he can go all the way to the highest level if he applies himself. I turned down an offer for him before the latest window closed and this will only bring him more exposure."
In other circumstances, Pardew might have been tempted to rest a few of his Premiership players but to do so with his job security beginning to look tenuous would have been to invite catastrophe. Sensibly, he made only three changes from the side that lost to Tottenham at the weekend, although interestingly there was no place even in the 16 for the two Argentines, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.
What a relief it was to Pardew and his bench that it took only a little over three minutes for the weight of his team's long goal drought to be lifted as Harewood crashed home his first of the season, ending a 672-minute wait for a goal since Bobby Zamora's equaliser against Aston Villa on 10 September.
As Robert Green punted a long ball forward, an attempt to head clear by the Chesterfield defender Aaron Downes, under pressure from Zamora, sat up nicely for Harewood to meet with a fine half-volley from just outside the box, giving goalkeeper Barry Roche no chance.
Thereafter, there were long spells on the back foot for the Premiership side. Nerves were clearly playing a part as West Ham struggled to set up more than the occasional attack.
Pardew replaced Harewood with Teddy Sheringham six minutes into the second half, but only three minutes later Chesterfield's pressure was rewarded with an equaliser.
Folan set off on another charging run and ended with a terrific rising drive. Green, brilliantly, managed to make enough contact to deflect the ball on to the bar but Larkin, following up, made no mistake with the rebound. It was a goal that Chesterfield thoroughly deserved.
Zamora could have scored 18 minutes from time when a rare attack by the visitors created a clear chance, but the striker fired his shot over the top.
It was a miss that he and his team-mates were to rue three minutes from the end of normal time when a free-kick from the right flank by the Chesterfield substitute Jamie Lowry was not cleared by a hesitant West Ham defence and Folan pounced to slam the ball past Green.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Roche; Bailey (Lowry, 58), Hazell, Downes, O'Hare; Hall, Niven, Allott, Hurst; Larkin (Allison, 90), Folan. Substitutes not used: Kovacs, Jordan (gk), Jackson.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Pantsil, Ferdinand ,Gabbidon, McCartney (Konchesky, 69) ; Reo-Coker, Dailly, Mullins, Reid (Etherington, 57); Harewood (Sheringham, 51), Zamora. Substitutes not used: Cole, Carroll (gk).
Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire).Reuse content