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Last Updated: Monday, 24 April 2006, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Harewood overjoyed after Cup win
Marlon Harewood
Harewood scored the winning goal in the semi-final
West Ham's goalscoring hero Marlon Harewood could barely contain himself after his side reached the FA Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Harewood had turned on Dean Ashton's knock-down to smash the winner past Boro keeper Bradley Jones - with only 12 minutes remaining at Villa Park.

He said: "The lads put in all the effort and I got the goal - I can't believe it. I'm loving it.

"We've been waiting ages for this - it was an opportunity we couldn't miss."

Boss Alan Pardew said his side had wanted to pay tribute to Ron Greenwood and John Lyall, former West Ham managers who passed away this year.

Pardew said: "We've done it and I'm pleased for the two families of Greenwood and Lyall - we did it for them.

"It's been a fantastic season, our fans have had a great day and in the second half we showed what we were about.

"The important factor was not to change our shape, so we pushed our full-backs on. You have to say the players won that by turning it around.

"It's a fantastic achievement for a promoted team."

A year ago West Ham were pushing for a play-off place in the Championship, which they duly achieved before winning that final and promotion to the Premiership.

All guns blazing

Harewood insisted that the Hammers would go into the FA Cup final against Liverpool on 13 May believing they could win the trophy for the first time since 1980.

He added: "It's possible - the things we have done this season, anything is possible."

Defender Anton Ferdinand said his side had coped admirably with the occasion.

He said: "We came out for the second-half all guns blazing, put them on the back foot a bit more and the pressure paid off.

"For a lot of us it was our first big game, but to go out and show that we can do it on the big stage means a lot to the boys.

"We showed we can handle the pressure."


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