West Ham avoided a second round scare to cement their place in the next stage of the Capital One Cup at the expense of League 2 Cheltenham. The Robins made it difficult for West Ham throughout the first half, with early chances from Sam Deering and Matt Richards unable to penetrate Adrian’s goal.
But West Ham’s Premier League experience showed as they scored either side of half-time, a nightmare for an opposition manager. Ricardo Vaz Te gave the London side the lead just three minutes before half-time, scoring directly from a free-kick to the despair of Mark Yates.
The former Cheltenham player was then fuming when just 40 seconds into the second half, former Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison wrong-footed the Robins defence to curl in a second for the Irons. Morrison was later named Man of the Match, and his performance sparked a flurry of complimentary tweets from Hammers’ fans, all looking forward to the future with the 20-year-old at the club. However, it seems Morrison may have watched Ashley Young too much in training during his time at United, after he was booked for simulation.
Cheltenham did manage to give the Hammers a scare after Spanish debutant Adrian hit a language barrier with James Tomkins, leading to the keeper bringing down Sam Deering. Richards stepped up to score the penalty, but he and his teammates were unable to find an equaliser later in the match.
Sam Allardyce will be pleased that his side got through, but may be concerned by his their poor finishing. The hosts had 17 attempts, but only seven of which were on target. And he wasn’t the only one unhappy with the Hammers’ shooting. @hannahbaglee tweeted: “I can’t believe I got smacked in the face with a football, West Ham players need better aim.”
Hammers assistant coach Neil McDonald spoke to the press after the match, and suggested that Morrison would be in contention for West Ham’s Premier League match against Stoke on Saturday: “I think he has shone tonight and has tried to knock on the manager’s door with a good performance and another goal. He’s continued what he did in pre-season, scoring goals from midfield, which is great. He’s shown what he can do and now has to wait for his chance when the manager picks him in the Barclays Premier League.”
West Ham will find out who they will face in the next round of the competition on Wednesday evening.
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