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Capital One Cup
Tuesday, 27th August 2013

West Ham United 2
Cheltenham Town 1

by Gordon Thrower


The Hammers are safely through to the third round of the Capital One Cup after an experimental side saw off League Two side Cheltenham Town.

Sam Allardyce gave full debuts to Adrian, Leo Chambers, Razvan Rat and Ravel Morrison, as well as rare starts for Matt Taylor, Jack Collison, and the back from injury George McCartney.

United took the lead on 41 minutes through a stunning Vaz Te free-kick. The goal enlivened a scrappy first period, the flow of which was not helped by the appearance of the physios on no fewer than four occasions, including the stretchering off of Alou Diarra on 35 minutes with a serious-looking knee injury.

Ravel Morrison added a second a minute into the second half with a low shot from the edge of the box and the home side had numerous chances to increase the lead before allowing the Robins back into the match when Adrian was adjudged to have fouled Sam Deering just short of the hour.

Matt Richards dispatched the penalty but, despite some late chances for the visitors, it was Allardyce's men wh saw out the match to go into the third round draw, which will take place on Wednesday evening.



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Player Ratings

Adrian
Not overly tested and I’m not totally sure that it was actually a penalty. However, the fact that he was a bit slow off his line caused the problem in the first place.


George McCartney
A wily old head at the back. A bit ring rusty – understandably so under the circumstances – but it’s good to have him playing again even if his first team opportunities are to be limited this season.


Razvan Rat
Again mot much of a test and, despite obvious talent, he showed all the signs of being a player bedding in to unfamiliar surroundings. Not helped by the fact that whenever he got forward into good positions out wide his team-mates seemed to place the ball into touch rather than actually find him with a pass.


James Tomkins
Pretty much bossed the defensive side of things throughout – though his unfamiliarity with his new ‘keeper may have been a contributory factor for the goal.


Alou Diarra
Put himself about a bit but to little effect. Had already had one spell of treatment by the physio when he went down off the ball. The incident looked serious enough to the ref for him to call on the physio immediately rather than wait for a stoppage. Hope he’s ok.


Jack Collison
Pretty anonymous I’m afraid – still looks half the player that he was before the injury.


Joe Cole
If any player on the pitch needs a game to flow it’s probably Joe so the numerous stoppages did him few favours.


Matt Taylor
One first half free-kick apart he disappointed. Often got into decent positions only to give the ball away cheaply.


Ricardo Vaz Te
Not quite cut out for the lone striker’s role. Caused them more problems in the second half when getting the ball at his feet though. Absolutely stunning goal – which was followed by a celebration the like of which is seldom encountered outside road rage incidents.


Ravel Morrison
His first start and he took the opportunity to impress, particularly in the second half when he dropped a bit deeper. Booked for diving, the consensus in the press room after the game was that it didn’t look like a dive. However, he didn’t seem too put out by the caution. If it was a dive it’s not the sort of thing I want to see – we’re not a two bob club like Liverpool. MOTM though.


Leo Chambers
A slightly nervous start – not that he actually did much wrong but he just seemed a bit uncertain. However improved a lot as the game wore on and had the confidence to join the attack when available. Promising – and the prospect of seeing him play in tandem with Potss is one that appeals to my schoolboy sense of humour.


Substitutes


Mo Diame
Infinitely more effective than Diarra who he replaced. Cheltenham looked terrified every time he ran at them. Let’s face it that would terrify most people wouldn’t it.


Stewart Downing
Looked sharp again in his 45 minutes – which seemed to have been a prearranged thing to give him and Cole a half each.


Stephen Henderson
Did not play.


Pelly Ruddock
Did not play.


Seb Lletget
Did not play.


Kevin Nolan
Did not play.


Elliott Lee
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Graham Scott.

Attendance: 23,440.

Man of the Match: Ravel Morrison.

West Ham United

Adrian, George McCartney, Razvan Rat, James Tomkins, Alou Diarra, Jack Collison, Joe Cole, Matt Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te, Ravel Morrison, Leo Chambers.

Goals: Ricardo Vaz Te 42 Ravel Morrison 46                .

Booked: Ravel Morrison 30          .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Cheltenham Town

S.Brown, Lowe, Inniss, Elliott, Braham-Barrett, Taylor, Richards; McGlashan, Penn, Deering, Gornell.

Substitutes: Harrison (Deering 63), Kotwica (Gornell 77), Vincent (Penn 83).

Subs not used: Roberts, Jones, Jombati, Gillespie.

Goals: Richards (57 pen).

Booked: None booked..

Sent Off: None sent off..

 
Gordon Thrower's Man of the Match: Ravel Morrison


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