Hammers See off Bluebirds to Sail into Fourth Round
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 25 Sep 2013 11:06:00
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After narrowly losing 3-2 at home to Everton on Saturday, West Ham United made sure of their progress to the Capital One Cup fourth-round by narrowly beating Cardiff City by the same scoreline on Tuesday evening.

Only seven changes were made to the side that were defeated by the Toffees four days earlier, as James Tomkins was once again given the captaincy for the match in place of regular skipper Kevin Nolan.

Adrian, Leo Chambers, George McCartney, Jack Collison, Matthew Taylor and Ricardo Vaz Te all came into the side, while James Collins, Ravel Morrison, Modibo Maiga and Matt Jarvis retained their places from the weekends line-up.

There was an special occasion to be celebrated at Upton Park last night, given that it was Sam Allardyce's 100 game in charge as manager of the East London club. His side gave him the perfect start as Morrison put the Hammers ahead just 19 seconds after the game had kicked off. A great team move involving Maiga, Jarvis and Morrison resulted in the youngster putting the ball past Joe Lewis and into the back of the net.

West Ham were dominant in the opening half. Despite Morrison's freekick not leading to anything on five minutes, the hosts did increase the lead moments later when Maiga set up Jarvis, whose initial shot was blocked, only to ricochet off him again and roll past Lewis to give the home fans'another reason to cheer.

The home side created numerous chances to go further ahead, including a header on 33 minutes from Collins that went wide, when it may have been easier to score, but the Bluebirds defence stood firm.

The Welsh side had been on the back foot for the majority of the half until just before the break. Craig Noone gave them hope as he scored a cracker which Adrian could do nothing about and the arrays were reduced.

There was barely time for another attack before referee Roger East blew for half-time, with the Hammers still in the lead.

Both sides decided to make a change at the break as Allardyce brought on Mladen Petric for Maiga, while Malky Mackay replaced Jon Brayford with Kevin McNaughton.

At the start of the second half the roles were reversed as Cardiff tested Adrian, but the Spaniard was equal to both Jordon Mutch and former Hammer Nicky Maynard.

Two minutes later West Ham could have increased their lead, but unfortunately Collison's effort was well saved by Lewis.

On 58 minutes Big Sam made a second change as the man who started the scoring off was replaced by Mohamed Diame.

Cardiff kept up the pressure and on 75 minutes their persistence was rewarded. The East Londoners were caught out as Mutch raced past two defenders to find Peter Odemwingie, who rose above Tomkins to powerfully head past Adrian and the Hammers advantage was extinguished.

In an effort to try and find a winner the home side made a final change on 82 minutes, as Razvan Rat was brought on to take the place of McCartney.

West Ham did find the goal they needed with two minutes of normal time to play. Chambers played a one-two with Collison and the Welshmen was able to send in a delicious cross over Lewis's head. The ball then found Vaz Te, who headed past the young goalkeeper to prevent the tie going into extra-time.

Three minutes of stoppage time were signalled but Cardiff were not providing their hosts with any further problems.

All of which means that West Ham are in the draw for the fourth round, made on Wednesday night. Next up for Big Sam's men is a trip to the KC stadium to take on Hull City Tigers on Saturday afternoon, as the focus switches back to the Barclays Premier League.

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