Hammers run over Black Cats on route to fourth round
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 22 Sep 2010 12:29:00
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West Ham United picked up their first away win since the 15th August 2009 and in doing so picked up their first win of this season to progress to the Carling Cup fourth round, with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

With Avram Grant returning to the away dugout, after his absence due to 'Yom Kippur', the Hammers started well earning a corner as early as the first minute, which Victor Obinna took, only for it to be dealt with by Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet.

This good start continued as three minutes later Obinna linked up well with Scott Parker and sliced his 25-yard effort which nearly went out for a throw-in!

Five minutes later, Frederic Piquionne tried a shot, but this again was unfortunately high and wide of the goal.

Sunderland were putting their visitors under some considersble pressure by now, but on 20 minutes West Ham have another chance when Luis Boa Morte combined well with Tal Ben-Haim to set up Obinna. The forward tried to curl a pass through to Piquionne but his effort was diverted through to the keeper courtesy of a header by former Hammer Anton Ferdinand.

On 30 minutes, Mignolet came to the home side's rescue again, as great play from first Obinna and then Piquionne was thwarted by a fantastic double save from the keeper.

On 35 minutes the Hammers made the breakthrough when Ben-Haim won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and found Obinna, who in turn found Piquionne with a superb ball. It was then left to the Frenchman to do the rest, as he calmly rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home to give the Hammers a well-deserved lead.

Two minutes later, good passing between Radoslav Kovac, Parker and Boa Morte took place before the goalscorer from Saturday's game against Stoke City tried his luck again with a run towards goal. He then swapped passes with Pablo Barerra before producing a sliding left-foot shot, which Mignolet did well to claw away.

A few more minutes of play subsided, with the Hammers playing some top class football (particularly Obinna), before Sunderland earned themselves a corner. Then completely against the run of play, Asamoah Gyan headed in at the near post giving Marek Stech no chance.

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With the teams going in level at the break, the second half started in much the same way as the first, as only 58 seconds had passed when Barerra swapped passes with Piquionne, only to see his effort hit Nedim Onuoha and spin just past the post.

The Hammers seemed to be controlling the early stages of this Half well and on 59 minutes they got their reward as Obinna opened his account for the club with a superb first-time shot that beat Mignolet at the far post.

Ten minutes later, Barerra showed superb technique to bring down a high clearance, before he found Piquionne who won a corner off Paolo Da Silva.

Obinna found James Tomkins from the corner, but the delivery was too high and Tomkins could only head wide.

Keiron Dyer started the match on the bench after being called on again, following his absence from the match at the Britannia stadium three days earlier and on 72 minutes Grant introduced him for Obinna.

On 79 minutes, Piquionne applauds the travelling support as he is replaced by Carlton Cole.

On 85 minutes, Sunderland, desperate for an equaliser, started to throw men forward.A minute later burst clear but lost control on the edge of the box as he seemed in two minds whether to shoot or pass the ball to Cole.

On 91 minutes, Noble is introduced for Barerra and two minutes later the Hammers finally end their winless away run and claim their place in the next round, all good preperation for Saturday's home London derby with Tottenham Hotspur.

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