Goals from Nicky Maynard and Modibo Maiga gave West Ham United a comfortable passage into the third round of the Capital One Cup courtesy of a 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night.
Maynard, playing against the club where he began his career, opened the scoring after 33 minutes, latching onto Ricardo Vaz Te's deft flick to volley into the corner from just inside the box.
The Hammers continued to assert their dominance in the second half and doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Crewe goalkeeper Alan Martin gifted Maiga his first Hammers goal. A well worked free-kick allowed captain Kevin Nolan a shot on goal which was parried into the path of Maiga, who finished well on his first start for the club.
Assistant manager Neil McDonald was happy with the performance and the result that takes the Hammers into Thursday's third-round draw.
"I thought it was a great workout and they've come through it very strongly," said McDonald. "We've had Modibo and Alou Diarra come through their first full game and I think they got stronger as the game went on. We've created chances and scored two fantastic goals and we've kept a clean sheet.
"Modibo has had a couple of great chances late on but he's off the mark and he's certainly deserved his goal as he was in the right place at the right time. I think our first goal that Nicky finished off was great as well."
Debutant goalkeeper Stephen Henderson was rarely troubled but was reliable when called upon as Crewe fought for a route back into the game. The former Portsmouth man first denied Luke Murphy, then somehow recovered to stop Ajay Leitch-Smith's effort after the striker had seemingly rounded him.
"Stephen made two really good saves to help us keep the clean sheet. It helped avoid the panic that we might have felt had Crewe got one back. We're very happy with the defensive display as well and we kept their chances down to a minimum. When Stephen was needed he made the saves very comfortably in the end.
"There were some really good performances all the way through the team from the back to the front. It's great to see that we've made it through to the next round after being knocked out by Aldershot last season.
"We had a lot of people play their first 90 minutes, which was even better. We've also not picked up any injuries, which meant it was the perfect night."
Sam Allardyce handed debuts to Development Squad duo George Moncur and Matthias Fanimo,who impressed alongside fellow Academy graduate Rob Hall. Fanimo so nearly set up a goal a minute after coming on when he played a neat one-two with Nolan before delivering a pinpoint cross that Maiga volleyed just over.
"We put the kids on later on in the game, which was great experience for them. I think they settled in well. Matthias saw plenty of the ball and had a good first touch, which was great. George and Rob both came on and fitted in really well. It's good for their experience and confidence.
"Looking ahead to Fulham, the result will give us competition for places after the Swansea defeat and it might just give the manager a few selection problems."