Hammers Go Out At Bolton

HAMMERS have gone out of the Carling Cup, losing 1-0 to Jared Borgetti's second-half goal against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.

West Ham United were never out of this Third Round clash though and should have gone in leading at the break such was their dominance in the first-half.

Unfortunately, Bolton's experience told after the interval and Borgetti popped up with a 63rd minute header to end West Ham's interest in the Carling Cup for another season.

Alan Pardew named a strong side, with five players retaining their places from the 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.

James Collins and Elliott Ward came into the centre of defence in place of Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon, but both Tomas Repka and Paul Konchesky started, the latter shaking off a knock from Sunday's win over Middlesbrough to play in an unfamiliar left sided midfield role.

Hayden Mullins partnered captain Christian Dailly in midfield, with David Bellion making his first start for the Hammers on the right of midfield and Clive Clarke made his first outing in the claret and blue at left back.

Up front Teddy Sheringham was recalled in place of Bobby Zamora and played alongside Marlon Harewood.

On the bench, Jeremie Aliadiere was fit enough to be named after overcoming a groin problem.

With six changes a piece the two sides took time to settle into their rhythm. Hammers first effort came from Bellion with eight minutes gone, a well struck shot from West Ham's player of the first-half but no trouble for Ian Walker as it fizzed over the crossbar.

Bellion's next effort did test the former England international though, an inswinging shot which the goalkeeper took well down low.

Hammers were making most of the running and on 22 minutes Konchesky's low drive from a short corner routine very nearly embarrased Walker, the keeper gathering the ball at the second attempt with Sheringham in close attendance.

Shaka Hislop was more troubled by the bounce of the Reebok Stadium pitch than any attacking threat from the home side, Stelios' looping header testing the Hammers goalkeeper's footwork after skidding nastily off the turf.

Bellion was everywhere for West Ham, but goalscoring chances were proving hard to come by for both teams, Khalilou Fadiga's challenge putting Sheringham off when the ball dropped to him in the box.

With three minutes of the half remaining a brilliant turn by Bellion found space in the box and he squared the ball to Marlon Harewood. The striker connected well, but a superb block by Fadiga sent the ball sailing away for a corner.

A similar block from Dailly at the other end to deny Stelios ensured the teams went in locked at 0-0 at the break.

HT: 0-0

With Hammers in command Sam Allardyce introduced Martin Djetou for the second-half in place of Abdoulaye Faye. And on 55 minutes Stelios had a great chance, latching onto a flick on, but firing wide with only Hislop to beat. However, the Greece international's blushes were spared by a linesman flag that would have ruled any goal out.

After a sedate first-half pace the tempo was upped by both sides for the second period, with the enthusiastic band of travelling Hammers fans responding behind Ian Walker's goal.

On 63 minutes Fadiga tested Hislop with a low, swerving drive that the Hammers goalkeeper did well to parry.

But moments later Fadiga helped instigate the move which broke Hammers resistance. It was a swirling back post cross from the midfielder that caught Hislop out and found Mexican striker Jared Borgetti arriving to head home from close range and give Bolton the lead.

Determined to hit back, Paul Konchesky tested Walker with a 25 yard free-kick just after the re-start, but the Bolton stopper pushed the ball comfortably over the crossbar.

On 70 minutes Kevin Nolan headed over from the same back post that had seen Bolton take the lead, Borgetti having flicked on Fadiga's corner.

Two minutes later Pards made a double substitution, Shaun Newton and the fit-again Jeremie Aliadiere replacing Clive Clarke and Teddy Sheringham to try and swing the game back in West Ham's favour.

The switch very nearly had the desired effect when Aliadiere sprinted clear of Joey O'Brien, but bearing down on Walker from a tight angle he could only shoot straight at the Bolton goalkeeper who parried to the feet of Tal Ben Haim to make the clearance.

With five minutes to go Marlon Harewood was replaced by Carl Fletcher, making his first appearance since a month long loan spell at Watford. The Welsh international midfielder was actually deployed as a right-back for the remainder of the game as Pards switched to a back three and threw James Collins up front to add some presence to the Hammers attack.

With two minutes left Konchesky cued up a free-kick 25 yards out, but with Hammers final roll of the dice resting at his feet he could only fire high and wide of Walker's goal.

Borgetti might have sealed it in the dying minutes for Bolton when he broke free of the Hammers backline, but Hislop made a good save low down to his right.

Three minutes of stoppage time were added on by referee Andy Marriner, but there was no way back for the Hammers as they went out of the Carling Cup at the Third Round, losing 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers.