Bowyer crowns cup comeback

West Ham United had to come from behind against Macclesfield Town to earn their place in the Carling Cup third round after goals from Lee Bowyer, Carlton Cole, Zavon Hines and Kyel Reid.

The visitors took an early lead through Gareth Evans and much of their play belied their League Two status. The home side pressed hard though and finally hit back through a header by the impressive Bowyer in the 74th minute. West Ham United finished the stronger but were taken to extra time, with Macclesfield down to ten men after Izak Reid's sending off, before substitutes Cole, Hines and Reid made sure of the club's place in Saturday's draw with goals in the 100th, 105th and 116th minutes respectively.

Alan Curbishley made five changes to the weekend starting XI including a welcome return for George McCartney, for his first appearance of the season. Lucas Neill was rested, while Hayden Mullins and Bowyer came into central midfield for Scott Parker and the suspended Mark Noble. Matthew Etherington made way for Luis Boa Morte and young prospect Freddie Sears got a chance to impress up front in place of Cole. The substitute's bench also had a youthful look to it.

Macclesfield fired a warning as early as the second minute when Francis Green whistled an early shot over the home crossbar. The visitors then stunned the Boleyn Ground when they took a surprise lead in the fifth minute. Calum Davenport bravely cleared behind and, while he was off the pitch for treatment, Evans headed in from the subsequent corner despite McCartney's best efforts on the line.

The home side immediately set about restoring parity. Boa Morte's clever back-heel put Dean Ashton free in the area, only to be flagged for offside. Then, in the 12th minute, Julien Faubert's clever flick sent Sears racing through. His effort from the edge of the area was superbly tipped round the post by Joe Brian in the Macclesfield goal.

Sears' strike partner Ashton looked lively up front and in the 15th minute he bought down a high ball in the area, only to see his snap-shot saved down low by Brian. Boa Morte then tried his luck from a free-kick on the right, but his effort flew high and wide.

Just before the half-hour mark, Valon Behrami left the field with what looked like a facial injury after a collision with Danny Thomas. Hines, who had impressed during pre-season, replaced him with Faubert switching to right-back. The Silkmen then nearly doubled their advantage. A good link up between right-back Izak Reid and scorer Green allowed Reid to race into the area and drill a shot just wide.

Faubert then let fly from 25 yards in the 39th minute but his effort flew just over. The Frenchman soon turned provider as his dangerous cross was headed behind for a corner. When the ball came back to him after the set-piece, he played in Boa Morte but the Portuguese's driven shot was gathered at the near post by Brian. The winger then went into referee Clive Penton's book for a challenge on Reid.

The home side so nearly drew level just before half-time. A fantastic break away involving Mullins, Bowyer and Ashton led to the striker surging to the edge of the area. He cleverly side-stepped two markers before seeing his delicious curling shot clip the crossbar. Ashton went close soon again after the restart

Kyel Reid then added to the attacking impetus when the returning McCartney made way and the youngster got a chance to impress immediately, but his curling free-kick was caught comfortably by Brian. In the final substitution in the 58th minute, Sears made way for Cole, who nearly levelled immediately with a fierce volley.

Urged on by the 10,055 inside the Boleyn Ground, the home side pushed forward. Mullins' effort from 25 yards flew agonisingly wide before the continued pressure paid off eventually in the in the 74th minute. Faubert crossed from the right and Bowyer, who had not played a competitive game since 2 February, rose to head in the equaliser.

The goal certainly buoyed the home side and Cole had three good chances in the closing stages before Izak Reid got his marching orders for his second yellow card. It was all West Ham United in extra time with Bowyer forcing a great save from Brian before Hines saw a close-range effort blocked. The winner was coming and, ten minutes into the first extra period, the impressive Cole got his reward as he redirected Ashton's header from Faubert's right-wing cross into the net.

After Cole went close, young forward Hines, who scored five goals in pre-season, crowned his senior debut as he prodded in from a yard out after good work by Ashton on the right-hand side. There was still time for Kyel Reid to crash a shot against the post and then finally get his goal with a neat shot in the 116th minute.