WEST HAM UNITED v CREWE ALEXANDRA
CAPITAL ONE CUP SECOND ROUND
TUESDAY 28 AUGUST 2012
REFEREE: FRED GRAHAM
Final score - West Ham United 2-0 Crewe Alexandra
94 mins - Into the final minute and Crewe come again. Murphy opens his body up but cannot get the necessary curl on the shot and it floats wide. A few seconds later and the final whistle is blown. West Ham are through to the third round. We'll have exclusive post-match reaction and highlights on West Ham TV and whufc.com soon.
93 mins - Clayton hasn't given up, but nor has O'Brien as the skipper makes a fine tackle on the edge of the penalty area. West Ham break through Maynard down the right and he cuts the ball back for Maiga. The Mali man takes a touch and stings Martin's palms again with a well-struck shot.
91 mins - We're going to have at least four more minutes. West Ham try to start them with a goal, but Hall's first-time shot flashes wide of the right-hand post.
89 mins - Tonight's attendance is 18,053.
88 mins - The Man of the Match is Nicky Maynard. He has worked his socks off and calmed the nerves with a fine finish. The decision is applauded by both sets of fans. Fair play!
87 mins - I hope I'm not tempting fate, but the third-round draw is on Thursday evening...
85 mins - This has been good tonight. West Ham have pressed high, worked hard and created numerous chances. Maiga and Diarra have caught the eye, while O'Brien and Potts have defended well in the main.
83 mins - A third and final substitution for West Ham, who replace Nolan with George Moncur. O'Brien takes over as captain. Moncur gets a real ovation as he runs on for his debut. That's three debuts tonight, then - Henderson, Fanimo and now Moncur, who wears No42.
82 mins - Hall and Fanimo are enjoying themselves. This time Fanimo crosses and Dugdale heads clear. West Ham keep up the pressure and Maiga works Martin with a rasping shot that the goalkeeper does well to turn behind. The corner is cleared.
80 mins - So close to a debut goal for Fanimo as he collects a pass from Nolan and sees his low shot flicked just wide by Martin for a corner. It's taken short by Hall to O'Neil. The No46 picks out Diarra, whose towering header goes a yard over the top. Before the corner was taken, Turton replaced Leitch-Smith.
78 mins - Crewe win a corner and keep the ball alive from a headed clearance. The second cross is fired in to the penalty area but is too strong for Mellor, whose header goes high and wide.
76 mins - That will do Henderson the power of good. Leitch-Smith gets in behind O'Brien and Potts. He controls and tries to round the Irishman, but Henderson is quick and spreads himself before blocking with both hands and plunging on the ball. Great keeping.
75 mins - Nice play there again. Maynard swaps passes with Hall before curling a cross to the far post that is inches too far ahead of Nolan. His first-time shot is into the side-netting.
74 mins - Good pressing again from O'Neil wins the ball back and then Maynard wins a free-kick. Hall will take it wide on the right. He curls it over but the ball lands in the hands of Martin.
73 mins - Before the game restarts, Vaz Te is replaced by the in-form Rob Hall. I am told he was unplayable in Sunday's 5-1 Development Squad win at Everton. Crewe replace Ellis with Adam Dugdale.
71 mins - Crewe win a corner and Henderson just gets a hand to it. The follow-up shot is blocked before play is stopped for Ellis to receive treatment. Time for the players to get some water on board while the No5 receives treatment for a facial injury.
69 mins - Maiga is looking the part tonight. This time another good move involving Diarra and O'Neil ends with the No11 flashing a header that bounces just wide.
65 mins - Another sweeping attack sees Nolan find Spence. He clips the cross in and Maiga's header is deflected wide for a corner. O'Neil takes but it's cleared at the near post.
62 mins - Crewe make a change as Osman is on for Bunn. The Hammers are turning it on now as Maiga sets up Vaz Te, who tests Martin with a searing drive from 20 yards that the goalkeeper does well to parry.
61 mins - Fanimo involved for the first time and he so nearly gets an assist with his first touch. He nips past Mellor and crosses for Maiga, who somehow volleys over from six yards.
60 mins - Fanimo is on at left-back for Matt Taylor. This is his debut. Good luck young man. West Ham attack down their right and Spence sends over the cross. Maiga's header is blocked.
59 mins - We're going to see England Under-18 Matthias Fanimo in a moment. Before then, Crewe want a penalty again as Leitch-Smith goes down under O'Brien's challenge. Again, nothing is given.
57 mins - West Ham need another goal and perhaps they can give a couple of the youngsters a run. Before then, Henderson does well to hold on to a fierce shot from Bunn from the left corner of the penalty area. West Ham break and O'Neil picks out Maiga with a nice ball. The Malian gets the cross in but it's cleared. West Ham keep up the pressure, but Nolan's curler is wayward.
54 mins - GOAL! That free-kick works so often! The ball is rolled into the feet of Nolan by Taylor and he turns his marker and works Martin with a powerful shot. The goalkeeper cannot hold on and Maiga reacts quickest to finish smartly with his left foot.
54 mins - Mellor becomes the second right-back to be booked for bringing down Vaz Te as the No12 was romping into the Crewe half on the break.
51 mins - Spence gives the ball away and Crewe attack again from halfway. Leitch-Smith gets to the edge of the box, where O'Brien makes a good challenge. Crewe are not done and the away fans want a penalty as Diarra challenges Bunn just inside the box. Both players go to ground. The referee waves away the claims.
49 mins - The corner is cleared to Leitch-Smith, whose fierce shot is blocked. Bunn goes down injured as Vaz Te brings the ball clear and the game is stopped for the No25 to receive attention.
47 mins - West Ham have started positively. Maiga forces Ellis to put the ball behind for a corner with a loose touch. Taylor's near-post delivery is headed clear and Crewe break dangerously through Bunn. West Ham resist the initial attack but the visitors keep it alive and Henderson has to claw Murphy's long-range shot away for a corner.
46 mins - No changes at the break from either manager. Crewe kick-off and the ball is fired straight out for a throw on the near side.
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Crewe Alexandra
47 mins - West Ham win another corner in added-time. Last chance to add to the lead before the break. Taylor trots across in front of the Crewe fans to take it... Diarra wins it again at the far post but his downward header bounces a yard wide. That's half-time.
45 mins - Good build-up involving Maiga - who has come into the game more and more - and O'Neil. Vaz Te collects and shoots wildly from 30 yards. Goal kick, and nearly another shot that results in a throw-in!
44 mins - Spence bursts forward again and gets to the byline. His pullback is cut out, but Vaz Te wins it back inside the penalty area before running to the byline himself. He slams the cross into the six-yard box, where Martin makes the catch. Good handling.
42 mins - You have got to admire Crewe's ethos. West Ham are pressing them high inside their own penalty area, but still they play the ball to feet patiently before clearing upfield.
40 mins - West Ham win another corner. Taylor will take again left-footed. Spence attacks the ball at the far post but the defender in front of him knocks the ball behind. O'Neil takes this time and Martin saves well from Diarra's goalbound header.
38 mins - Maynard is everywhere. This time he tracks left-back Davis and blocks the cross almost on his own goalline. The corner is taken short and passed back to Murphy, whose deep cross flies out for a goal kick.
36 mins - Maynard threatens again as his cross-shot hits a defender and bounces behind for a corner. Taylor's delivery is headed goalwards but hits a defender and loops to Maynard on the edge of the box. His powerful first-time volley is batted away by Martin. Crewe scramble the ball away. They are creaking a bit at the back.
34 mins - GOAL! He'll have enjoyed that, will Nicky Maynard! It's a good goal too. West Ham pick up the pace and sweep through the Crewe defence as Maiga and Vaz Te are involved in a one-touch move that ends with Maynard sweeping the ball into the bottom left-hand corner with a sweetly-struck half-volley.
33 mins - Potts launches the ball in and Maiga heads down for Nolan, but he cannot get the purchase on his shot.
32 mins - Vaz Te is looking to impress tonight. He has picked up the ball deep a few times already and does so again. He swaps passes with Maiga before the ball drops to Taylor from a clearing header. The No14 looks up but his cross is too close to goalkeeper Martin.
31 mins - My mention of no goals being scored has led to a glut of strikes all over the country.
30 mins - Vaz Te drops his shoulder to get around Westwood and shoots from 30-odd yards. It's not Brighton all over again, unfortunately, as the ball flies high into the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand. Goal kick.
29 mins - Crewe come again. Leitch-Smith drives the shot in from just outside the box and Henderson makes a save low to his right. He holds on to the ball. The visitors are looking more likely at present...
28 mins - Oooh! Moore nutmegs Taylor and then cuts into the penalty area. He cuts the ball back for Clayton, but O'Brien JUST gets something on the ball to stop the pass getting through.
26 mins - Maiga gives the ball away and Crewe break down their left. Bunn cuts inside but mis-hits his shot so poorly that it slides out for a throw in front of the Alpari Stand!
25 mins - There are 23 ties going on tonight, and goals have only been scored in three of them so far. West Ham have a chance again as they win a corner over in front of the Crewe fans. Taylor whips the cross in and Vaz Te diverts it goalwards, but it's straight at Martin.
23 mins - Spence loops the ball forward down the right channel and Maynard wins the header for himself. He cuts the ball back but Mellor is there to intercept and bring the ball clear with a neat drop of the shoulder. Confident defending from the Crewe No14.
21 mins - Taylor is getting forward regularly and he does so again. This time, however, his first-time cross is too strong and Maynard cannot keep it in on the far touchline.
19 mins - Crewe might have lost 5-1 at the weekend but they were on a long unbeaten run until recently. Their confidence is there for all to see as they knock the ball around. Leitch-Smith tries to tee-up Clayton, but Taylor gets an important foot in. West Ham break and Martin flaps at a cross from the right, but there is no West Ham player there to benefit as both Maiga and Vaz Te had challenged for the cross.
17 mins - A positive run by Spence takes him across the face of the box before he finds Taylor in space on the left. His cross hits Mellor and goes behind for a corner. O'Neil takes but it's over-hit and goes out for a throw on the far side.
16 mins - West Ham are back on the offensive but they've yet to force an opening.
13 mins - Spence is booked for a second foul in two minutes. Crewe had just gone close as Leitch-Smith's low cross just eluded Clayton. The free-kick is headed clear by Vaz Te and West Ham break. Maiga races away down the right wing and then tries to pick out Vaz Te in the middle. Crewe have one defender back and he volleys clear from the edge of the penalty area. It's been an open and attractive game so far.
12 mins - West Ham concede a free-kick about 25 yards out to the right of Henderson's goal. Westwood takes and curls it over the wall. Henderson gets there first and elects to punch. The ball hits Mellor and rebounds over the crossbar. Close!
10 mins - It's all West Ham. Vaz Te picks out Maynard on the right and he is one-on-one with Mellor. The No8 takes on his marker on the inside before curling a left-foot shot narrowly wide. Goalkeeper Martin dives but the ball beats the post.
8 mins - Potts launches the ball down the inside-left channel for Vaz Te. He keeps the ball in superbly before beating Robertson. The Scot keeps to his task and makes an perfect challenge on the byline to concede a corner. That could easily have been a penalty. The corner comes over and Spence wins the header at the far post, but it loops onto the roof of the net.
7 mins - A little moment there as Potts allows the ball to run inside the penalty area. For a moment it looks like he'll let in Clayton, but he recovers quickly and clears upfield. After Saturday, we don't want any indecisive defending!
4 mins - It's been all West Ham so far, bar one cross into the box cleared by Potts. Good build-up involving Potts and Vaz Te sees the ball passed square for Nolan. He lets it run across his body, but the ball just gets away from him a little and he screws his shot off-target from 25 yards. That was a decent opening for the skipper, who is normally accurate from all ranges.
2 mins - The Hammers attack again. Good build-up down the right flank. Spence drives the cross over at head height and Martin makes the catch above Maiga's head.
1 min - West Ham show first, but Maynard cannot beat his marker and the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
7.44pm - We're off a minute early! West Ham get things started shooting towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand end of the Boleyn Ground. Maiga is through the middle, with Vaz Te to the left and Maynard wide right.
7.42pm - For those wondering how we'll lineup tonight, it's Spence at right-back, O'Brien and Potts in the middle and Taylor at left-back. Diarra will play behind O'Neil and Nolan in midfield. Maiga, Vaz Te and Maynard will form the front three. Oh, and Henderson will start in goal.
7.41pm - Here come the two teams, led by captains Kevin Nolan and Ashley Westwood. The Boleyn Ground isn't full, but there is still a decent about of noise being generated. Crewe's players are doing some last-minute shuttle runs before kick-off.
7.37pm - It's time for a bit of Coldplay's 'Paradise'. As anyone who was at Wembley will recall, the song has become a bit of a terrace anthem here in east London. It'll never replace 'Bubbles' of course, but the fans do like a good sing-along!
7.32pm - We've got some special guests here tonight. Members of the Ukrainian and Finnish Paralympic teams are at the Boleyn Ground. The London 2012 Paralympic Games start tomorrow, of course. If they are half as good as the Olympic Games, it will be a fantastic event.
7.30pm - It's a nice late summer's evening here in east London. There is a bit of cloud, but I'm going to put my neck on the line and say we won't see any rain tonight. On the touchline, fitness coach Eamon Swift is putting the starting XI through their final paces before they head off to change into their match shirts. Over on the far side of the pitch, Development Squad coach Ian Hendon is playing keep-ball with the substitutes.
6.50pm - Team news is in! Ten changes from Big Sam! Stephen Henderson makes his full debut, while Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga both make their first starts in claret and blue. No fewer than five uncapped players are on the bench.
West Ham United: Henderson, O'Brien, Spence, Diarra, Potts, Taylor, O'Neil, Nolan, Vaz Te, Maiga, Maynard
Subs: Spiegel, Driver, Demel, Moncur, Fanimo, Hall, McCallum
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Davis, Ellis, Bunn, Robertson, Mellor, Westwood, Murphy, Moore, Leitch-Smith, M.Clayton
Subs: Garratt, Dugdale, Turton, Guthrie, Ray, Osman, Daniels
Good evening and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for tonight's Capital One Cup second-round tie with Crewe Alexandra - the 200th League Cup tie in West Ham United's history!
Both the Hammers and the Railwaymen will be seeking a victory that will see them keep alive hopes of a second-consecutive Wembley appearance. West Ham, of course, beat Blackpool 2-1 at the Home of Football in the npower Championship Play-Off final, while Crewe defeated Cheltenham Town by the same scoreline in the League Two Play-Off final.
West Ham have reached the League Cup final twice, finishing as runners-up in 1966 and 1981, and got to the semi-finals as recently as 2011, when they were beaten by Birmingham City in a thrilling clash that went to extra-time.
Supporters who have taken advantage of the discounted ticket prices for tonight's game can also expect to see goals, as Sam Allardyce's men have failed to score in just one of their last 16 League Cup fixtures and Crewe's record win in the competition came in this year's first round as they beat Hartlepool United 5-0.
Both clubs will be seeking to bounce back after recording disappointing league results at the weekend. West Ham were beaten 3-0 at Swansea City in the Barclays Premier League, while Crewe went down 5-1 at Brentford in npower League One.
Big Sam is set to name a strong starting XI, with captain Kevin Nolan, Wembley hero Ricardo Vaz Te, Matt Taylor, Guy Demel and Gary O'Neil all in the squad. Nicky Maynard could start against his first club. Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga could make their first starts in a Hammers shirt, while Stephen Henderson is set to make his debut in goal. A host of Academy graduates could be named on the bench, including Rob Hall, Callum Driver and George Moncur.
West Ham United: Henderson, O'Brien, Spence, Diarra, Potts, Taylor (Fanimo 60), O'Neil, Nolan (Moncur 84), Vaz Te (Hall 73), Maiga, Maynard
Subs not used: Spiegel, Driver, Demel, McCallum
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Davis, Ellis (Dugdale 73), Bunn (Osman 61), Robertson, Mellor, Westwood, Murphy, Moore, Leitch-Smith (Turton 80), M.Clayton
Subs not used: Garratt, Guthrie, Ray, Daniels