Nicky Maynard was on target against his former club as Premier League West Ham United eased past Crewe Alexandra in their Capital One Cup second round tie at Upton Park.
As at the weekend the Alex fell behind to one of their former marksmen when Maynard turned in Ricardo Vaz Te’s cross just beyond the half-hour. Mali striker Modibo Maiga then added another early in the second-half after goalkeeper Alan Martin had failed to gather Kevin Nolan’s long-range attempt.
The visitors were without leading goalscorer Mathias Pogba after suffering a knee injury in their weekend loss at Brentford. Kelvin Mellor made his first start of the season at the expense of Adam Dugdale while Max Clayton was recalled for Abdul Osman.
And it was Mellor seeing an early effort strike home goalkeeper Stephen Henderson and clear the crossbar before Maynard curled narrowly wide at the other end. Vaz Te also headed straight at keeper Martin, whose opposite number Henderson next gathered from AJ Leitch-Smith.
But the visitors fell behind as Vaz Te evaded Gregor Robertson and delivered for Maynard to steer into the bottom corner. As with Brentford’s Clayton Donaldson at the weekend the former Alex striker refused to engage in any celebrations and instead forced Martin back into immediate action as he parried another attempt.
The Scottish keeper was also required to thwart Maiga until Luke Murphy had a 25-yard effort diverted behind by Hammers custodian Henderson early in the second period. On loan Manchester City striker Harry Bunn then went down inside the area under the challenge of Alou Diarrra, although without any reward.
But a major handling error from Martin a couple of minutes later allowed Maiga to add a second goal. Bunn curled a shot towards Henderson in reply while Henderson smothered from Leitch-Smith.
At the other end Maiga and Diarra were both wide and Maynard swept into the side-netting before Martin distinguished himself with a couple of excellent late saves from Robert Hall and goalscorer Maiga.
West Ham United: Henderson, O’Brien, Diarra, Spence, Potts, Nolan (Moncur 84), Taylor (Fanimo 60), O’Neil, Maynard, Maiga, Vaz Te (Hall 73)
subs (unused): Raphael Spiegel, Demel, Driver, McCallum
Goals: Maynard (34), Maiga (55)
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Mellor, Davis, Ellis (Dugdale 73), Robertson, Westwood, Murphy, Clayton, Leitch-Smith (Turton 80), Moore, Bunn (Osman 62)
subs (unused): Garratt, Ray, Guthrie, Daniels
|LATEST ON THE VITAL CREWE FORUMS …|