Hammers cruise to comfortable win against Macclesfield
PUBLISHED: 21:51 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 21:52 26 September 2018
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Carabao Cup: West Ham United 8 Macclesfield Town 0
The Hammers simply tied the Silkmen in knots at London Stadium as they ran riot with an emphatic eight-goal blast on their way into the Carabao Cup fourth round.
With Michail Antonio, Robert Snodgrass and Lucas Pérez each netting before the interval, referee Craig Pawson certainly could have been forgiven for stopping the contest at half-time.
But as this mis-match between Premier League West Ham United and the side cemented at the bottom of League Two continued after the break, Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna, Snodgrass - once more - plus a debut double for Grady Diangana left Macclesfield bloodied and bruised.
Following Sunday’s determined draw against high-flying Chelsea, the Hammers made eight changes for this tie that had seen 75 places separating the two teams – and with Manuel Pellegrini casting one eye towards Saturday’s visit of Manchester United, too - only Antonio, Issa Diop and Pedro Obiang retained their shirts, while 20-year-old Diangana was handed a full debut and fellow academy youngsters Conor Coventry and Joe Powell were named on the bench.
And right-winger Diangana almost marked his first senior start with a lightning-quick goal, when he played a clever one-two with Lucas Pérez before ripping a low, angled shot into the side netting with less than two minutes on the clock.
Although Carlos Sánchez was forced to hobble off on 10 minutes as Declan Rice made an early appearance from the dug-out, that switch caused minimum disruption to a West Ham side largely camped in the Macclesfield half.
The Silkmen may have seen off Walsall and Bradford City in the previous rounds, but they came to London Stadium still without a league win all season and, following Saturday’s defeat at Morecambe, manager Mark Yates made a trio of changes as Callum Maycock, Harry Smith and Keith Lowe came in for Callum Evans, Michael Rose (suspended) and substitute, Nathan Blissett.
On the quarter-hour mark, Angelo Ogbonna also found himself in the wars and, while he was receiving treatment for a cut eye, the visitors almost took a shock lead against the run of play, when James Pearson’s long-throw arrived in the danger-zone, where Smith forced skipper Adrián to claw away his point-blank header.
With the Silkmen striker looking high into the dark September skies, the Hammers ensured that normal service was resumed with Snodgrass floating in a cross that was just an inch or so too high for the airborne Antonio and, as the corner-count hit the half-dozen mark, the Anglo-Scottish alliance combined once more but this time Kieran O’Hara saved the downward header with his legs.
But a West Ham goal was not long in the making and, on 28 minutes, it proved third-time lucky for Antonio, when he powerfully nodded Rice’s hanging right-wing cross past the Silkmen ‘keeper from six yards to inevitably break the deadlock.
Within just four minutes, the Hammers had doubled their advantage, when the lively Diagana’s 18-yard curler was clawed skywards by O’Hara but with the ball still looping towards the net, Snodgrass forced home his first-ever goal for the club from all of one yard.
And after Ogbonna was also denied by O’Hara’s outstretched foot, Pérez also opened his Claret & Blue account, when Snodgrass clipped a left-wing ball towards the penalty spot, where the unmarked Spaniard gleefully volleyed past the helplessly exposed ‘keeper.
“You’re nothing special, we lose every week,” chanted the 737 long-suffering Macclesfield supporters watching the carnage unfold from behind O’Hara’s goal and they might even have witnessed a fourth but the stretching Diangana could not get a stud on the ball at the far post.
Re-starting with a three-goal cushion, Coventry was also giving a first run-out as Obiang retired at the interval and O’Hara soon found himself sprinting from
goal to slide-tackle Snodgrass, before Aaron Cresswell’s ambitious 40-yarder was easily gathered by the retreating ‘keeper.
On 51 minutes, though, the Hammers did get their fourth in spectacular style when the over-lapping Fredericks raced onto a perfectly-weighted Snodgrass pass before rifling an acutely angled 15-yarder under the far angle to also claim his first goal for West Ham.
Still Pellegrini’s men pressed and chief architect Snodgrass engineered the fifth with a hanging right-wing corner that saw Ogbonna outjump Smith to head home from six yards, just three minutes later.
The orange-kitted O’Hara was then tangoed again on the hour, when Fredericks collected from Coventry before dancing through the visitors’ area and squaring to Snodgrass, who slid home from 12 yards.
That was the cue for Powell to make his first appearance, too, as Antonio stood down and, on 66 minutes, the fleet-footed Diangana netted a richly-deserved debut goal when, he bull-dozed his way into the heart of the Silkmen before exchanging passes with Pérez and drilling past O’Hara from 10 yards.
Having got one, debutant Diangana then netted a second with ten minutes remaining, when Powell cleverly invited him to ghost behind the Town defence and slot home an eighth of the night as West Ham eased their way into the fourth-round draw.
HAMMERS: Adrián, Fredericks, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Obiang (Coventry h/t), Sánchez (Rice 10), Snodgrass, Diangana, Antonio (Powell 61), Pérez. Unused subs: Fabianski, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Masuaku.
SILKMEN: O’Hara, Pearson, Kelleher, Grimes, Fitzpatrick, Lowe (Welch-Hayes 67), Whitaker, Smith (Arthur 57), Napa (Blissett 57), Marsh, Maycock. Unused subs: Simpson, Hodgkiss, Wilson, Vincenti.
Referee: Craig Pawson