Victory Sends Hammers Through to Fourth Round

Last updated : 09 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Moncur is headbutted by Byrne
When we were drawn away to Macclesfield, the first thoughts from those in the know were about West Ham facing lower league opposition in a cup. With Reading, Sawnsea, Tranmere all fresh in the memory, would Macclesfield be added to that list? Well the BBC were obviously hoping so.

But the Hammers were well-prepared for today's clash, and their class was evident against the Silkmen, despite the notable absences of Paolo di Canio (through 'flu') and Freddie Kanoute (also through flu), and Michael Carrick (hamstring).

In the first half, Macclesfield put in a very good performance, and even had the ball in the back of the net after only three minutes, although their effort was ruled to be offside. Lambert was their best player of the first half, with a couple of free kick efforts going close.

Sebastien Schemmel was booked in the first half for petulantly kicking the ball away, but the first half was fairly uneventful.

Until that is, Joe Cole created an opportunity for Sebastien to set up Jermain with our best chance of the game who put West Ham in front with a classy bit of finishing. A typical poachers goal.

The goal came perhaps slightly against the run of play, and Macclesfield will rue their misses in the first half, as they then faced a mammoth task to get back into the game, let alone win it.

The second half was hugley dominated by the Hammers, with some quality passing from all players. The first effort of the second half was a powerful shot from John Moncur, but Wilson was able to get there in time. Cole followed with a stirling effort soon after, but missed the left hand upright by mere inches.

Defoe scored his second soon after, when he won the ball back for the Hammers, and ran towards the goal, and shot deceptively early, with a curling, well-placed effort, which was out of Wilson's reach.

Within ten minutes of sealing the match, the game changed following a reckless
Dailly is headlocked by Adams
takcle by Moncur (who else?). After the challenge on Byrne, Moncs tried to assist him up, but the player snubbed his help and instead got himself to his feet and headbutted John.

There ensued a gathering of players in the middle of the park, with some ugly scenes. The reaction of the Macclesfield players was certainly out of order, and Hitchen should have been carded or sent off for his part in the mêlée. Dailly was put in a headlock by Danny Adams, who were both booked.

Moncur was then booked twice - first for his tackle, then secondly for his reaction. The decision was harsh, especially with other players not being punished at all.

The sending off hardly seemed to affect the Hammers, and they continued to attack with vigour. Joe Cole put his name on the scoresheet in the dying minutes, after exploiting a defensive error. He latched onto a loose ball, and sent two defenders the wrong way, before shooting an unstoppable shot past Wilson.

The final result made the game seem easier than it was, with the Silkmen putting up a good performance in the first half, but our finishing was of a Premiership standard, rather than a Third Division.

The way it should be, I suppose.

Player Ratings:

David James 8 - Apart from his new haircut, our keeper hardly put a foot wrong all match, and if he continues in his rich vein of form at the moment, his trip to Japan and Korea should be more than a site-seeing one. Performed well, with some good stops.

Nigel Winterburn 7 - Against lower league opposition, Nutty Nige is the sort of player that is really useful, inasmuch as he is a solid player, who doesn't shirk at challenges. Put in some good challenges, but is starting to look his age, especially as far as pace is concerned.

Christian Dailly 7 - Christian's confidence has clearly grown in the past few months, since his partnership with Repka has become more established, and yesterday was more evidence of this. Did what he had to well, with some timely blocks.

Tomas Repka 7 - Tomas is my favourite defender at Upton Park at the moment (okay the competition isn't much), and he is living up to his hard man image. He was unlucky to be booked, especially so late in the game, but throughout the game he was solid.

Sebastien Schemmel 6 - A player with more heart than skill. He ran up the wing well, and came back to defend, but there was too much shirt-tugging for my liking, and he will get booked sooner rather than laterfor that. His first half booking was needless and pointless.

Don Hutchison 6 - Substituted late in the second half for Foxe after Moncur's red card, his coming off was more due to a gash on his knee than his performance I think. Captain for the day, Don led well, and gave his all.

Joe Cole 8 - Not as good as he has been in the past few games, but then Joe has been so good, that he's got such a high standard to live up to. Played a part in the first goal, and deservedly got one for himself towards the end of the game following some neat footwork.

John Moncur 6 - His tackle was certainly a foul, and a yellow card can't be deemed that harsh, but his sending off certainly was. Apart from that, John had played quite well, with some good tackles and passes, and one excellent shot on goal that Wilson did well to save.

Trevor Sinclair 8 - Good game for Trevor today with many of the best West Ham attacks being the fruits of his labour. His work-rate can't be faulted since his transfer request, and today was another example of his committment. Had some good shots on goal too, and his confidence has certainly risen.

Paul Kitson 5 - We all got a bit excited when Paul came back and scored a hat-trick for us against Charlton. However, since then, when oppurtunities have arisen he hasn't taken his chances and has been dissapointing. Svetoslav should have been brought on for him in the second half.

Jermain Defoe 9 MOTM - A superb performance from Jermain today, who ran away with Man of the Match title. Not only with two goals to his name, but his tracking back into midfield was also impressive. He should have gone away with match ball, but fluffed his chances for his first senior hat-trick in the dying minutes.


Hayden Foxe (for Hutchison) - Wasn't on long enough to make an impression.