2017/18 English Carabao Cup, Second Round
  • Diafra Sakho (40')
  • AndrĂ© Ayew (43')

West Ham ease past Cheltenham to reach Carabao Cup third round

West Ham advanced into the third round of the Carabao Cup with a routine 2-0 win at Cheltenham.

The game was settled by two goals in the space of three minutes close to half-time as the gulf in class between the two sides told.

Diafra Sakho scored for the first time since last November before Andre Ayew raced through to give the Hammers their opening win of the campaign.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic had called for his side to kick-start their season after the shipping of seven goals in two Premier League defeats.

And Ayew showed West Ham's intent in the early exchanges when he cut inside Jordan Cranston to send a tame shot into the side netting.

Cheltenham's threat was sporadic but, in Mohamed Eisa, the Robins possess a player capable of testing those at a higher level.

Eisa cut his football teeth at Ian Wright's former club Greenwich Borough and he produced a piece of trickery that the former England striker would have been proud of.

But Carl Winchester did not make the most of the opportunity and his effort was comfortably saved by Adrian in the Hammers goal.

West Ham were guilty of some lax marking at set-pieces, but it was a Mark Noble corner at the other end that almost led to the opener.

Angelo Ogbonna's header was cleared off the line by Kyle Storer, and just seconds later Ayew crossed and Sakho was foiled by Jonathan Flatt's sprawling save.

But five minutes before half-time Sakho turned on Noble's pass on the edge of the area and found the bottom of Flatt's net.

The lead was doubled within three minutes when Ayew broke through after a one-two with Sakho and finished in confident fashion.

James Collins headed over after the restart as West Ham carried on where they had left off but Eisa stirred the crowd into life with two efforts in a matter of seconds.

The first was blocked by Collins, the second was gratefully collected by Adrian, and Eisa then wanted a penalty when he fell under Arthur Masuaku's challenge.

Cheltenham went close to a consolation when Harry Pell's volley flashed across goal and Dan Holman came agonisingly close to adding the final touch.

But West Ham eased through to receive a morale boost ahead of their return to Premier League action.

English Carabao Cup News