Game 5: West Ham United 8.0 Macclesfield Town (League Cup) 26.09.18
I decided to attend this game as West Ham were offering discounted tickets for the visit of 92nd placed Macclesfield Town in the League Cup. Tickets were available for £15 in the lower tier and I managed to find an end of aisle seat alongside the seats in the next tier of prices. It was unusual to walk through a busy shopping centre to get to the ground but it made finding some food easy before the match. I found my seat and settled down to read a comprehensive programme. The lower tiers were fairly well occupied but there were plenty of gaps in the top tier. Macclesfield brought a few hundred supporters who had a difficult journey withe delays on the West Coast mainline.
West Ham played a good mix of experienced fringe players and young players from their academy. Macclesfield had a really good chance to score early on but Adrian pulled off a blinding close range save. Rice came on as an early substitute following an injury to Sanchez and showed why he is rated highly with a good all-round performance. West Ham finally broke down the Macclesfield resistance on 29 minutes and scored three goals before the end of the half:
29 mins – Antonio heads in from a nicely floated cross from Rice.
32 mins – Snodgrass gets a tap in as Macclesfield failed to clear the ball from the goal line
39 mins – Perez hits in a shot from a Cresswell cross
The second half saw five more goals:
51 mins – Fredericks scores the goal of the game, dribbling past two players before smashing the ball in from the edge of the area
54 mins – Ogbonna was unmarked at a corner and rose up to head the ball in
67 mins – the lively Diangana combined with Perez to receive a 1-2 in the area before shooting in
82 mins – Diangana scored his second, passing the ball low into the net past the keeper.
I was impressed with Diangana who looked dangerous when he got the ball on the wing, using his pace to beat defenders and create or score goals. For the last twenty minutes West Ham took it easy and kept possession in the midfield. There was a passage of play where Macclesfield kept possession for a minute or more, every pass being met with an ‘olé’ by their supporters. They had one good chance in the second half but the ball was hit high into the stand with just the keeper to beat. An enjoyable visit to the former Olympic Stadium, the bubble machines along the sideline and the stewards with multi-coloured boots on the touchline.
West Ham United: Adrián, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Obiang (Coventry 45), Sánchez (Rice 9), Ogbonna, Diop, Fredericks, Pérez, Antonio (Powell 61), Diangana
Subs: Fabianski, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Masuaka
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Lowe (Welch-Hayes 68), Kelleher, Grimes, Marsh, Smith (Blissett 58), Napa (Arthur 58), Maycock, Pearson, Whitaker
Subs: Simpson, Hodgkiss, Wilson, Vincenti.