Carling Cup round-up: Hammers escape exit after being forced into extra-time

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The Independent Football

West Ham United needed extra time to see off League Two strugglers Macclesfield 4-1 at Upton Park last night, but the Hammers were not the only Premier League side to come close to being dumped out of the Carling Cup by lower-league opposition.

Macclesfield, who have lost their opening three league games without scoring a goal, led for nearly 70 minutes at Upton Park after Gareth Evans' fifth-minute opener. But Lee Bowyer equalised with 74 minutes gone and the visitors' task got even harder when Izak Reid was sent off in the 90th minute for a foul on his namesake Kyel Reid.

Carlton Cole broke the minnows' resistance 10 minutes into extra time and Zavon Hines, who came on for his debut in the first half when Valon Behrami suffered a head injury, made it three (105th minute) before Reid netted his first Hammers goal three minutes from the end.

Sunderland also needed an extra half-hour before they defeated Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the City Ground.

Rob Earnshaw, with his third goal in the competition this season, put the Championship team ahead on the hour mark but Phil Bardsley levelled four minutes from time with his first goal for Sunderland and debutant David Healy grabbed the winner shortly after the start of the additional period.

It was a relief for the Sunderland manager, Roy Keane, a famous former Forest player, who was looking to end a managerial hoodoo by recording a first cup win since taking charge of the club.

Fulham avoided an embarrassing second-round Carling Cup exit at the hands of Leicester City when Danny Murphy scored an injury-time winner.

Zoltan Gera grabbed his first goal for the Cottagers after 31 minutes but the Foxes – eager for some good news following their relegation to League One – stunned their hosts at the start of the second half.

Paul Dickov equalised immediately after the break and Andy King put Leicester ahead two minutes later. It looked like that would be enough but Jimmy Bullard levelled from 25 yards seven minutes from time and Murphy let fly from the same distance two minutes into added time to earn Roy Hodgson's side an unlikely 3-2 victory.

Carlos Villanueva put in an impressive debut as Blackburn Rovers cruised into the third round with a 4-1 victory over Grimsby.