Modibo Maiga opens his West Ham account for Sam Allardyce's B side

West Ham United 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

Upton Park

If the Capital One Cup is just a reserve competition with a Wembley final, Sam Allardyce made perfect use of it last night. His array of imports, fringe players and youngsters enjoyed 90 improving minutes against Crewe Alexandra, which will help in West Ham United's bid to stay in the Premier League. They even won this second-round game 2-0, with Nicky Maynard and Mobido Maiga asserting their case for selection with two good goals.

The changes were no surprise. Only Kevin Nolan remained of the side that was so badly outplayed at Swansea City on Saturday. The other 10 were all different, and if Allardyce said he was keen to progress, his youthful bench, no real insurance policy, did not suggest as much.

But the object of the evening was experience, and the win was a bonus. West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald confirmed afterwards the order of priorities. "It's been a perfect night," he said. "Two goals, a clean sheet, we're through into the hat for the next round. And, more importantly, players who needed games have had a fantastic work-out."

"They have put in a performance that will be quite rightly knocking on the manager's door to say 'I'm available and ready'."

Three forwards who started the Swansea game on the bench combined to put West Ham ahead. After a slow start, Ricardo Vaz Te was starting to take responsibility, drifting into the middle. He took the ball in midfield and played it to Modibo Maiga and broke down the right. Vaz Te received the return chip and clipped in a cross which Nicky Maynard volleyed in at the near post.

Crewe, in fact, had started the first half playing the more cohesive football, creating the first real chance for AJ Leitch-Smith. They did well again after the break, claiming for a penalty when Clayton collided with Alou Diarra.

But experience and class will eventually tell, and West Ham soon scored the sealing second. Nolan was released through the inside-left channel, and his powerful shot was too much for Alan Martin in goal. The ball rolled out to Maiga, who scored his first for his new club.

With the win assured, there was time to test the next crop of youngsters. "It was a perfect opportunity to give them a bit of a go," said McDonald. Matthias Fanimo came on at left-back and created a good chance for Maiga with his first touch. Rob Hall was lively on the right wing, nearly making it 3-0 in the final minutes. "When they came on they acquitted themselves very well."

West Ham United (4-1-4-1) Henderson; Spence, O'Brien, Potts, Taylor (Fanimo, 60); Diame; Maynard, O'Neil, Nolan (Moncur, 83), Vaz Te (Hall, 73); Maiga. Substitutes not used Spiegel, Demel, Driver, McCallum,

Crewe Alexandra (4-2-3-1) Main; Mellor, Davis, Ellis (Dugdale, 73), Robertson; Murphy, Westwood; Moore, Leitch-Smith (Turton, 80), Bunn (Osman, 62); Clayton. Substitutes not used Garratt, Guthrie, Ray, Daniels,

Referee F Graham (Essex).

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture