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).

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor