|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Jack Wilshere kickstarts West Ham’s Carabao Cup victory over Newport
Stuart James at Rodney Parade
Date Published Tue 27 Aug 2019 21.51 BST
It has been a long time coming but the wait is finally over for Jack Wilshere, who opened his West Ham United account in the rather inauspicious surroundings of Rodney Parade and in the process scored his first goal in 19 months. The last, for the record, came for Arsenal against Chelsea, when the stakes were a little higher.
At least it was a step in the right direction for Wilshere, whose West Ham career has never really got going since he joined the club last summer. He lasted 81 minutes here, by which time West Ham were two goals to the good courtesy of a tap-in from Pablo Fornals, a £25m summer signing from Villarreal, midway through the second half.
While it was hard to see a way back for Newport County at that point, Michael Flynn’s players deserve credit for the way they continued to threaten. Kyle Howkins, who was at fault for the first goal, twice came close to pulling a goal back with headers and Josh Sheehan thumped a late shot against the crossbar.
Ultimately, though, West Ham’s class told on a night when Felipe Anderson had to be summoned from the bench with only eight minutes on the clock after Michail Antonio, sprinting clear of the Newport defence, pulled up with a hamstring injury. Anderson would go on to set up West Ham’s second goal at a stage of the game when the Premier League club had started to take control.
“Happy for the result, happy not to concede goals and happy with the performance, especially the last 45 minutes of the game, I think that we dominated,” Manuel Pellegrini, the West Ham manager, said. “The first 45 minutes was more equal because we knew before that Newport are a difficult team here, with such a direct style, with so many crosses, but I think that we played a good game.”
Newport’s reputation precedes them these days. They have become well known for their giantkilling exploits, after knocking Leeds, Leicester and Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup across the previous two seasons, and the home supporters had arrived hoping for another scalp. Maybe it could have happened again had Padraig Amond not shot straight at Roberto, the West Ham goalkeeper, in the 24th minute.
It was an excellent chance and came about after Tristan Abrahams, who was a lively presence up front for Newport, robbed Issa Diop of the ball. Diop, who was the only survivor from the West Ham team that won at Watford on Saturday endured another anxious moment shortly after the half-hour mark, when he nearly turned a cross from Corey Whitely into his own net.
In the end, though, it was a bad mistake at the other end of the pitch that led to the breakthrough. Howkins, the Newport centre-half, got the ball stuck between his feet after he cut out Wilshere’s attempt to find Albian Ajeti, who made his West Ham debut up front. Wilshere pounced on the loose ball before calmly slotting a low left-footed shot beyond Nick Townsend.
Fornals, who had earlier hit the upright, then squandered an opportunity to double West Ham’s lead on the stroke of half-time when Townsend raced from his line to smother at his feet. The midfielder’s reward would come, though, when Anderson’s pass ran through for him to convert his first goal for West Ham with the minimum of fuss.
Flynn sounded a little frustrated afterwards. “I thought they were very good but you can’t make those mistakes like we did,” the Newport manager said. “They’re good enough anyway; they don’t need any help.”
Dail Mail: MATCH FACTS
Newport County: Townsend; McNamara, Howkins, O’Brien (c), Haynes; Dolan (Bennett 64), Willmott (Collins 81); Whitely (Maloney 64), Sheehan; Amond, Abrahams
Substitutes not used: King (GK); Leadbitter, Ekpiteta, Inniss
Manager: Michael Flynn
West Ham United: Roberto; Zabaleta (c), Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Sanchez, Wilshere (Coventry 82), Fornals; Antonio (Anderson 8), Ajeti
Substitutes not used: Fabianski (GK); Johnson, Ogbonna, Rice, Haller
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Scorers: Wilshere 43; Fornals 65
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 6,382 (1,039 away)