Carling Cup
West Ham United 1-2 Aldershot Town 

Wednesday, 24th August 2011
by Staff Writer

West Ham United are out of the Carling Cup after being embarrassed at home by League Two side Aldershot Town.

Town - who went into the game with just a single win to their name this season - stunned the home crowd by scoring twice late on to win a game in which West Ham had taken an early lead through Junior Stanislas.

However the Hammers were hamstrung by having to play virtually the entire second half with only ten men after debutant Callum McNaughton was given a straight red for a professional foul just two minutes into the second half.

That, combined with some odd tactical decisions by Sam Allardyce was to prove the undoing of West Ham - last season's semi-finalists in the competition - who have now conceded a last minute goal in each of their three home games this season; none of which they have won.

Sam Allarydyce, as expected, rang the changes for this one with just two players from Sunday's 2-2 draw with Leeds - captain Kevin Nolan and Herita Ilunga - starting. John Carew and George McCartney came in for their first starts for the club as did young centre half McNaughton.

Another replacement, Junior Stanislas, one of several fringe players to feature tonight gave United an almost perfect start when he scored a beauty on the quarter hour mark. Having been gifted the ball by an errant clearance from Ben Hurd, Stanislas sent a curling 25-yard effort beyond 'keeper Jamie Young.

At that moment the visitors - managed by Hammers fan Dean Holdsworth - must have feared the worst. However those fears proved to be unfounded as West Ham simply took their foot off the gas and barely threatened Town's goal thereafter.

After McNaughton received his marching orders just two minutes into the second half for bringing down Danny Hylton as he homed in on goal it was backs to the wall for an increasingly desperate West Ham.

And so it was no surprise when the equaliser finally arrived with 13 minutes of normal time remaining. Alex Rodman's shot was palmed away by stand-in goalkeeper Ruud Boffin but turned home at the far post by a delighted Luke Guttridge.

Sensing blood, the League Two side - whose record going into tonight's game read played four, won one, lost three - pushed on for a winner, and it duly arrived with 89 minutes on the clock.

Herita Ilunga, who was culpable for errors that led to goals against Cardiff and Leeds at the weekend was left for dead by substitute Jermaine McGlashan. His cross fell to Hylton, who fired across the face of Boffin into the far corner to win the game for the visitors.

Five minutes of added-on time produced one big chance for West Ham but sub Matt Taylor couldn't direct his shot on target - and that was that for the Hammers, who received a deafening chorus of boos at the final whistle from an angry home crowd.

It's been some considerable time since West Ham were put to the sword by a lower league side in the Cup. Indeed, Sam Allardyce may feel like he has finally arrived having now gone through that which almost every West Ham manager has had to face at some point - a cruel, humiliating Cup exit to a team of minnows.

However what was even more demoralising tonight was the sheer lack of effort exhibited by the players, many of whom appeared to be simply going through the motions - and none more so than captain Nolan, whose demeanour gave the impression that a game like this was below him.

So it's Aldershot who go forward to face Carlisle in the next round of the tournament. For Sam Allardyce's demoralised troops, it's off to Nottingham where they face Forest in the Championship this weekend.

Things, can only get better?

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Player Ratings

Ruud Boffin
Made one or two decent saves but perhaps could have done better with the goal that won the game.

Julien Faubert
He's not a right back, we know that by now but he was one of the few to give his all despite making very little impression on the game.

George McCartney
Obviously lacking in match fitness, McCartney struggled at times first at left back and then as an emergency centre-half once Callum McNaughton has received his marching orders.

Callum McNaughton
The youngster was having a respectable debut before making the rash decision that saw him receive a red card.

Winston Reid
The young New Zealander didn't do an awful lot wrong but appared far less confident without James Tomkins alongside him. Man of the match by default really.

Kevin Nolan
Uninterested, not at the races.

Junior Stanislas
A nice goal but virtually anonymous thereafter - unsurprisingly given that he was played in the centre of midfield.

Freddie Sears
Very little impact and no end product whatsoever. One mazy run into the box late on looked interesting but as with much of Fred's play, it fizzled out into nothing.

Pablo Barrera
We keep hearing what great potential the Mexican winger has but if he's yet to show any of it for West Ham, I must have blinked.

Frederic Piquionne
A complete waste of space. It's hard to recall one promising pass or tackle he made all night.

John Carew
Evidently not fit but produced little to show that he might be a major threat for the Hammers this season.


Herita Ilunga
(Replaced Carew, 50) Enough is enough. He is a liability and has played a part in each of the three last-minute goals we've conceded this season.

Matt Taylor
(Replaced Barrera, 53) Barring an excellent debut much of what Taylor has produced since has been ordinary. Tonight was no different as he failed to make an impact.

Frank Nouble
(Replaced Piquionne, 69) Little end product and not a single shot on goal but at least he looked up for it, unlike several of his team mates.

Sam Cowler
Did not play.

Mark Noble
Did not play.

Robert Hall
Did not play.

George Moncur
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Ruud Boffin, Julien Faubert, George McCartney, Callum McNaughton, Winston Reid, Kevin Nolan, Junior Stanislas, Freddie Sears, Pablo Barrera, Frederic Piquionne, John Carew.

Goals: Junior Stanislas 16                  .

Booked: None.

Sent Off: Callum McNaughton 47    .

Aldershot Town: Jamie Young, Ben Herd, Darren Jones, Aaron Morris, Anthony Straker, Peter Vincenti, Jamie Collins, Luke Guttridge, Danny Hylton, Jake Taylor, Alex Rodman.

Subs not used: Ross Worner, Aaron Brown, Bradley Bubb, Graeme Montgomery.

Goals: Luke Guttridge (78), Danny Hylton (89).

Booked: Ben Herd (67).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Graham Scott.

Attendance: 19,879.

Man of the Match: Winston Reid.