Carling Cup
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 West Ham United 

Tuesday, 22nd September 2009
by Hammer John

Are we going to use the word ‘unlucky’ when we reminisce about our season? Having now been edged out of the Carling Cup in the third round by Bolton after extra-time.

In a blistering first half both sides had chances with perhaps the best of our efforts coming from Diamanti, Hines and Kovac. Although dominating we could not find a way past Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.

The Second half as expected saw Bolton start with a flourish, Davis and Taylor continuing to link up well. On the hour mark came the breakthrough.... GOAL! Ilunga slots home on the far post from Diamanti?EUR(TM)s corner.

We have the lead at last and we feel that there must be more to come...

Again Bolton went on the attack in search of an equaliser, but strong defending from James Tomkins and the ever resolute Rob Green saw their efforts come to nothing. Both Taylor and Davis come close before Zola makes his first switch of the night, Manuel De Costa making his West Ham debut is replaced by N?EUR(TM)Gala.

A Further effort from Diamanti misses the target; Zola is going for the win ...

Enter Carlton Cole for Kieron Dyer... 15 minutes left.

Bolton pile on the pressure winning corner after corner, but Rob Green has the measure of them. Then on 86 minutes disaster... yet another corner (at this stage I have lost count of how many they have had) but its bound to happen .. Taylor and Davis again!

Immediately we counter, Cole's shot is parried and Noble's follow-up causes Jaaskelainen little anguish. We are looking at extra time, Hines is off and on comes our new hero Julien Faubert.

The final whistle sounds - 1-1 - and Howard Webb presides over a further 30 minutes in this draining encounter for players and fans alike.

From the start Bolton have their tails up, they sense victory, and just minutes in Taylor should have given them the lead. No need to worry though, in the 6th minute of extra time from yet another corner, which we fail to clear Gary Cahill pops up on the edge of the area to strike his shot past Green. 2-1 to the home side and we look dejected.

In the second period of extra time, to be fair its all Bolton in the opening salvo. The Hammers support urge on players as Alessandro Diamanti goes close once again; what a player this guy is.

We huff and puff but it?EUR(TM)s just not our night. Just two minutes from time with West ham desperately searching for the equaliser, Johan Elmander finishes us off with Bolton?EUR(TM)s third as he slides in to convert Chung-Yong Lee's low cross.

For the neutrals it was a cracking game, however it showed just how much we depend on the strength of Upson. We played well, very well at times - but we conceded far too many silly corner kicks and frees.

(below player ratings by Kendal Iron)

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Player Ratings

Robert Green
His usual, reliable self.

Jonathan Spector
Steady game, nothing special.

Herita Ilunga
Always available as an outlet, but not his best game.

James Tomkins
A decent game.

Manuel Da Costa
Looks promising, coped well with Davies apart from one howler.

Scott Parker
Ok, but played well within himself.

Mark Noble
As above, always available, worked hard - but I lost count of how many times he gave the ball away.

Radoslav Kovac
Gave the ball away and got caught in possession too often.

Kieron Dyer
Started well, but faded.

Alessandro Diamanti
Blimey, where do you start? He can look classy one minute and an idiot the next - 'are you DDM in disguise?'

Zavon Hines
Full of running but outmuscled by the giant Bolton defence.


Bondz N'Gala
(Replaced Da Costa, 63 mins) A little shaky on his first team debut but did ok.

Carlton Cole
(Replaced Dyer, 75 mins) Made a real diference when he came on, looked a threat.

Julien Faubert
(Replaced Hines, 88 mins) Worked hard, but put in some awful crosses.

Peter Kurucz
Did not play.

Josh Payne
Did not play.

Anthony Edgar
Did not play.

Frank Nouble
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Jonathan Spector, Herita Ilunga, James Tomkins, Manuel Da Costa, Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Radoslav Kovac, Kieron Dyer, Alessandro Diamanti, Zavon Hines.

Goals: Herita Ilunga 59                  .

Booked: Scott Parker 94          .

Sent off: None.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Samuel, Taylor, Muamba, McCann, Gardner, K.Davies, Klasnic.

Subs not used: Al Habsi, Steinsson, A.O'Brien, Davies.

Goals: Davies (85), Cahill (96), Elmander (119).

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Howard Webb.

Attendance: 8,050.

Man of the Match: Robert Green.