Carling Cup
West Ham United 3 Notts County 2

Tuesday, 21st September 2004
by Richard Osborne

We got off to a dream start with a goal inside 20 seconds. Harewood made a nice lay-off to Rebrov, Sergei then performed a bit of trickery, fired in a shot, keeper spills and Z-man picked up the pieces.

It was then that the opposition noticed that we had no defence. Repka, who has added tackling and heading to his traits of disabilities which surpass crossing and passing now showed his true class, diabolical. Mullins is taking leaves out of Repka's book and gets worse with every game and touch played. Malky wasn't bad but he can't do it all himself. Brevett was, well, Brevett -not much wrong and not too impressive either.

We come to our midfield where we played a man in the hole, effectively a three man unit with Sergei in attacking attendance. Ethers huffed and puffed but again didn't do too much. To be fair unless he picked the ball up himself, the passes from the defence were hospital balls ie. never quite making it. Lomas was utterly
awful. Not a single challenge of note, gave the ball away with every so called pass; I was stunned he remained on the pitch. Reo came through with dignity, nice challenges, runs etc - good to see him at least trying.

So it comes to the strike force. Sergei played in front of the midfield and behind the front two and what a game he had; pure class. Picked up the ball, ran with it, laid off gorgeous passes, always a threat. Marlon did everything right except score again! Zamora was excellent. Full of running, full of shots, hungry and his goal in the first 20 seconds was a poachers effort, very nice.

Sergei, Marlon and Z-man played very large parts in all our goals. The sweetest was the second with Rebrov picking up the ball mid way into their half, going
past an opponent, great ball into the feet of Marlon, who with his back to the goal laid it into the path of the oncoming Z-man to spank it into the bottom left hand corner.

If we had a defence last night it would have been a dream of a game, but we didn't. And with Lomas also providing no cover, we were always susceptible to their attacks. Walker seems to be showing signs of rot in goal; not the commanding figure we saw there a few months ago, unsurprisingly. A duff clearance nearly set them up with a goal too; come on Wacka!

One to watch was their right back that scored their first goal - a young chap called Kelvin Wilson. Tall, strong, exceptionally quick and seemed to have two good feet. He made one bad clearance all night which was a scuffed pass towards the end. Other than that he was excellent. Pipe and Scully were also impressive for them, but not in the same league as Wilson. I would go as far as to say that we could do a lot worse than Wilson at the moment.

So onto the player's scores on the doors....

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Player Ratings

Jimmy Walker
Don't let him rot, Pards.

Tomas Repka
Why he got the applause when he came off astonished me. Can't pass, can't cross and has now added tackling and heading to that portfolio.

Rufus Brevett
Feel free to join in some time, Rufus. To be fair he did get forward on occasion.

Malky Mackay
We would have lost were it left to the other defenders. Malky looks a class act but can't do it alone.

Hayden Mullins
Continues his exceptionally poor form this season.

Steve Lomas
The general lost his battle today.

Nigel Reo-Coker
Nothing too much awe inspiring, solid enough.

Sergei Rebrov
A simply stunning performance, topped with a flukey goal.

Matthew Etherington
The odd nice run, was nice to see him inside now and again.

Bobby Zamora
Sharper than a jab in the eye with a slice of lemon. He will get us goals. Would have been an 8 if the penalty wasn't fluffed.

Marlon Harewood
Please score Marlon, please please please. The rest is great.


Andy Melville
(Replaced Repka, 70) No comments.

Chris Cohen
(Replaced Etherington, 89) No comments.

Stephen Bywater
Did not play.

Trent McClenahan
Did not play.

Moses Ashikodi
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Jimmy Walker, Tomas Repka, Rufus Brevett, Malky Mackay, Hayden Mullins, Steve Lomas, Nigel Reo-Coker, Sergei Rebrov, Matthew Etherington, Bobby Zamora, Marlon Harewood.

Goals: Bobby Zamora 1 Bobby Zamora 54 Sergei Rebrov 62              .

Booked: None booked.           .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Notts County: Deeney, Wilson, Whitlow, Edwards, Richardson, Ullathorne, Bolland, Gill, Pipe, Scully, Hurst.

Subs not used: Mildenhall, Robinson, Harrad.

Goals: Wilson (13), Richardson (57).

Booked: Richardson (24).

Sent off: None.

Referee: I.Williamson.

Attendance: 11,111.

Man of the Match: Sergei Rebrov.