Bellamy sees Hammers through
Hammers win overshadowed by Dyer injury
Last Updated: 28/08/07 11:42pm
Bellamy: First Hammers goals
Craig Bellamy's first two goals for West Ham were enough to give Alan Curbishley's side a 2-1 Carling Cup victory over Bristol Rovers.
Bellamy struck twice in the first half, including a stunning 30-yard shot to open his account, as the Premiership club capitalised on their first half dominance.
Rovers fought back after the break and hit back through Andy Williams, but they were unable to force an equaliser.
However, the match was marred by a serious injury to West Ham and England midfielder Kieron Dyer.
Dyer is believed to have broken both the tibia and fibula in his right leg after being caught by Rovers midfielder Joe Jacobson after catching his studs in the turf.
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley had earmarked this game for a first start since the 2006 FA Cup final for Dean Ashton, who is still striving for full fitness after suffering a broken ankle on England duty a year ago.
But the striker's partner Gemma, who is expecting their first child, went into
labour and his manager was forced into a rethink.
That meant the Hammers stuck with the previously unproductive partnership of
Bellamy and Bobby Zamora, who both had spells at Rovers as teenagers, and the latter sent an early header over from a good position.
However, Bellamy made sure there was to be no repeat of last season's Carling Cup exit at a League One ground, when Chesterfield had beaten a West Ham side then still picked by Alan Pardew.
His two strikes before the break were his first since his £7.5million summer
switch from Liverpool. The first was made possible by Hayden Mullins, who won the ball in midfield, but the Welshman was still some 30 yards away from the Rovers goal when he decided to let fly and his low drive eluded Steve Phillips' dive to his right to nestle in the corner.
A trademark turn of speed conjured up the second in stoppage time after Lucas Neill had powered a long ball over an otherwise resilient Rovers back-line.
Goalkeeper Phillips had dithered coming off his line and regretted it as soon
as Bellamy slotted past him with ease.
The home side's 14-match unbeaten run, that had seen them promoted via last
season's play-offs and Crystal Palace removed from the first round of this
competition, was coming to an end but they refused to go down without a fight.
Rickie Lambert was denied by Wright's alertness 10 minutes into the second
period, with the former Everton reserve showing great agility in the 53rd minute to keep out the striker's header after Jacobson had again caused problems on the left.
Lambert and Walker combined again to put the visitors under pressure and twice Ferdinand had to mop up in the box before Curbishley made a change by taking George McCartney off in favour of James Collins just after the hour mark.
Rovers made a trio of substitutions in the next 10 minutes and it was Lambert's replacement, Andrew Williams, who ensured there would be a rousing end to this tie with a fine solo goal in the 72nd minute.
The substitute slipped past Anton Ferdinand with a neat turn in the box and
crashed the ball past Wright.
Collins thought he had wrapped it up for the Hammers when his header bounced down off the crossbar via a superb Phillips save, but the ball clearly did not cross the line.
Rovers piled men forward, including goalkeeper Phillips, as the minutes ticked
away but the Hammers' re-jigged back-line held out.
|Bristol Rovers||Team Statistics||West Ham United|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|4||Shots off Target||8|
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