Macclesfield Town’s Carabao Cup campaign ended under the bright London lights after Premier League side West Ham United were just too good for Mark Yates’ Silkmen.
There are 74 teams separating Macc from the Irons in the football pyramid, and first half goals from Michael Antonio, Robert Snodgrass and Lucas Pérez put the game beyond doubt at the interval. This was despite some impressive defensive heroics from Kieran O’Hara and Danny Whitaker.
Ryan Frederick, Angelo Ogbonna and another finish from Snodgrass doubled the Hammers’ advantage before an hour had passed. Debutant Grady Diangana then netted twice to make it eight.
Despite the hosts dominating the early proceedings and racking up their corner count, Macc were holding their own, with all the noise in the London Stadium coming from the away end as the Silkmen looked for a chance on the break.
After winning a throw-in deep inside the Hammers’ half, the visitors came closest to opening the scoring, as Pearson’s delivery was flicked into the path of Harry Smith, who’s goal-bound effort was spectacularly clawed away by the wrong-footed Adrián.
Macc then had Whitaker to thank for keeping the scores level, making a goal-line clearance from Declan Rice’s header. However, the early Hammers substitute had the last say, chipping to Antonio who nodded past O’Hara from six yards.
It was two for the hosts three minutes later, Robert Snodgrass poaching into a largely open net after James Pearson did his best to mop up an effort from Diangana that was trickling over the line.
O’Hara then made a fine save with his foot to deny Ogbonna West Ham’s third, a goal which eventually came from Lucas Pérez in the 40th minute, who slotted home Aaron Cresswell’s cross from the left. It was a finish that would have left any shot stopper stranded.
Whitaker then made his second goal-line clearance of the night, this time denying Ogbonna from another Manuel Pellegrini corner routine and displaying his experience across the entire pitch.
Half-time: West Ham United 3-0 Macclesfield Town
The Hammers continued where they left off, Fredericks working himself some room on the right before drilling across O’Hara’s goal into the top far corner.
The Silkmen then caught the Hammers sleeping in the 53rd minute, as a rapid break fell to Harry Smith in the penalty area. The target-man then knocked the ball back to Whitaker, who could only fire straight at the gloves of Adrián.
However, from the next passage of play, the Hammers won a corner which Ogbonna nodded into the net from eight yards out. Even Whitaker couldn’t stop that one.
Snodgrass then slid into the penalty area to side-foot home his second of the day on the hour mark, after a piercing run by Fredericks down the right flank to tee him up, six minutes before Diangana finished a neat one-two on the edge of the area in the 67th minute.
It was Whitaker who created a consolation chance for Macc, cleverly back-heeling to David Fitzpatrick who burst through the West Ham set-up.
After a one-two from Nathan Blissett, Fitzpatrick found himself bearing down on goal, but the full-back’s shot only found the away end behind Adrián’s net.
Just as Macc seemed to settle, West Ham had their eighth, substitute Joel Powell rolling the ball to Diangana who tucked away his second.
Attendance: 24, 833
West Ham United: Adrián, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Obiang (Coventry 45’), Sánchez (Rice 9’), Ogbonna, Diop, Fredericks, Pérez, Antonio (Powell 61’), Diangana.
Unused subs: Fabianski, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Masuaka.
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Fitzpatrick, Lowe (Welch-Hayes 68’), Kelleher, Grimes, Marsh, Smith (Blissett 58’), Napa (Arthur 58’), Maycock, Pearson, Whitaker.
Unused subs: Simpson, Hodgkiss, Wilson, Vincenti.
By Matt Bates