Aug 23, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Whaddon Road
Attendance: 6,259
CheltenhamCheltenham Town
West HamWest Ham United
FT(HT: 0-2)
Sakho (40'), Ayew (43')

Live Commentary: Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham United - as it happened

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic on the touchline during his side's Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of West Ham United's 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town in the EFL Cup second round.

West Ham United have booked their place in the EFL Cup third round with a comfortable 2-0 win at Cheltenham Town.

The Hammers have suffered back-to-back defeats in the Premier League, but goals from Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew ensured that it was an easy night for the East Londoners.

Cheltenham had their moments in front of their own supporters, but the League Two outfit were ultimately outclassed by their more illustrious opponents.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at Whaddon Road.

6.46pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the EFL Cup second round between Cheltenham Town and West Ham United.

6.49pmWhen you have overseen successive defeats in the league, the last thing you want is a trip in the cup to a team three divisions below you, but that's exactly what Slaven Bilic and West Ham United have in front of them tonight. Of course, on paper, they are the clear favourites to prevail at Whaddon Road, but Bilic will be perfectly aware that his players need to perform against the League Two outfit or he will find himself under increasing pressure at the Hammers.

6.53pmFrom Cheltenham's perspective, it is all about trying to put in a positive performance and if the result comes with it, so be it. Their only league success has come against winless Crawley Town, while they were convincingly beaten 3-0 at Carlisle United at the weekend. Manager Gary Johnson will stress that the pressure is off his players but in-house, he knows that he needs a display from his team.

6.54pmAnyway, it is time for some team news. Both starting lineups are coming right up, beginning with the home side.

6.57pmCHELTENHAM TOWN XI Flatt, Grimes, Cranston, Storer, Atangana, Pell, Wright, Winchester, Boyle, Elsa, Foster

6.59pmCHELTENHAM TOWN SUBSTITUTES: Lovett, Dawson, Holman, O'Shaugnessy, Bower, Thomas, Graham

7.00pmWEST HAM UNITED XI: Adrian, Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble, Rice, Obiang, Fernandes, Ayew, Sakho

7.01pmWEST HAM UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Hart, Fonte, Cresswell, Kouyate, Quina, Haksabanovic, Hernandez

7.04pmLet's start with Cheltenham because that is the easy one. Johnson has decided to name an unchanged starting lineup, so he has given his players the chance to make up for their poor showing up north. Kevin Dawson has to make do with a place on the bench after recovering from injury.

7.09pmAs for West Ham, Bilic has rang the changes but not to the extent that I was perhaps expecting. That said, his hand is forced with the suspension of Marko Arnautovic and the need to rest Michail Antonio. Pablo Zabaleta is also rested. Coming into the team are the likes of Adrian, Sam Byram and Diafra Sakho, while Declan Rice gets another chance to try to impress his manager.

7.13pmHEAD TO HEAD! Tonight's fixture represents just the second meeting between the two clubs, with their previous clash taking place in this competition at Upton Park in 2013. On that occasion, Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison got on the scoresheet as the Hammers ran out 2-1 victors. Let's hope for a match of similar competitive nature tonight.

7.17pmWest Ham have a relatively good record in this competition. Since 2007, they have reached both the quarter-finals and semi-finals on two occasions, but they have not progressed through to the final since 1981, when they lost out to Liverpool in a replay. Their league form comes first, but Bilic will see this as a competition he could potentially use to rotate his players as well as making a bid for a Europa League spot.

7.21pmCheltenham have no such ambitions but if they emerge victorious tonight, the Gloucestershire-based team will reach the third round for the first time in their history. They have only ever won five games in this competition since gaining promotion to the Football League back in 1999.

7.25pmOf course, Cheltenham are back in this tournament after a year's absence due to their relegation to the National League in 2015. They achieved over 100 points in winning the title last season and now they have the opportunity to try to re-establish themselves at the fourth tier. During their previous period in the league, results were generally poor for a couple of campaigns, so they now need to find a way to stay clear of the drop zone.

7.29pmGoing back to West Ham, I'm sure fans will be interested to see how Diafra Sakho fares this evening. There's no doubting the Senegalese player's quality but he has spent too much time on the sidelines through injury. The 27-year-old has netted 20 goals in 56 appearances during his three-year stay, but he has not scored since November 27. That said, he did only play four times last season.

7.32pmThere is also a rare outing for Adrian. The goalkeeper has found himself playing second fiddle to Darren Randolph and Joe Hart without having really done a lot wrong. However, with Man City loanee not particularly producing his best form of late, this is a chance for the Spaniard to remain his manager what he can do.

7.37pmPREDICTION! Bilic has selected a strong squad this evening so it is difficult to look past the Hammers. Cheltenham's players will relish the occasion to play in front of a big crowd and the television cameras but if the likes of Andre Ayew and Sakho are firing on all cylinders, it could be a long evening for the hosts. West Ham to win 4-1.

7.43pmThe two teams are making their way out to a boisterous Whaddon Road. It's often that the Cheltenham fans get to see Premier League clubs at their small ground and they are intent on making the most of it.

1 minCheltenham get us underway.

4 minIt has been a solid start from Cheltenham, but Obiang almost headed the visitors in front within 60 seconds or so, with a defender getting back to get in front of him from around eight yards out.

6 minWest Ham look very sharp down both flanks. You already get the impression that this could be a long night for the home side. It was Byram who caused trouble down the right on this occasion, but Cheltenham just did enough to clear the danger.

10 minBilic will be delighted with this start from West Ham. There's obviously a gulf in class, but the Hammers haven't began this game like a team who are low in confidence. They are making every effort to force Cheltenham onto the back foot and while there have been no clear openings, the Premier League team are dominating.

13 minSHOT! It was about time that West Ham get a shot on goal but I don't think this was the moment. Ayew ran down the right before cutting back onto his left foot. He tried to find the near bottom corner, but he pulled his effort wide.

14 minCHANCE! Big chance for Cheltenham. After all that pressure, Eisa nutmegged a West Ham player before Winchester picked up the ball, but he attempted curler towards the far post went straight at Adrian.

18 minThis match is warming up nicely now. One goal for West Ham could change that because they have been the better side, but cracks are starting to appear in their defence and Cheltenham are beginning to settle down.

22 minSlowly but surely, West Ham are finding themselves on the back foot. Sakho is being isolated on the halfway and Cheltenham are throwing men forward. They are yet to create another chance but this is a rocky spell for the Premier League team.

26 minThis match may be a quiet affair but the same cannot be said of Liverpool versus Hoffenheim in the Champions League. Liverpool are already 3-0 up! Click here to keep up-to-date on that game.

It's still as you were at Whaddon Road.

27 minCHANCE! This can't really be regarded as a chance but Boyle sends a header over the crossbar after meeting a corner. The ball was just that little bit too high for him.

29 minCHANCES! How haven't West Ham scored?! First of all, Obiang met a corner with his header but it was prevented from finding the corner by Storer on the line. Shortly after that, Sakho met a low cross from close range but Flatt made an excellent block.

31 minIt's all West Ham now. The penalty area is packed with Cheltenham players as they look to try to keep things on level terms until at least the break.

35 minWe have reverted back to the pattern of play from the start of the game - all West Ham with plenty of passes but no shots on goal. Cheltenham will be perfectly content with this. They are frustrating their more illustrious opponents.

40 minGOAL! Cheltenham Town 0-1 West Ham United (Sakho)

40 minThere's the breakthrough for West Ham and it's a first goal for Sakho in nine months. Noble played a sharp pass through the defence and into the forward, who turned before scuffing a shot past Flatt and into the far corner.

43 minGOAL! Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham (Ayew)

43 minJust like that and West Ham are two goals to the good. A neat pass from Sakho plays in Ayew and the winger does the rest with a cool finish into the bottom corner. Flatt got his angles all wrong and Grimes should have done much better in trying to prevent the ball from finding the net.

45 minThere will be one minute of added-on time.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham United

8.33pmThe half-time whistle goes at Whaddon Road and West Ham are surely on the brink of a place in the third round of the EFL Cup. Cheltenham have had their moments but goals from Sakho and Ayew have put the Hammers in control.

8.46pmCheltenham are making a change at half time, with Kevin Dawson coming on for his debut. Boyle is the player to go off.

46 minWest Ham get us back underway.

49 minDespite that change, it is all West Ham at the start of the second half. If they net one more goal, this tie is over as a contest. I'm sure Bilic has eyes on trying to introduce Quina and Haksabanovic at some stage.

52 minThere are signs that West Ham are getting too confident in and around the penalty area. On a couple of occasions, the opportunity has been there to get a shot away but instead, they have taken the more elaborate approach. Bilc won't be happy.

55 minThere is still plenty of time to go in this match, but I don't think that Cheltenham have got the belief to score two goals against this West Ham side. They are huffing and puffing at times but the end product is poor.

56 minCHANCE! Nearly a third for West Ham. A corner finds the head of Collins but despite rising highest, the Welshman directed his effort marginally over the crossbar.

60 minCHANCES! Much better from Cheltenham. Firstly, a double block from Byram and Collins prevents Eisa from scoring from close range, before the Sudan attacker fired straight at Adrian from a bit further out.

62 minHave West Ham got away with one here? Eisa makes a mug of Masuaku and he appears to push the forward over just inside the penalty area. Bit let off for the Hammers.

64 minSUBSTITUTIONS! A change for either side sees Javier Hernandez replace Sakho for West Ham and Brain Graham come on for Wright for Cheltenham.

67 minAs the second progresses and Cheltenham remain two goals down, spaces are only going to open up for West Ham and they almost take full advantage. Fernandes does well down the left but his low cross, intended for Hernandez, is diverted behind for a corner.

71 minCHANCE! This is very nearly a stunning goal from Ayew. He tried to find the far corner from an acute angle, but his shot just went wide.

71 minSUBSTITUTION! The third and final alteration for Cheltenham sees Daniel Holman replace Eisa.

73 minSUBSTITUTION! A second switch for West Ham results in Bilic throwing on Cheikhou Kouyate for Noble.

75 minCHANCE! This is as close as Cheltenham have come all night. The ball drops for Pell at the back post, but his volley back across the penalty area evades the far post by inches.

80 minJust the 10 minutes to go at Whaddon Road and it feels like this game is starting to peter out. There's still plenty of urgency from Cheltenham, but credit has to go to West Ham for controlling the game in the manner they have done.

83 minCHANCE! I have no idea how this has stayed out. Byram's low cross causes havoc in the penalty area, but Forster somehow kept the ball out of the net from about two yards out.

87 minWest Ha are ending this game strongly. I'm not so sure they will net a third, but they are playing Cheltenham out of the match. Pell has just been named as the home side's man of the match, which is a bit harsh on Eisa.

88 minCHANCE! Nearly a goal for Cheltenham! Forster gets his head to a corner but the ball goes just over from about eight yards.

88 minSUBSTITUTION! A final switch for West Ham sees Domingos Quina come on for Fernandes, who has been excellent.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added-on time.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Cheltenham Town 0-2 West Ham United

9.39pmThe full-time whistle goes at Whaddon Road and West Ham have sealed their place in the third round of the EFL Cup in rather comfortable fashion. They were clear favourites to progress, but this at least represents a result which gets their campaign up and running.

9.39pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye for now.

Andre Ayew celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between West Ham United and Leicester City on March 18, 2017
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