West Ham United’s Carabao Cup run will be extended with a fourth round home tie against Arsenal to be played in the week beginning October 30 after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Sky Bet League One side Lincoln City on Wednesday night.
Tomáš Souček was the only player to retain his place from the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool three days earlier, as David Moyes named the majority of the team that played the UEFA Europa League match against FK TSC Bačka Topola. Maxwel Cornet, Mohammed Kudus, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Ben Johnson also started, while Edson Álvarez, Nayef Aguerd and Vladimír Coufal dropped to the bench. Joseph Anang, Divin Mubama, Kaelan Casey, Dan Chesters and Callum Marshall were also included in the matchday squad.
Connor Coventry made a return to one of his many former clubs.
The visitors started well with both and Kudus and Saïd Benrahma testing home goalkeeper Lukas Jensen in the early stages.
As the half wore on, the home side grew into the game and Paudie O’Connor was first to try his luck but fortunately for those who had made the trip, his effort didn’t even worry Łukasz Fabiański.
The visitors were given an almighty scare when Alex Mitchell put the hosts ahead but luckily, their joy was short lived, as the linesman raised his flag for offside.
The Imps were still in the ascendancy and Fabiański was still in thick of the action. However, he did well to hold onto shots from both Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Lasse Sørensen.
West Ham were still trying to break through but missed more chances before former Hammer Hakeeb Adelakun went close but the travelling contingent survived again, as he placed his attempt wide of the post.
Despite a good start from Moyes’ men, he would have had plenty to say to his team during the break but fortunately, no damage had been done when referee Josh Smith blew the half-time whistle.
Although his team were under considerable pressure during the first period, the Hammers’ boss gave the same players a chance to redeem themselves at the start of the second forty five minutes.
When the second-half got underway, Mark Kennedy’s side were still applying pressure. Sørensen and Hackett-Fairchild, along with former Manchester United and Peterborough United player Ethan Hamilton all had attempts but fortunately for Moyes and his side, neither of them were on target.
West Ham were finally started to get a foothold in the game and Kudus worked Jensen once more but he was able to deal with the swerving free-kick.
Sixty five minutes was the time for Moyes to make a double change. He replaced Fornals and Cornet with Álvarez and Mubama.
Álvarez was straight into the action, as his long-range attempt was deflected wide for a corner. The set-piece provided West Ham with joy, as Benrahma took responsibility and Souček was in the right place to beat Jensen to the delight of the 1,836 housed in the away end.
Johnson nearly added his name to the scoresheet but his effort hit the post and bounced to safety.
Minutes later, Kudus had another chance but he was again denied by Jensen.
Up the other end, Fabiański was still being tested but he managed to thwart both Jack Burroughs and substitute Dylan Duffy, who was introduced in place of Hackett-Fairchild in the seventy eighth minute.
After five minutes of stoppage time were successfully negotiated, the Irons had finally overcome the severe test posed by their opponents from Sky Bet League One.
The East Londoners are back in Stratford on Saturday afternoon for the visit of newly-promoted Sheffield United, who are looking to bounce back from the disastrous 8-0 home defeat by Newcastle United last Sunday.