West Ham 2 Barnsley 0
Avram made wholesale changes for this game. Only Noble, Tomkins, Green and Piquionne managed to retain their places as Grant took the opportunity to rest players.
Despite the unfamiliar line-up West Ham settled down well. Noble soon began to pull the strings in midfield and West Ham took the game to Barnsley.
In the 25th minute Barrera had a great opportunity to grab the lead but missed with his head from close range when it looked easier to score. Just as West Ham might have begun to worry that they hadn't taken advantage of all their possession cup hero Jonathon Spector stepped up to the plate. In the 28th minute Spector pounced on a blocked shot from Noble and passed the ball into the back of the net.
In the 35th minute a mistake from Tomkins allowed Lovre behind the defence but he wasted a golden opportunity to equalise by shooting straight at Green. Two minutes later Obinna was clearly taken down in the area by goalkeeper Steele, however the ref decided to only give a corner.
In the 40th minute Hines had a great chance to extend West Ham's lead. Hines appeared to have an open goal from close range but Steele somehow managed to recover in time and block the shot. The ball fell back to Hines but Steele also managed to block his second attempt.
A great first half from West Ham ended with the home team wondering how they went into the break only one goal to the good.
Barnsley started the second half strongly. In the 56th minute Tomkins fouled Hammill in the area but the referee evened things up by denying the second clear cut penalty of the game.
Barnsley continued to perform much better in the second half, sending the game into a bit of a stalemate. In the 70th minute Nouble did manage to break behind the Barnsley defence but could only scuff the ball past Steele and Hassell was able to get back to clear.
With Barnsley continuing to press forward Avram Grant was forced to being on Parker for Obinna and then Piquionne for Nouble. I'm sure Grant would have preferred to have kept both players on the bench but West Ham's second half performance demanded the change.
In the final minutes the game came back to life again. First Edgar, with his first involvement of the game, had a great opportunity but shot wide from ten yards. Then Barnsley had a great chance at the other end and Hammill was unlucky to see his shot hit the crossbar. West Ham then broke in turn and Piquionne claimed West Ham's second with a shot from the edge of the area.
This really was a game of two halves. West Ham were in total control in the first half and should have had the game wrapped up by the break. In the second half Barnsley showed a bit more adventure and West Ham returned to type. In the end though West Ham probably just about deserved to go through to the next round.