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BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
With a round-up of the action
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banner Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 22:16 GMT
West Ham 2-0 Blackburn
Paolo di Canio
Paolo di Canio scored one of West Ham's goals
Davor Suker and Paolo di Canio helped shrug off the defensive shackles of Blackburn at Upton Park and send West Ham into the fourth round of the Worthington Cup.

Rovers managed to hold out for 67 minutes until Suker, making his first start since 5 September, struck.

Suker registered his third goal of the campaign with a clinical volley from a di Canio corner.

And it was di Canio who killed off Graeme Souness' side when he forced in a rebound from his own retaken penalty nine minutes from the end to book a date with either Sheffield Wednesday or Sheffield United.

Although Rovers left out a clutter of first-teamers, their Premiership hosts fielded a virtual first-choice side.

Bright start

Harry Redknapp's West Ham started brightly and should have been ahead in the opening three minutes with Frederic Kanoute twice threatening.

Blackburn were pinned in their own half for much of the opening 20 minutes and teenager Michael Carrick was close to capping a fine move with the opening goal.

The youngster met di Canio's neat lay-off with a first-time shot from 20 yards but Kelly was well positioned and clawed down the rising effort. Suker also went close with two carbon-copy efforts in quick succession, sending two chips over the bar.

It was not forthcoming, however, despite the trickery of di Canio, Suker, Kanoute and Co.

Blackburn offered little attacking threat of their own with Shaka Hislop forced into his first save of note five minutes before the break, fisting away a Richards volley at his near post after the striker met Dunning's deep cross with a volley on the run.

Kanoute attempted to create something out of nothing on the stroke of half-time but ran out of room after taking on a posse of Rovers defenders.

Souness introduced another of his Blackburn babes 10 minutes into the second period, John Douglas replacing Damien Johnson.

Di Canio was beginning to exert more influence on the game and it was West Ham's Italian star who looked the man most likely to break the deadlock.

Jason McAteer caused mayhem at the other end moments later but the wing-back's cross from the right fizzed across the six-yard bos with neither Richards nor Dunning able to connect.

Blackburn had defended resiliently but their resistance was finally broken midway through the half when di Canio's corner was flicked on by Kanoute for Suker to volley in at the back post.

The game was over as any sort of contest nine minutes from the end when di Canio was brought down by opposing captain Jeff Kenna.

Di Canio stepped up himself to send Kelly the wrong way, only for referee Alan Wiley to order the kick to be retaken.

This time Kelly guessed right to block the spot-kick but the Italian lifted the rebound beyond the keeper at the second attempt.

West Ham: Hislop, Potts, I. Pearce, Ferdinand, S. Pearce, Sinclair, Carrick, Lampard, Suker, Di Canio, Kanoute. Subs: Bywater, Keller, Moncur, Charles, Kitson.

Blackburn: Kelly, Kenna, M. Taylor, Curtis, Dailly, Dunning, Carsley, Johnson, McAteer, Ostenstad, Richards. Subs: Filan, Dunn, Flitcroft, O'Brien, Douglas.

Referee: A Wiley

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