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Rediff.com  » Sports » West Ham ease past Hartlepool

West Ham ease past Hartlepool

January 24, 2009 20:33 IST

West Ham United avoided the fate of Premier League rivals Stoke City when they knocked League One (division three) giantkillers Hartlepool United out of the FA Cup 2-0 on Saturday.

Hartlepool, who scored a major upset when they beat Stoke 2-0 in the third round, failed to create more Cup magic in front of their own fans as the Hammers scored twice in three minutes late in the first half at Victoria Park.

The London side went ahead when Valon Behrami scored with a well-struck left-foot shot after good work by Jack Collison on 44 minutes.

They doubled their lead three minutes later when Mark Noble scored from a penalty, although Hartlepool defender Michael Nelson was clearly outside the penalty area when he handled a flick from Carlton Cole.

West Ham were never seriously troubled in the second half and became the first team to reach the fifth round with another 12 matches being played later on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

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