West Ham fans had plenty to cheer about last night as their side claimed a 2-0 League Cup win over Cheltenham Town.
Anything less than a comfortable win over the League Two side would have been met with disappointment, but Slaven Bilicâ€™s side delivered exactly what was expected of them, even if their second half performance did not match their first half effort.
Both West Ham goals came within three minutes of each other when Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew netted just before half-time.
Fans would have liked to have seen further goals to make the game safe but after the break, both defences held firm.
Man of the match was centre-back James Collins, who was making his first Hammers start of the season.
The experienced defender marked his 34th birthday and his 200th West Ham appearance with an excellent display.
James Collins wins Man of the Match on his 200th West Ham appearance and 34th Birthday âš’âš’ pic.twitter.com/giEwZSIYut
— West Ham News (@WHUFC_News) August 23, 2017
The fan favourite, nicknamed the â€œGinger Peleâ€, was lauded for what some described as an old-fashioned display of defending to keep Cheltenham at bay.
Sky Sports reported he had 103 touches of the ball, completed 53 of 68 attempted passes and made 23 clearances to help West Ham keep a clean sheet for the first time this season.
The Welshman began his career with Cardiff City before moving to London to join the Hammers in 2005. During his first spell at the club he made 65 appearances.
He then headed to Aston Villa in 2009 before returning in 2012 and becoming a key member of the London sideâ€™s defence.
Bilic has so far this season preferred Jose Fonte, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid to Collins although with Reid out injured, the Wales international may now see more game time.
If the reaction of the West Ham fans to last nightâ€™s performance is anything to go by, that would certainly be a popular move.
Here are the best of those tweets:
In the age of the 'ball playing centre half' James Collins will always be 1 of my favourite players. Old school no nonsense proper defender
— Stewart Potter (@StewPott17) August 23, 2017
Really poor 2nd half but 2 nil win with James Collins easily man of the match
— Ray (@bonzoRay) August 23, 2017
Massive congrats to James Collins for reaching 200 matches for the Hammers. Top performance tonight. ðŸ‘ðŸ»âš’ pic.twitter.com/aKLqpHoeoS
— West Ham United. (@TheHammersView) August 23, 2017
Shame he doesn't have hair or a foreign name cause on his day James Collins is possibly one of the most under rated players in the league!
— Louis. (@Jest_Prod) August 23, 2017
— Rowan Tibbs (@rowan_tibbs) August 23, 2017
Rice was man of the match today. James Collins needs to start on Saturday against Newcastle.
— George Poynter (@George_Poynter) August 23, 2017
@GaryLineker watching yet again and old school defending master class from James Collins tonight, do you really want end that sort of player
— Craig the Bear (@CraigB_1975) August 23, 2017
@davidgold How good was James Collins last night ? Please make sure he stays with us this season. Thanks, Nick.
— Nick Wright (@Nickguitar2) August 24, 2017
James Collins today:
200th West Ham appearance
Go'orn Ginge! ðŸ‘ðŸ»âš’ pic.twitter.com/D0TPVsW0sI
— West Ham Central (@WestHam_Central) August 23, 2017
— Jamie Rastelli (@JME_CTFC) August 23, 2017
Without ignoring the fact we was playing League Two opposition, James Collins is still our best defender isn't he?
— Steve Conway (@stevecon88) August 23, 2017
Birthday boy James Collins was immense. He has to start against Newcastle
— Hammers Social (@hammers_social) August 23, 2017