May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Oxford United 1 West Ham United 0
West Ham suffered their second pre-season defeat on Tuesday night when they were beaten by League Two side Oxford United, writes Nathaniel John.
Sam Allardyce picked an experienced starting XI for the first half, including the likes of captain Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Ricardo Vaz Te and Winston Reid, but the visitors failed to create a clear-cut chance in the opening stages.
However, it was the home side – playing in just their first pre-season game – that broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the break, when George McCartney half-cleared a corner and Deane Smalley volleyed past the returning Stephen Henderson from a tight angle.
A positive note on the night for West Ham was the return of striker Carlton Cole as well as Henderson, with both players having not featured in claret and blue since the Austria Vienna defeat because of calf and thigh problems respectively.
Allardyce rung the changes at half-time and the hour mark, as the Hammers finished the game with a team that mostly contained members of the Development Squad.
“It was a hard-fought game and Oxford played a really good tempo,” said Hammers assistant boss Neil McDonald. “It was a good test and they scored a great goal in the top corner. We made a few changes and for the young lads to come on and press and make a couple of chances was great.
“We’re happy everyone got through 60 minutes, which we thought they would, and it’s another step forward to making sure we’re ready for our opening game against Aston Villa.
“We’re just trying to get the players though and get them up 70 or 80 minutes next.
“Oxford provided a stern test and they were on their game and caused us a few problems that we thought they would.
“We’ll be working hard to iron out those problems to make sure we’re right physically and mentally for the first game.”
West Ham: Henderson, Demel (Nasha 61), Spence, Reid (Wearen 61), McCartney (Taylor 46), Noble (Moncur 61), Nolan (Ruddock 61), O’Neil (Pollitt 61), Morrison (Turgott 61), Cole (Maynard 46), Vaz Te (Hall 61).