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West Ham Pre-Season


Mark Haley
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Fortunately for me West Ham began their pre-season just a stroll up the London Road at Peterborough United. A monsoon-esque downpour finally drifted away just before I had to set off. So, no umbrella required.

The players came out on to the pitch in their new retro away kits (white with one claret and one light blue hoop) as worn by Noel Cantwell in 1960. Peterborough (the Posh) came out looking remarkably similar to Chelsea.

Pre-season games are usually played in a good spirit. You're unlikely to see too many hefty challenges, though Mark Noble put in a couple of tasty tackles in the first half.

West Ham took the lead following smart work by new signing Hitzlesperger. He slipped a left footed pass into the penalty area which Carlton Cole got on the end of to lift over the Keeper.

Posh had a great chance to equalise when 2 players played a one - two down the right wing. The cross was perfect for Mikael-Smith who somehow headed wide from 6 yards.Ex-Hammer Grant McCann also fired in 2 excellent on target free kicks which Kuruckz did well to keep out.

Half time brought quite a surprise with it. If someone had told me that Mike Tyson would appear on the pitch wearing a Posh shirt I'd have thought they'd lost their mind. Yet there he was with 'Tyson 1' printed on the back of his shirt.

The second half saw a number of changes in the West Ham team. Benny McCarthy and Freddie Sears both got an extended run out as did James Tomkins and Kieron Dyer. Sears is definitely in the last chance saloon at West Ham. He literally has to start delivering this season or I can see him drifting away into lower league obscuity. Anyway, he eventually ended up doing quite well out on the left and even had a chance to score near the end. You can tell the crowd are desperate for him to succeed, unfortunately a loud chorus of groans went up when he shot over the bar.

A suitably inspired Posh deservedly equalised with a simple free kick routine that caught the West Ham defence a bit flat footed. Hibbert got on the end of a low cross into the box and finished well firing the ball first time into the corner of the net.

It took a while for the West Ham line up to gel. Hibbert got tangled up with Tomkins in the box and could easily of had a penalty but the Ref waved play on.

Finally West Ham got themselves organised and it wasn't any surprise when we went 2-1 up. Edgar did well to create a bit of space for himself on the edge of the box and fired in a low left footer just inside the post.

That turned out to be the winning goal though substitute Montana came on and nearly scored following an impressive burst of speed that took him clear. He rounded the keeper but his subsequent goal bound shot was blocked on the line.

Posh had one final chance to equalise during injury time but headed well wide from a corner.

A fairly decent start for West Ham who certainly look a bit more lively than last season. Posh look a decent side as well and look like they have a squad capable of challenging for promotion.

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The second half saw a number of changes in the West Ham team. Benny McCarthy and Freddie Sears both got an extended run out as did James Tomkins and Kieron Dyer. Sears is definitely in the last chance saloon at West Ham. He literally has to start delivering this season or I can see him drifting away into lower league obscuity. Anyway, he eventually ended up doing quite well out on the left and even had a chance to score near the end. You can tell the crowd are desperate for him to succeed, unfortunately a loud chorus of groans went up when he shot over the bar.

Thank you for your report. Did McCarthy look fit? I suspect it is too late for Freddie Sears. He did not score during his time at Crystal Palace and I suspect he will have to drop into the lower-leagues in order to get goals.

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McCarthy looked a little bit fitter than he did towards the end of last season, but that's not saying much.

Sears seemed to be most effective when he drifted out on to the left wing. It's just possible he might make an impact out there.

Up front I'm sorry to say he is too lightweight. Of course Sears did in fact score for Crystal Palace - against Bristol City. Unfortunately for him the Referee, Linesmen and 4th official were the only people in the entire stadium who hadn't realised his shot went into the net and back out again. I just hope he can find a goal from somewhere and maybe get his confidence back again. It's definitely 'make or break' for him. I suspect League One beckons...

Meanwhile, Edgar and Montana were both very impressive.

The second half saw a number of changes in the West Ham team. Benny McCarthy and Freddie Sears both got an extended run out as did James Tomkins and Kieron Dyer. Sears is definitely in the last chance saloon at West Ham. He literally has to start delivering this season or I can see him drifting away into lower league obscuity. Anyway, he eventually ended up doing quite well out on the left and even had a chance to score near the end. You can tell the crowd are desperate for him to succeed, unfortunately a loud chorus of groans went up when he shot over the bar.

Thank you for your report. Did McCarthy look fit? I suspect it is too late for Freddie Sears. He did not score during his time at Crystal Palace and I suspect he will have to drop into the lower-leagues in order to get goals.

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