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Town 3-1 West Ham
Town 3-1 West Ham
Saturday, 4th Aug 2012 16:57

Goals from Michael Chopra (pen), Luke Chambers and Jason Scotland saw Town to a confidence-boosting 3-1 victory over Premier League new boys West Ham at Portman Road. The Blues were two goals in front at the break after dominating the first half, but the visitors hit back through Matt Taylor before Jason Scotland sealed it late on.

Blues boss Paul Jewell named his strongest available side with only Andy Drury sidelined due to a calf injury.

Scott Loach was in goal with skipper Carlos Edwards at right-back, Aaron Cresswell at left-back and Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith, just back from the Olympics, at centre-half.

In midfield, Massimo Luongo and Luke Hyam were in the centre with Josh Carson on the left and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the right. Lee Martin was behind lone striker Michael Chopra. There was no place in the squad for Jimmy Bullard.

West Ham also named a strong team including new signings Jussi Jaaskelainen, James Collins and Modigo Maiga, as well as former Blues loanee Mark Noble.

The Blues started brightly and in the fourth minute Edwards whipped over a low cross from the right which Chopra diverted wide at the near post. Soon after, Collins blocked a Luongo strike from the edge of the area.

Emmanuel-Thomas curled a seventh minute freekick over after Martin had been fouled with Town continuing to make most of the running. Moments later, Edwards caused momentary panic in the Hammers’ area with a low cross which Collins cleared at the second attempt.

Town went ahead from the penalty spot on the quarter hour. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas played the ball into Martin’s feet just inside the area and as the midfielder turned away from Gary O’Neil, the West Ham man tripped him. Chopra stepped up and slammed the ball to Jaaskelainen’s left to notch his fourth goal of pre-season.

Four minutes later it was 2-0. Chopra was fouled on the right and Martin sent in a freekick which an unmarked Luke Chambers nodded past Jaaskelainen.

The Blues fully deserved to be in front with Scott Loach, making his first appearance at Portman Road as a Town player, having had little to do. On 22 Emmanuel-Thomas hit a scuffed effort from 20 yards which trickled just past Jaaskelainen’s left post.

As the game moved towards the half hour mark Edwards hit a well-struck shot which deflected wide with the Blues still very much on top.

Maiga shot well wide for the visitors on 32, then six minutes later another Emmanuel-Thomas blast was deflected past the post.

Neither side particularly threatened in the final seven minutes and the Blues went in deservedly 2-0 up at the break.

It had been a much-improved display throughout with Town on the front foot from the off, keeping the ball and creating opportunities. Martin was the stand-out performer, again excelling in the role behind Chopra, who took his penalty confidently.

Manager Paul Jewell will have been heartened to see a goal from a set piece going in at the right end when Chambers latched on to Martin’s freekick from the right.

Jewell switched Chopra and Martin, who had missed all but a few minutes of pre-season prior to the match, for Jason Scotland and Ryan Stevenson.

Despite the changes, the second half began in much the manner that the second half had ended and on 52 Edwards shot over.

West Ham began to have more of the ball but all too often gave it away cheaply. On 55 Cresswell sent a dangerous ball into the box which Jaaskelainen claimed.

A minute later, Stevenson shot over from the edge of the box, then Loach stopped Ricardo Vaz Te’s shot low to his left, the Hammers’ first shot on target of the afternoon.

After Jack Ainsley and Damien Delaney had taken over from Edwards and Smith just after the hour mark, Carson cut in from the right and hit a low shot just wide. Soon after, Byron Lawrence took over from Emmanuel-Thomas.

Cheick Kourouma, whose move to the Blues is still held up by red tape, took over from the again excellent Luongo as the game moved into its final 20 minutes.

On 73 the Hammers pulled a goal back. Matt Taylor was given too much time 20 yards out and the former Portsmouth man hit a low shot which struck Loach’s left post before crossing the line.

O’Neil hit a low shot through to Loach in the 76th minute before being replaced with the changes having come thick and fast throughout the second period. On 80 West Ham swapped keeper Jaaskelainen for one-time Blues target Stephen Henderson and Hyam made way for Ronan Murray.

The Hammers were looking the stronger side since the changes and on 82 Joey O’Brien headed across the face of goal when he probably should have put his side on terms.

Moments later, the Blues were 3-1 on front. Scotland was played into space on the left by Murray, the Trinidadian taking the ball on before cutting inside and lashing a shot beyond Henderson and into the net.

In the 85th minute Carson saw a shot deflect wide, then Kourouma went well over after the corner had been cleared.

In injury time Nicky Maynard set up Vaz Te but Loach did well to get across to his left to block. Moments later the whistle went to seal Town’s win.

Town fully deserved their victory, having been much the better side in the first half. West Ham only really got on top once the usual plethora of pre-season subs had been made but never really did enough to warrant getting on terms, even if O’Brien really ought to have equalised moments before Scotland’s third for the Blues.

A heartening win for Town against Premier League opposition after two disappointing results against Luton and Southend earlier in the week.

Town: Loach, Edwards (Ainsley 61), Cresswell (Whight 86), Chambers, Smith (Delaney 61), Hyam (Murray 80), Carson, Luongo (Kourouma 71), Emmanuel-Thomas (Lawrence 68), Martin (Stevenson 46), Chopra (Scotland 46). Unused: Lee-Barrett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen (Henderson 80), Demel (O'Brien, 46), Reid, Collins, Potts, O'Neil (Moncur 76), Noble, Taylor, Vaz Te, Maiga (Maynard 61), Cole (Fanimo 73). Unused: Lletget. Referee: Pat Miller. Att: 7,682 (West Ham: 2,075).

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Len_Brennan added 16:58 - Aug 4
Jewell, Clegg, Evans out etc.

TractorBoy666 added 17:02 - Aug 4
Much better performance and a great game! This result will twist a few negative posters on here. Hopefully we can carry this result into the Bristol Rovers game.


Alfie1476 added 17:02 - Aug 4

Mark added 17:03 - Aug 4
Southend 2 Ipswich 1, Ipswich 3 West Ham goes to show that you cannot tell too much from friendlies. To think of the hysterical reaction to the last match where there was even a call for the manager to be sacked!

Well done to the lads today. Keep the same side for the visit of Bristol Rovers I say.

I expect the low attendance was due to the high prices today, with this friendly costing £2 more than the coming cup match for adults!

TractorBeezer added 17:04 - Aug 4

Warms my heart:
Moments later, the Blues were 3-1 on front. Scotland was played into space on the left by Murray, the Trinidadian taking the ball on before cutting inside and lashing a shot beyond Henderson and into the net.

Well done lads. Good timing to get things to click.

mickeyjb added 17:04 - Aug 4
Well done boys. I'm taking it that Martin was the difference. I hope we are working hard to keep him as mid table prem teams will be all over him like a rash!

paulnstar added 17:11 - Aug 4
this is great were gonna win tbe league until tuesday when we wont beat colchester and were gonna get relegated jewell out

Kropotkin123 added 17:11 - Aug 4
*huffs* this clearly shows we are moving backwards... we beat them 5-1 last time.

#joke :p

PJ_Needs_Duncan added 17:13 - Aug 4
Great performance from the lads was impressed with Luongo, Murray played well too when he came on.

bluey360 added 17:16 - Aug 4
According too posts after Southend we were rubbish jewell out clegg out all totally pathetic coming from too many fickle town supporters was never bothered we lost 2 Southend or Luton as long as by Blackburn we performed v promising display against a v strong WHU, Martin was a big bonus v lively energy n links well between midfield n chopra Lunogo another v good performance he is clearly a v talented player, him n hyam which I suggested when he signed why can't he play with Luke they both protect the back four well give a bite 2 the midfield. Smith looked better along side Chambers than Damo, looking forward we still need a left winger a pacy forward n another CB n a creative central midfielder, if we can get these hopefully we can challenge top 10

paulnstar added 17:16 - Aug 4
this is great were gonna win tbe league until tuesday when we wont beat colchester and were gonna get relegated jewell out

Michael11 added 17:20 - Aug 4
In my opinion we are 10x better when Lee Martin plays, could be our key player this year so hope he signs a new deal! Luongo looks a really good player too

ramseyn added 17:21 - Aug 4
Luongo quality, will own championship midfield.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 17:28 - Aug 4
Great result - few things please me more than putting one over Wet Sham - but just as people asked us not to read too much into Luton and Southend, so we shouldn't read too much into this. (I note that Brighton beat Chelsea, for example, but I wouldn't give much for Brighton's chances if that had been a PL fixture.) What worries me most is the attendance. How much did this cost? If we can't get in more than 5000 home fans for an attractive fixture, something is seriously wrong. We need a drive to get the fans back. Any suggestions? (Start with lowering the prices, of course...)

Sindre94 added 17:30 - Aug 4
Great result, only a friendly though, dont go crazy!

buryblue77 added 17:32 - Aug 4
Looks like Wet Spam took it fairly seriously, well by the line up anyway as they had a decent team out. Well done to the lads, I was one who critcised after the Luton and Southend defeats, didn't go quite as far as calling for the manager to be sacked though! So this is a result to be proud of (actually thinking about it, if only we could have stuffed West Ham back in the play offs in '05 we could well be in a completely different situation now, oh well..........)
I wasn't there sadly (work) but how did the midfield of Hyam and Luongo look?

EatonBlue added 17:36 - Aug 4
I couldn't make it to the game this afternoon (held up due to red tape) but it was an encouraging performance by all accounts. The only thing wrong was the ticket pricing.

pinewoodblueboy added 17:36 - Aug 4
Some good stuff played today. Chambers looked assured, Martin, Hyam & Luongo (very impressive) controlled midfield 1st half. Generally vey pleased. West Ham poor, so can,t read too much into the score but they did put out a strong team. At the end, it seemed with all the substitutions we only had 3 players over 5 foot tall!!!!, Great finish from Scotland for the 3rd goal.

Langdon_Blue added 17:38 - Aug 4
So relieved to hear of a good performance. Well played lads.

dougmorris80 added 17:41 - Aug 4
super result, well done lads, luongo looks seriously good him and martin deffo should start both pacey, hope we can tie up korouma too he looked good when he came on could this be the year????? need to carry this result forward now, yes i know only a friendly but a strong west ham team who looked outplayed at times.
chambers great goal as was scotlands in the second half. were lucky with penaty decision i thought but some u win some u loose.
defense looked solid for majority of game need to work on that area but midfield and forwards looked god, created plenty of chances i think we could have had at least 2 more, great game cant wait for start of season now

ITFCsince67 added 17:41 - Aug 4
Well we certainly got that pricing right! When will they learn.

Langdon_Blue added 17:43 - Aug 4
Eatonblue - Couldn't make it due to red it!

petieboy2011 added 17:47 - Aug 4
Great performance and great result from the lads today. If that was Wet Spam's strongest team (Alladyce stating he wanted to put out a strong team for revenge) then they are seriously going to struggle next season.


chicorytwin added 17:51 - Aug 4
No Bullard. Is he injured ?

Dissboyitfc added 17:54 - Aug 4
West ham were very poor , make no mistakes on that one. And as always the result means nothing. So let's air my opinions. Loach was very assured and comfortable made one cracking save. The defence looked far more solid with a right footed Cb, chambers always being available to cover the right back spot when Edwards ventured forward, can see that making a difference. For all those experts on here who said Massimo would be the end of Hyam, they were wrong they played very well alongside each other, Massimo was pure class. Martin was a real live wire. The team had a good shape, worked very hard and looked very fit. Chops looked very lean,great goal by Scotland.

The team does look very lightweight In attack, definately need a striker of quality in. Still work to be done, we looked very vulnerable when delaney came on, but there were many positives....coyb

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