Ipswich Town 0-1 West Ham United - Half-Time
Tuesday, 25th Aug 2020 14:58
Sebastien Haller’s goal a minute before the break has given West Ham a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at Portman Road
Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes and Teddy Bishop were the Blues midfield three as Town are lined up in their increasingly familiar 4-3-3 system.
Skipper Luke Chambers at centre-half alongside Toto Nsiala with Janoi Donacien and Stephen Ward the full-backs. Tomas Holy was in goal.
Up front, Gwion Edwards was on the right with ex-Hammer Freddie Sears on the left and Aaron Drinan in the centre.
James Norwood, Oli Hawkins and James Wilson again all missed out but Emyr Huws was among the subs having travelled without being involved at Spurs on Saturday.
Norwood, who is continuing his rehabilitation after his groin operation, and Wilson, who has been out with a calf problem, were expected to start training yesterday. Prior to joining the Blues last Monday Hawkins had been training on his own.
Kane Vincent-Young, Luke Woolfenden, Kayden Jackson, Cole Skuse and Myles Kenlock were notable absentees from the squad.
West Ham, who were also in action at Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon, included ex-Blue Aaron Cresswell, who skippered, as well as Jack Wilshere, Darren Randolph and Felipe Anderson, who was among their scorers when they beat Town 2-1 in another friendly two years ago. Manager David Moyes was at Portman Road rather than Adams Park.
The Town team emerged from their temporary dressing room in the Sir Bobby Robson Suite, walking down the steps of the empty Sir Alf Ramsey Stand, the visitors having previously emerged from the tunnel.
There was a chance for the Blues within the opening seconds when a clearance deflected into the path of Drinan inside the area but the Irish U21 international’s strike was blocked.
Ward sent it back in and another Drinan attempt was blocked by Fabian Balbuena before Randolph in the Hammers goal claimed.
Town caused themselves significant problems in the opening minutes as they tried to pass out from the back and in the fifth minute Andriy Yarmolenko was found in space at the far post but Chambers was able to push him wide and then stab the ball out for a corner.
From the flag-kick keeper Holy punched uncertainly and Donacien helped it out for a goal-kick off a West Ham player.
Drinan’s low shot was saved by Randolph on 10, then Grady Diangana took the ball past the advancing Holy on the right of the Blues’ area but took it out of play.
On 14, with Town already having shown far more threat than they did at Tottenham on Saturday, Ward found Bishop on the left of the box and the midfielder skipped past two men before cutting across the six-yard box but with no Blues player there to add the final touch.
West Ham should have been in front a minute later when Haller, a scorer on his last pre-season visit to Portman Road as the Blues drew 1-1 with Utrecht in 2015, found himself unmarked eight yards out after Chambers had failed to deal with a long ball but the Frenchman somehow hit the ball too close to Holy, who saved.
Penalty area action became rarer, although West Ham were looking a threat on the break whenever Town lost the ball in the opposition’s half.
On 29 the Hammers appealed for a penalty as the ball appeared to catch Dozzell on the arm as it came in from the right, the midfielder colliding with Donacien as a number of players landed in a heap. Referee Neil Hair waved away penalty protests.
Two minutes later, Downes, a West Ham fan, stuck a powerful effort which Randolph pawed behind. From Sears’s deep corner from the left Ward nodded into the Irish international keeper’s hands.
The visitors again should have taken the lead in the 38th minute when Haller was played in behind the Blues backline but again was unable to beat the advancing Holy, who blocked. Moments later Idris El Mizouni replaced Edwards, who walked straight off to the dressing room.
On 43, with Town starting to look more confident when breaking forward, Bishop took the ball on into the West Ham half and with options either side of him hit a shot which flew over Randolph’s crossbar.
The Hammers took the lead in controversial circumstances a minute later. The ball looked to have gone out of play on the left and the Town players had stopped as Diangana squeezed it across for Haller to turn home from a few feet.
The Blues players protested towards the linesman, but to no avail and soon afterwards the referee’s whistle ended a half in which Town had been more competitive than they had been in the opening period at Tottenham on Saturday.
The Hammers should have been ahead prior to their late goal with Haller having missed a couple of very good chances, while the Blues had had one or two opportunities of their own, albeit less clear cut.
Town: Holy, Donacien, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Ward, Dozzell, Downes, Bishop, Edwards (El Mizouni 38), Sears, Drinan. Subs: Cornell, Ndaba, Nolan, Smith, Judge, Folami, Huws.
West Ham: Randolph, Cresswell, Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Coventry, Alese, Wilshere, Haller, Soucek, Diangana. Subs: Jimenez, Cardoso, Lewis, Odubeko, Kemp. Referee: Neil Hair.
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