Harrison on target as Championship opener beckons
A crowd of more than 15,000 were treated to a competitive last pre-season friendly for Blues at Portman Road.
Ellis Harrison grabbed his first goal in a Town shirt since arriving from Bristol Rovers and also hit the post with a header but West Ham edged the game through an early strike from Felipe Anderson and a cool finish from Marko Arnautovic.
Paul Hurst received a terrific reception as he took charge of a Town side for the first time at Portman Road.
It didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Blues boss, Anderson putting West Ham in front in the first two minutes, heading in from Ryan Fredericks’ cross.
Town were level on the 15 minute mark though, Andre Dozzell’s delicious pass splitting the Hammers’ defence and Harrison calmly beat Lukasz Fabianski.
Fellow new signing Gwion Edwards tested the West Ham ‘keeper soon after with a right foot strike, then Harrison smacked the post with a header from Freddie
Sears’ cross as Town began to get some joy against the Premier League opposition.
Luke Chambers was in the right place to thwart Arnautovic inside the Town box, then the skipper hooked the ball away from a corner as Angelo Ogbonna threatened at the far post.
It took an excellent challenge from Luke Woolfenden to deny Andriy Yarmolenko eight yards out, with former Hammer, Sears, finishing the half with a shot at Fabianski from 20 yards.
Former Town loanee, Mark Noble, was one of two substitutes for West Ham at the break but it was Blues who started the second-half on the front foot, Harrison having a shot just wide of the far post after Dozzell released him, then Edwards seeing a cross land on the roof of the net.
Bart Bialkowski held on from Snodgrass’ angled drive as West Ham responded and on 70 minutes the Londoners went ahead, Arnautovic showing strength and speed to get away from the Town defence and then poking the ball past Bialkowski into the net.
Myles Kenlock replaced Jonas Knudsen in Town’s first change, followed by the introduction of Trevoh Chalobah, his first appearance for Blues since joining the Club from Chelsea on loan at the start of pre-season, Tristan Nydam making way.
Town had a further flurry of changes late on, including Jack Lankester and pressed for an equaliser to the final whistle with Sears denied late on.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence (Emmanuel 81), Chambers, Woolfenden, Knudsen (Kenlock 71), Edwards (Roberts 81), Downes, Nydam (Chalobah 75), Dozzell (Ward 78), Sears, Harrison (Lankester 81). Subs not used. Gerken, Waghorn, Clements.
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena (Diop 71) Ogbonna, Masuaka (Zabaleta 71), Yarmolenko (Martinez 62), Wilshere (Snodgrass 46), Obiang (Rice 71), Kouyate (Noble 46), Arnautovic (Cullen 80), Anderson (Haksabanovic 62). Subs not used: Adrian. Booked: Wilshere.