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Match Reports


12 July 2022

Over 15K in attendance as Blues edged out by Hammers

Town continued their pre-season friendly schedule with a narrow home defeat against Premier League West Ham.

Goals either side of half-time from Kurt Zouma and Daniel Chesters proved to be the difference for the Hammers, with Kane Vincent-Young heading in on 75 minutes for Kieran McKenna's side.

The game allowed 22 of Town's first-team players to pick up valuable minutes ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, with Dom Ball, Freddie Ladapo, Greg Leigh and Tyreece John-Jules all playing for the first time as a home player at Portman Road.

Former Blues Aaron Cresswell, who captained the visitors, and Flynn Downes, who was making his first appearance in a West Ham shirt, were named in David Moyes' starting XI.

Town enjoyed plenty of early possession, with Sone Aluko and Ball linking up well in the middle of the park.

However, it was a counter-attack that brought a golden opportunity to open the scoring on 17 minutes. The move began with Sam Morsy winning a 50/50 with Downes on the edge of Town's box, with the Blues' captain then releasing Ladapo, who was on the halfway line, through on goal. Ladapo raced 40 yards before, under pressure from the recovering Ajibola Alese, his shot was saved onto the post by Lukasz Fabianski.

Freddie Ladapo post West Ham (H).jpg

West Ham were denied by the woodwork at the other end eight minutes later, Michail Antonio firing against the outside of the upright from a tight angle after being played in behind Town's defence.

The visitors took the lead with just over half an hour played. Christian Walton made a brilliant reaction save to deny Zouma's header from eight yards, but the Hammers' centre-back converted the rebound from close range to open the scoring.

Lee Evans, introduced at the break alongside Greg Leigh and Corrie Ndaba, had the first effort of the second half, the midfielder sending a piledriver over the frame of Fabianski's goal from 30 yards.

Antonio looked set to double the Premier League outfit's advantage shortly afterwards after being played in on goal, but Ndaba darted 30 yards to make a last-ditch tackle and deny the Jamaica international.

West Ham did extend their lead midway through the second period, though, as Chesters tapped into an empty net after Harrison Ashby's vicious strike from 25 yards had cannoned off of the inside of the post and into his path.

Town pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining at Portman Road as, following some good interplay involving Leigh and John-Jules, Vincent-Young headed the former's deflected cross into the bottom corner from the middle of the box.

That sparked a second wind in the Blues, now playing with an entirely different XI to the one that had started the match, but they ultimately couldn't find an equaliser.

Town: Walton (Hladky 73'), Donacien (El Mizouni 62'), Penney (Leigh 45'), Ball (Evans 45'), Woolfenden (Edmundson 62'), Burns (Vincent-Young 62'), Ladapo (Jackson 62'), Morsy (C) (Harper 62'), Chaplin (Humphreys 62'), Aluko (John-Jules 62'), Burgess (Ndaba 45').

West Ham: Fabianski, Cresswell (C), Zouma, Fornals, Antonio, Downes, Coventry, Oko-flex (Earthy 90'), Alese, Ashby, Chesters.

Subs: Hegyi, Casey, Forbes, Woods.

Attendance: 15,129 (1,528 away).

Sam Morsy West Ham (H).jpg

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