Cambridge United 1-1 West Ham United XI
Ahmed Abdulla was on target as a youthful West Ham United side earned a creditable draw in the pre-season friendly at Cambridge United.
With the first-team squad in Austria, Academy Director Tony Carr took charge of the youthful Hammers team although his selection was bolstered by the experience of Calum Davenport and captain Nigel Quashie. The visitors took the lead early in the second half with 17-year-old striker Abdulla finishing off a flowing move before Rory McAuley scrambled in a equaliser with barely five minutes left on the clock.
The Hammers had 16-year-old midfielder Simone Bezziccheri on trial, with the former Roma academy player getting a chance to impress at the Abbey Stadium. It was also a first run-out this pre-season for Peter Loveday, Tony Brookes and Nick Barrett and Abdulla, with the latter finishing off where he left last season's Under-18s.
Montano, picking up where he left off last week at Grays Athletic, was perhaps the pick of the Hammers in the first half with a lively display in attack. He also combined well with midfielder Conor Okus for a chance in the second half that would have put the game beyond Cambridge's reach but the home side stood firm. Carr introduced recent Academy recruit Jack Lampe at centre-half late in the game during a raft of changes
Cambridge have been installed as 8/1 third favourites for the 2009/10 Blue Square Premier title and promotion back to the Football League following a five-year absence. The U's finished second in the table last season, narrowly behind champions Burton Albion, only to be beaten 2-0 by Torquay United in the play-off final at Wembley in May.
West Ham United: Peter Loveday (Deniz Mehmet 79), Tony Brookes (Callum Driver 29), Matty Fry (Jordan Brown 63), Holmar Eyjolfsson (Jack Lampe 72), Calum Davenport (Callum McNaughton 72), Nick Barrett (Jack Werndly 78), Nigel Quashie (Eoin Wearen 72), Cristian Montano (Daniel Subuola 78), Simone Bezziccheri (Robert Hall 72), Conor Okus (George Moncur 83), Ahmed Abdulla.