Friendly Romp

West Ham beat Dorchester 9-2 on Friday night for the testimonial of Neil Coates - who was delighted that Stuart Pearce made the match.

Stuart could obviously have been forgiven for missing the fixture amongst speculation that he might throw his hat into the ring for the West Ham manager's job, but he insisted on turning up so that Coates had a decent crowd.

Roger Cross, who took the team to Dorchester, paid tribute to Stuart, who had to make the long trip from his Wiltshire home.

He says: "There was a good crowd of 1,100 or so, and that was largely thanks to Stuart.

"I'm sure it meant a lot to Neil to shake hands with him before the game, and I must say that I have a lot of respect for non-league players .

"I know a lot about the non-league scene, and these players play for very little; it was a nice gesture by Stuart to turn up."

West Ham paid their own expenses for the fixture and a good time was had by all.

The winning margin was 9-2, with the goals being scored by Riza (4), Defoe (3), Newton, and Foyewa.

Team: J.Sealey, Newton, Uddin, Pearce, Riddle, Britton, Etherington, McCann, Byrne, Riza, Defoe. Unused subs: Laurie, Foyewa, Smith.

Roger Cross, who took the team, says that watching the FA Cup final tomorrow will be a case of what might have been.

He says: "We were flying at the time, and the match against Spurs could have gone either way.

"Certainly a draw would have been a fair result, and if we had got them away for the replay, we might have won."

* Meanwhile, defender Rigobert Song says that he hopes Harry Redknapp returns to Upton Park, saying: "He is a great manager and I hope perhaps he might return."