Reserves Tie With Town

A late equaliser from Svetoslav Todorov rescued a point for West Ham United's reserve team against Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.

However, the Hammers will still be wondering how they didn't take all three points after a virtually one-sided affair in which Ipswich hardly threatened.

The hosts began in determined mood and were handed a glorious chance to take the lead as early as the 13th minute, when Todorov released Adam Newton, who was blatantly pulled down in the area by an Ipswich defender.

Midfielder Shaun Byrne stepped up - after brushing aside the attempts of Todorov to take the spot-kick himself - but saw his effort well saved by Town keeper Keith Branagan.

Despite their misfortune, the Hammers continued to push forward, with Todorov and Grant McCann both denied by the reflexes of Branagan, before Ipswich finally tested Sven Andersson in the 43rd minute with a fierce effort from Ambrose that the Swedish keeper did well to palm away.

It appeared there would only one winner as the teams went into the break but the second half was to prove an entirely different affair, with Ipswich in much more determined mood and the Hammers struggling to find any real fluency.

Guinean striker Titi Camara showed some neat touches and almost broke the deadlock in the 77th minute with a fantastic overhead kick that dropped just inches wide of the post.

One minute later, the visitors snatched an undeserved lead, when a corner from the left was emphatically headed in by defender John McGreal.

Hammers boss Roger Cross reacted by sending on substitute Omer Riza in a move to a 4-3-3 formation, and the young striker made an immediate impact when his shot was turned round for a corner by Branagan.

From the resulting kick, the ball was flicked on at the near post and Todorov was on hand to poke home his second goal of the season for the reserve team.

It was the least the Hammers deserved, although the evening turned sour in the final minutes when midfielder Shaun Byrne - so unlucky with injuries in recent seasons - limped off after a crunching tackle.

Manager Roger Cross admitted afterwards that it had been two points lost rather than one gained for his side.

"I thought we played well tonight and created a lot of chances in the first half. We missed the penalty but continued to attack and then started the second half brightly.

"We fell away a bit after that and let them into it before coming back strongly at the end but it was a game we should have won.

"Omer Riza came on and gave us the spark we needed at the end, he was unlucky not to score himself and he has been working hard on his finishing.

"Shaun took a nasty whack on the shin, and he may have chipped a bone, but the doctor will look at it and we will know more about it tomorrow."

Team: Andersson, Charles (Johnson 46), Minto, Foxe, Soma, Newton (Riza 83), Garcia, Byrne (Ferrante 89), Todorov, Camara. Subs unused: Jackson, Britton.