Lazio edge pre-season friendly

West Ham United were unfortunate to slip to a 2-0 defeat against Lazio in their third pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday evening.

In a tough encounter in the small Austrian village of Lebring, near Graz, goals either side of the break earned victory for the Italians, who are slightly ahead of Hammers in their pre-season preparations.

Despite facing sharp opponents, though, Alan Curbishley's men were unlucky to end up on the losing side, after Craig Bellamy missed a 68th minute penalty and Carlton Cole had two efforts superbly saved by veteran Lazio goalkeeper Ballotta.

Striker Dean Ashton came comfortably through another 45 minutes, while Bellamy played the full 90. Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora were rested after picking up slight knocks in training.

Despite the result, Alan Curbishley will have been satisfied by another strenuous work-out and will look back on their week in Austria as a valuable fitness exercise ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

West Ham United: Green; Spector (Collins 45), Davenport (Upson 45), Ferdinand (Dailly 60), McCartney (Gabbidon 45); Bowyer (Collison 65), Mullins (Boa Morte 45), Parker, Etherington (Reid 70); Ashton (Cole 45), Bellamy.