Trio make welcome return

Freddie Sears scored twice as a West Ham United XI featuring the returning Jonathan Spector, Kieron Dyer and Matthew Etherington overcame a Major League Soccer select squad.

Captain for the day Spector, playing his first game since recovering from a hip injury, was also on target against his compatriots as the Hammers triumphed 3-2 in an entertaining encounter at Hornchurch FC on Thursday afternoon.

It was Sears who stole the show in front of the watching Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke, however, netting two goals in the space of eight second half minutes as United twice came from behind.

Reserve team manager Alex Dyer named a strong side that also included Walter Lopez, Jack Collison and Diego Tristan to take on a touring squad containing the cream of the United States' best young players.

England international Dyer, who has not played since a double leg-break in August 2007, was heavily involved in the early exchanges, making a number of surging runs through the heart of the American midfield, while Etherington was in lively form on the left of a three-man attack. It was the youthful touring side who showed first, however, taking the lead through San Jose Earthquakes' Davide Somma following a slick build-up on 26 minutes.

The Hammers were level four minutes later, though, when Spector soared above the American defence to power in an inch-perfect Etherington right wing corner. Far from being discouraged, the MLS side re-took the lead nine minutes before half-time when Somma was on hand to lash in a volley from 15 yards after Marek Stech had made a fine block from Real Salt Lake's Yura Movsisyan.

Dyer, Tristan, Collison and Etherington were all withdrawn as planned around the hour-mark, but the changes did not prevent the hosts mounting an impressive late comeback. Youngsters Tony Stokes and Jack Jeffrey gave the Hammers renewed impetus and they drew level on 68 minutes when Sears took advantage of a defensive mix-up to poke the ball into the net.

The home side secured victory with 14 minutes remaining, Sears confidently converting from the penalty spot after the persistent Jeffrey had been fouled as he burst into the box.

Thursday's fixture completed a three-match tour for the MLS youngsters, who were coached by former Ipswich Town defender Frank Yallop. On Monday, they were beaten at Reading, while on Wednesday they went down to Chelsea reserves.

The game also underlined the growing relationship between West Ham United and football across North America. Last summer, the Hammers took on the newly-crowned MLS champions Columbus Crew in Ohio and an All-Star team in Toronto during a successful ten-day tour.

Full match reaction to follow.