Bobby Zamora and Craig Bellamy were both on target for West Ham United on Monday in a specially arranged practice match against Queen's Park Rangers.
Zamora, after a knee injury, was getting his first run-out since 28 August and was a lively presence in the 2-1 victory alongside Bellamy, himself just coming back from an abdominal problem. The duo played for 60 and 65 minutes respectively. While Bellamy is nearer to full fitness having played a reserve-team game and then come on as a substitute at Wigan Athletic, Zamora has not figured since the League Cup game away to Bristol Rovers.
There were also starts for Julien Faubert and Nolberto Solano on the right wing and in central midfield respectively. Faubert has not featured in the last two first-team games because of a slight calf strain after making three substitute appearances previously but played the full 90 minutes. Solano also continued his comeback from a hamstring problem and, having got most of the second half at Wigan on Saturday, played the first half before making way.
QPR opened the scoring within a minute at an empty Boleyn Ground, with a spectacular long-range effort from Antonio German leaving Richard Wright with little chance to save. From that point on, West Ham United dominated proceedings - understandably enough given the inexperience of the opposition, who nevertheless were fully committed during an entertaining contest.
Bellamy showed his electric pace on a number of occasions - notably in combination with Faubert in the sixth minute, before the move ended with a fine Zamora header that Reece Crowther in the visitors' goal did well to save. Within two minutes, West Ham United had scored with Bellamy getting free on the right before pulling the ball back for Zamora to guide a side-footed volley neatly into the net from 12 yards.
Zamora then returned the favour on 12 minutes, nodding down well for Bellamy to shoot, but the Wales captain could not keep his shot on target. At the back, Jonathan Spector partnered Bondz 'Gala in central defence and the American stepped out well in the 19th minute before feeding Zamora. He in turn found Bellamy with a defence-splitting pass but the resulting shot was dragged wide under pressure from Crowther.
Zamora and Bellamy then both went close again as West Ham United continued to pressure, while Luis Boa Morte and Kyel Reid were also keeping the opponents guessing by interchanging on the left-hand side. The first half ended with Bellamy taking three players on before working a good opportunity to fire on goal, with the resulting shot being claimed well by Crowther.
Faubert was the first to show after the interval, having a good shot saved in the 47th minute after being picked out by Boa Morte. Faubert continued to link up well with Bellamy and Faubert before some good skill in the box by 'Gala teed up captain Tony Stokes for a close-range piledriver which was blocked. Bellamy then got the goal his persistent play deserved, following up his own shot after a good save by Crowther to tuck in from close range.
Bellamy was substituted immediately to be replaced by Zavon Hines before Zamora made way for Jack Jeffery five minutes later. Spector lasted 73 minutes before also going off for a well-earned rest. Wright then did brilliantly from close range to deny QPR with three quickfire stops from close-range, the first being the pick of the bunch as he got down low to a well-placed header.
Another long-range effort then had Wright on his toes but again he saved well as both sides made a number of changes in the closing stages. Jeffery had a chance to score from the spot three minutes from time after being fouled, but missed with Boa Morte just unable to steer the rebound on target having done well to be first to the ball.