Hampton and Richmond Borough 2-4 West Ham United
Craig Bellamy was the star of the show with two goals as West Ham United edged to victory against non-league Hampton and Richmond Borough in the first pre-season fixture of 2008.
Bellamy struck in each half, sandwiching an effort from Mark Noble, although the visitors had gone behind to a wonder volley from home midfielder Francis Quarm. The part-time midfielder Quarm is also a West Ham United employee and celebrated in fitting style after beating the England goalkeeper Robert Green. Laurence Yaku gave Alan Devonshire's side further cheer in the 72nd minute but the visitors had the last laugh as Zavon Hines raced through to score after good work by Tony Stokes.
After a competitive opening half-hour in front of a strong travelling Hammers contingent at the Beveree Stadium, IT support specialist Quarm hooked the ball over Green to get the scoring under way before Bellamy levelled matters moments later. Bellamy looked sharp on his return to action. The Wales international was making his first appearance for the club since February and combined well with Dean Ashton to fire the equaliser past goalkeeper Matt Lovett.
Ashton was also involved in the second West Ham United goal after going close to scoring himself, first with a header, then a strike which bounced off the post. Lucas Neill played a perfect pass to the 23-year-old forward who knocked it unselfishly into the path of Noble and he poked it past Lovett. Bellamy added a second to his tally early in the second half, this time from Julien Faubert's cross which he struck first time with trademark precision.
Yaku cut the deficit to one with a neat finish beyond Jimmy Walker, who had just entered the fray for Green as one of several changes by Alan Curbishley. However, substitute Hines restored the two-goal lead in the 81st minute when he raced on to a good pass from fellow replacement, and academy graduate, Stokes.
Also getting a second-half run-out were Scott Parker and Jack Collison for midfield duo Hayden Mullins and Noble. Ashton was the other interval change, earning a deserved rest after two excellent assists as Carlton Cole joined Bellamy in attack. Other positives were a run-out for Calum Davenport, back after breaking a bone in his neck back in January, alongside Anton Ferdinand while England Under-17 star Jordan Spence got a late appearance in place of captain Neill.
West Ham United: Green (Walker 70), Neill (Spence 83), Ferdinand, Davenport, Widdowson, Faubert (Stanislas 65), Mullins (Parker 46), Noble (Collison 46), Reid (Stokes 79), Bellamy (Hines 79), Ashton (Cole 46)
Subs not used: Miller, 'Gala
Hampton and Richmond Borough: Lovett, Harper, Jeffrey, Scarborough, Lake, Wells, Harris, Quarm, Hodges, Yaku, Matthews