Columbus 1-3 West Ham United FT

Pre-season friendly
Crew Stadium
5pm (10pm London time)
Referee: Ben Chaouf

The players gather in the centre circle with Lucas Neill leading the players over to salute the travelling fans, many of whom have headed over to England to be here. Goals from Dean Ashton, an own goal and Kyel Reid were enough for a comfortable win against a Columbus side who were under-strength but more suited to the conditions and in the middle of their league season. Their captain Frankie Hejduk will get to play against Alan Curbishley's men in Thursday's MLS All-Star Game in Toronto.


90min - Walker has to be alert to keep out a low shot. That was to be the last real moment as the referee blows his whistle.

90min - Two minutes of added time will be played. Only Neill will play the full 90 minutes in what has been another good work-out for the squad.

88min - A headed chance for the towering 'Gala. It sailed over the bar though.

87min - Bellamy finally makes way for right-back Ashley Miller. The watching Tony Carr must be proud at the number of Academy products getting a run today. Curbishley acknowledges the commitment of Bellamy with a congratulatory pat on the back.

86min - Bellamy chases down a long ball and runs into Chad Marshall. The No10 has gone after everything today and looks as bright as he did at kick-off. Impressive stuff, considering the conditions.

84min - Bondz 'Gala is entering the fray for Ferdinand. That makes two youngsters from Forest Gate in the defence, with Widdowson also hailing from the same part of east London. Neill has gone to centre-back with Spence at right-back.

83min - 9,117 fans have turned out this evening. They have witnessed a good contest that has seen both sides have their moments.

81min - The cheerleaders are walking around the edge of the main stand waving to the crowd. The floodlights are coming on and the drummer keeps on drumming.

80min - Good play by Neill to guide a lofted ball forward back to Walker. The captain has been composed all game long.

78min - George Josten fires in on goal but Spence does well to stick out a trailing leg and divert the ball away. Cole clears the corner with a flicked header.

77min - Cole is penalised for a foul. It looked a harsh call.

76min - Another couple of changes. Jimmy Walker is on for Robert Green while Tony Stokes replaces Faubert.

74min - Alejandro Moreno has looked lively. A neat passing move ends with Ricardo Pierre-Louis, another replacement, heading over.

73min - Faubert is enjoying the battle. He has been up and down the right wing all game and has enjoyed good interplay with Neill. Spence is playing at centre-back with the captain still in his usual role.

71min - Davenport is off for Jordan Spence while Parker is being replaced by Jack Collison.  Stanislas takes a short corner with Bellamy before the Crew break. ALejandro Moreno races away but Alan Curbishley's side regroup.

70min - Stanislas tricks his way past Jed Zayner on the left wing. He is more than willing to try and beat his man whenever he gets the ball.

69min - Brian Carroll, one of the replacements, has a go from distance but the shot is high and over the bar.

67min - The Crew are trying to find an opening. Stanislas nearly wins the ball back but cannot keep his feet. Davenport is then penalised for a foul.

65min - We may be over an hour into the game but Bellamy is still as strong as ever. He again has three players in his wake as he cuts across the pitch diagonally towards goal from the left. Impressive stuff. He wins a corner that sees Faubert covered in yellow and black streamers. From the kick, Davenport rises but heads wide.

64min - Four changes for the Crew.

61min - Neill fires in a free-kick from the right. Davenport wins the header but the ball is scrambled behind for a corner. Columbus wanted a foul but the official was having none of it.  After a brief delay, the assistant referee flags for offside.

60min - No sign of the No10 wanting to come off. He races back on to the pitch and is looking for teh ball when Faubert wins it in midfield. He then shows a neat touch when Neill plays it forward.

59min - Bellamy is down for treatment after a strong challenge in midfield by Hendrickson. He looks a bit groggy as he walks off.

58min - Lenhart has a header on goal but Green catches before letting a ball forward from Oughton drift out of play.

57min - Two more changes. Reid offor for Stanislas and Noble is replaced by Mullins.

54min - United are turning the screw. Parker is patrolling the midfield and looking for an opening. Noble takes up the play and then plays in Neill with a reverse pass. The captain then sends it out wide for Faubert to cross but it is too long. Good play.

52min - GOAL! - Reid crashes one in from ten yards out to the left of goal but it was all about Bellamy. WIth a splendid turn, he raced away from the halfway line into the box and squared beautifully. Great play that sums up how seriously the Wales striker has taken this contest. He was electric and left two players in his wake.

51min - Cole shows lovely control again. He is proving a good target man and is usefully holding up the play to allow team-mates to join in attack. A neat pass to Bellamy is then flicked towards Reid but Hendrickson deals with it.

51min - Good tracking back by Faubert sees him stop a decent Crew attack. The Frenchman has worked hard.

50min - It is unlikely that we will see the same pace of the first half, although clouds have started to roll in over the stadium.

48min - Cole is getting stuck in immediately. Lovely play sees him chest down the ball and move away from two players before turning the ball out to Faubert. The French winger is then brought down but no foul is awarded.

46min - It should be 2-2. Elenio crashes an effort against the corner of post and crossbar after Davenport just fails to stop Garey playing the ball out to the left winger.

46min - We have one change at half-time. Carlton Cole is on for Ashton, who was a tireless performer in that first half.


45min - We are into added time. Another corner to the visitors. Parker takes short to Ashton who then plays it back to half-time as the whistle blows on an intriguing first half.

45min - Ferdinand does well to deny the Crew on another attack. The home side get a corner which Green manages to get away, although not as cleanly as he would have liked.

43min - Elenio fires goalwards but Davenport does well to block. Delightful play from Ferdinand leaves Lenhart and Garey in his wake and the young defender moves forward.

41min - Despite it being early evening here, the temperature is still in the mid-30s. We may see several substitutions in the second half, with unlimited changes allowed.

40min - Ferdinand races across to stop Steven Lenhart's surge forward. Corner to Columbus and the drummer picks up the pace. It comes to nothing and Bellamy gets away on a quick break that finishes with a shot on goal. California native Lenhart is one of the youngest players in the home attack.

39min - More link up play between Reid, Ashton and Bellamy sees the latter force his way through only to be closed out as he neared goal. Nice tidying up from Noble at the other end.

38min - Faubert has been good with his corners from either wing. He picks out Ashton but his header goes straight into Gruenebaum's grateful grasp.

35min - It has been a good work-out so far. Bellamy and Widdowson have been impressive. Ferdinand then does well to head away despite the close attention of the imposing Garey. Corner to Columbus but it comes to nothing.

34min - Noble is called offside after good build-up from Reid, Bellamy and Ashton.

32min - Reid and Bellamy combine but the shot is comfortably saved.

31min - Crew captain Duncan Oughton tries to get something going in midfield but is closed down. Columbus try again but Widdowson gets the ball away. Another deep cross is fired in and Green does well again to pluck out of the sky.

30min - Play has resumed and Reid earns a corner on the left wing. Faubert comes across to take it. The ball is cleared to the edge of the area but Noble is penalised for a push.

28min - Goalscorer Garey tries his luck with a long-range effort that Green comfortably takes. We have a break in play as a Columbus player gets treatement. Both teams take the chance for a welcome drink. The weather is stifling.

27min - Bellamy has switched flanks to the right. He has been constantly pulling defenders out wide and then using his pace to get to the byline. This time he gets a delightful cross in but Ashton just cannot reach it.

26min - GOAL! - West Ham United are back in the lead after pressure from Mark Noble forced Brad Evans to put past his own goalkeeper. The attack had begun with Davenport moving forward from defence to get involved.

24min - An outstanding tackle by Hendrickson on Bellamy after he had combined well with Ashton. Bellamy is then fouled on the area to give Ashton a shooting chance from 25 yards.

22min - Scott Parker tries to get Bellamy away but he is outmuscled by the imposing Hendrickson. The home fans are in great voice after seeing their side back in the contest.

20min - GOAL! - A fine finish from Jason Garey against the run of play. He rose above Ferdinand to leave Green no chance with a thumping header from Elenio's right-wing cross.

19min - Reid goes close with a fine effort. It came about after Ashton had again worked an opening. Seconds later, Faubert looks for Bellamy and the Wales captain is just unable to get the ball under control.

18min - Green has not had too much to do. On the raised stage behind his goal are 20 cheerleaders who are helping to provide plenty of colour to the occasion.

17min - It should have been 2-0. A delightful ball from Noble over the top sees Bellamy race away again. He lofts the ball over the on-rushing Gruenebaum but it just travels wide.

16min - Bellamy is penalised for a foul on Eddie Gaven. Looked harsh. Ashton then loses the ball to Ezra Hendrickson who surges out of defence. The danger is cleared though.

15min - Columbus are without a few of their regulars including US defender Frankie Hejduk, although the veteran will be playing for the MLS All-Stars on Thursday. Ashton goes close with a header from Neill's fierce right-wing cross.

14min - Bellamy does well to trick his way past Ryan Junge on the left. His low cross eventually reaches Ashton who is closed down before he can shoot.

13min - Good work by Widdowson to close out Elanio. He wins a throw and the youngster has made an encouraging start.

11min - Ashton is now doing his defensive work. He rises high to head out a Columbus corner. Faubert then dispossesses Elenio in midfield and nearly gets Bellamy away.

9min - Another corner to West Ham United. Bellamy is giving the home defence all kinds of trouble. Faubert takes again but this time Gruenebaum claims.

8min - It is a bright start from West Ham United. Faubert has the chance to apply more pressure with a corner and nearly picks out Neill. Ashton then nods down for Ferdinand and his half-volley is blocked as it started to travel goalwards.

6min - GOAL! - Ashton fires in a tremendous shot on the turn that beats Gruenebaum before he has even seen it. It was an outstanding finish. He had worked the opening superbly on the edge of the area.

5min - Columbus get a free-kick from a central position and play the ball into the six-yard box. Anton Ferdinand rises highest to head away the danger. The ball comes back in from Cory Elenio but Robert Green is able to claim with arms outstretched.

4min - Bellamy is the first to try his luck on the day with a shot that sails wide to Gruenebaum's right. He had been upended by a firm challenge just moments before.

3min - A lovely flighted pass from Lucas Neill drops over the back of the Columbus defence for Bellamy to race on to but he is just unable to get there before home goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.

2min - Calum Davenport is already vocal, barking out instructions to Widdowson, the 19-year-old making only his second appearance with the first team. Julien Faubert then races on to a loose pass from Brad Evans but is unable to keep the ball under control.

1min - Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy get us under way. There is an early touch for Joe Widdowson, wearing No40, before the ball goes back to Robert Green.


5.07pm - The pre-match presentations are taking place. West Ham United are wearing their new sky blue strip, with Columbus all in their usual home yellow. West Ham United will play the first half with Columbus' most vocal fan section, including a noisy drummer, behind them.

5pm - Crewcat, the flag-waving Columbus mascot, races out of the tunnel in front of the teams. West Ham United and Columbus Crew lineup for the national anthems which are magnificently observed.

4.20pm - The goalkeepers are the first to show for West Ham United. Ludek Miklosko is out with Jimmy Walker and Robert Green. There looks to be plenty of claret and blue in the crowd to rival the home team's yellow and black.

4pm - The teams are in and Alan Curbishley has named a strong starting eleven. Luis Boa Morte is the only one of the travelling party who is not in contention although he is expected to figure in Thursday's MLS All-Star Game.

3.55pm - Welcome to Crew Stadium on a scorching day in Columbus, Ohio. A sizeable travelling contingent of West Ham United fans are already inside the impressive 22, 555-seater stadium. The pitch was being heavily watered earlier as the players walked out for a first look but the sprinklers are off as a quartet of Columbus players take in a few laps of the pitch.

West Ham United: Green (Walker 75), Neill (c), Ferdinand ('Gala 84), Davenport (Spence 70), Widdowson, Faubert (Stokes 75), Noble (Mullins 57), Parker (Collison 70), Reid (Stanislas 57), Bellamy (Miller 87), Ashton (Cole 46)
Subs: Etherington

Columbus Crew: Gruenebaum, Zayner, Junge, Hendrickson, Peterson, Oughton, Evans, Elenio, Gaven, Lenhart, Garey
Subs: Schoeni, Iro, Moreno, Marshall, Migloranzi, Miller, Josten, Pierre-Louis, Carroll