Etherington back in the fray

Matthew Etherington is glad to be back in action after coming through his first taste of first-team football for more than five months.

The left winger got a scheduled 45 minutes in the 3-2 defeat by the MLS All-Stars last Thursday night on the state of the art Fieldturf surface in Toronto although it remains to be seen whether he will play again against his former club Peterborough United on Tuesday. "It was my first bit of action since the start of February so I was just pleased to be out there to be honest," Etherington said, having been declared fit to play after his groin troubles.

"With the current injury I have had, it was probably not the best surface for me to have my first game on but it was good to be out there and I got 45 minutes under my belt. It was always the plan for me just to play a half. I am looking forward to the remainder of the pre-season games. I am sure Peterborough will be a tough game, Darren Ferguson has done very well there."

The midweek contest will be a far cry from the high-profile match against the MLS All-Stars and Etherington was left upbeat by the experience. "It was a good game to be involved in. It was only our third game back and they are in the middle of their pre-season but it was good to be involved and they are games you want to play in. They are a lot more into their season than we are but the atmosphere was great and it was enjoyable."

The first-half run-out for the 26-year-old Etherington was followed by Luis Boa Morte in the second half. In both players' absence against Columbus Crew the previous weekend, Kyel Reid occupied the left flank and turned in a solid performance. After the Peterborough fixture, a West Ham United XI will go to Cambridge United on Wednesday evening.