Ipswich Town v West Ham United
Saturday 31 July 2010
Referee: Fred Graham
Final score - Ipswich Town 0-1 West Ham United
So, Carlton Cole's fourth goal in five pre-season games is enough to secure a fifth consecutive victory and, with two friendly matches still to play ahead of the start of the Barclays Premier League season, Avram Grant's team is shaping up nicely. Don't forget, an extra date has been added at Southend United on Tuesday evening. For ticket detais, click here. Following the visit to Roots Hall, the Hammers will host Spanish club RC Deportivo La Coruna at the Boleyn Ground next Saturday afternoon at 3pm. That match, for the SBOBET Cup in aid of the Academy, should be a superb game. Keep a close eye on whufc.com for post-match reaction and WHUTV for exclusive highlights and interviews.
90 mins - Diamanti crosses and Murphy is there again to gather the ball low down. Just as we click past 90 minutes, referee Graham brings matters to a close and West Ham have won again!
88 mins - Good from Barrera, who cushions the ball neatly before cutting inside his marker and floating a cross towards Cole. Unfortunately, it's too close to Murphy, who catches easily.
87 mins - Piquionne has been lively since his introduction and he shows again before cutting inside and seeing his low shot blocked on the edge of the penalty area. This game is drifting towards a conclusion and West Ham look odds-on to secure a fifth straight win and fourth straight clean sheet in pre-season. Who'd have thought Peterborough United would be the only team to score against Avram Grant's side in their opening five friendly matches?
85 mins - The early indications are that Upson's substitution was just precautionary. We'll obviously have more news for you as soon as we get an update.
83 mins - Noble fouls Murray and Ipswich have a free-kick 30-plus yards from goal. Murray himself tries an audacious effort and Green is there to hold on.
81 mins - West Ham are lined up with Green in goal, Stanislas at right-back with Spector and Gabbidon in the centre and Daprela at left-back. Kovac and Noble are in central midfield, with Diamanti on the right and Barrera on the left, while Piquionne and Cole are up front. Diamanti has a pop, but it's too close to Murphy and the ball thuds into his chest.
80 mins - There are 10,564 fans here this afternoon. West Ham make another change, with Stanislas on for Tomkins.
78 mins - Cole gets in behind again and races through, only for Murphy to block his low shot with his legs. The ball rolls out for a corner, which comes to nothing.
76 mins - Ipswich have a free-kick about 30 yards out. It is touched to Leadbitter, who flicks it up and volleys the ball on to the roof of the net. That would have been spectacular, and certainly had Green scrambing.
73 mins - We've just had eight changes - four from each side. Ipswich nearly take advantage, but Smith's header flies wide of the post. Spector, Kovac, Barrera and Daprela are on for Faubert, Parker, Hitzlsperger and Ilunga. For Ipswich, Ainsley, Lambe, O'Connor and Murray are on for Peters, Kennedy, Edwards and Priskin.
71 mins - Ipswich come down the right through Edwards, who lofts the ball to the back post. Walters gets above Faubert, but his header hits the ground and has no pace, allowing Green to claim easily.
70 mins - So nearly a debut goal for Piquionne, who springs the offside trap and tries to latch on to Hitzlsperger's pass, only for Murphy to dive bravely at his feet to punch the ball clear.
68 mins - The game has calmed down again after the changes and Piquionne gets free down the right. He cuts inside and takes on Kennedy before trying to pick out Diamanti at the far post. The Italian picks up possession and wins a corner. The ball falls to Gabbidon 25 yards from goal and he drives a shot narrowly wide. Oooohs from the travelling fans. That would have been a collector's item.
63 mins - Faubert is at right-back, with Piquionne and Diamanti on the right and left of the front three respectively. Ipswich come forward through Walters, but his curling effort flies high and wide of the far post.
62 mins - Diamanti replaces Boa Morte, while Piquionne is on for his debut in place of Dyer. Danny Gabbidon is also on in place of Da Costa.
60 mins - A couple of changes coming up for West Ham. Alessandro Diamanti and Frederic Piquionne are coming on, but not before West Ham try to make use of a free-kick 25 yards from the Ipswich goal. Boa Morte takes it and it is an awful effort, nearly going out for a throw-in.
56 mins - Nice again from Ipswich. Walters holds off Dyer and feeds Priskin, who lays the ball square to Norris, whose shot takes a nick off Tomkins on the way wide. The corner is taken short and the cross half-blocked, allowing Green to grab the bouncing ball as he rushes out along the byline.
55 mins - Not much by the way of attacking intent from West Ham since the break as Ipswich are controlling possession and territory. The Blues work the ball nicely through Luke Hyam to Jaime Peters wide on the right, but his cross is too strong and goes beyond the far post and out for a goal kick.
52 mins - Tomkins gets his boot in the way and deflects Priskin's shot behind for a corner. Leadbitter crosses and Green claims to ironic cheers.
48 mins - On the subject of supporters, a very healthy number have made their way up a busy A12 for today's game. They have just seen Green show his detractors why he is an international goalkeeper as he makes a superb stop to deny David Norris. The former Plymouth man's header was destined for the net before Green blocked it before pouncing on the loose ball.
47 mins - The home fans are showing their appreciation for Robert Green, as you might expect for a player who made more than 200 appearances for their arch-rivals Norwich City!
46 mins - West Ham will be unchanged for the start of the second half as Parker and Cole get us back underway.
Seven of the substitutes are warming up with Eamon Swift, going through a series of stretches before having a game of two-touch. It's all very light-hearted, as you might expect. Fabio Daprela and Danny Gabbidon are struggling to match the skills of Junior Stanislas. The sun is shining bright as the West Ham players appear for the second half.
46 mins - Into added time and Kennedy curls over a free-kick. Green rises high and punches the ball clear as two Ipswich players challenge for it and referee Graham blows for half-time.
44 mins - Just as I type, Noble wins possession from Leadbitter and plays in Boa Morte. He cuts it back to Hitzlsperger, whose powerful drive is blocked. The resulting corner nearly falls to Tomkins, but Murphy is there to make the catch inside his six-yard box.
43 mins - We're approaching half-time and Ipswich are coming on strong in an attempt to find an equaliser, but it's not happening for them in the final third.
39 mins - Ipswich respond and Peters curls over a dangerous cross between the West Ham defence and Green. Neither Walters nor Priskin react, though, and the ball rolls behind. Seconds later, Edwards gets in behind and chases a through ball. Green decides to come and gets their first, winning a throw in as he slide tackles the Trinidad and Tobago winger.
37 mins - I can't believe that and I don't think Hitzlsperger can either. Noble gets in behind the Ipswich defence and cuts the ball back for Cole. The pass goes behind the striker and instead rolls into the path of the unmarked midfielder. The German has an age and the stadium goes quiet in silent expectation of a second goal, only for the German to drag his shot wide. Head in hands, he runs back to the halfway line.
36 mins - The goal has settled West Ham down again and they are knocking the ball around with confidence again. Dyer gets forward and wins a free-kick midway inside the Ipswich half. The Hammers take it short and the chance is wasted.
35 mins - Ilunga tries to send Faubert clear down the inside-left channel, where he is now playing after swapping wings with Boa Morte. Unfortunately, McAuley gets across and wins a goal kick off the Frenchman.
34 mins - That is four goals in five games for Cole. Very impressive. Edwards tries to get his side back on level terms, but his speculative effort from about 30 yards dribbles well wide of the far post.
31 mins - GOAL! I'm not quite sure how Cole scored that but he did. West Ham knock the ball around confidently in midfield before Noble lofts the ball wide right to the rampaging Dyer. He cuts it back to Faubert, whose deep cross is met by Boa Morte's head. Goalkeeper Murphy can only parry it straight into the air where Cole jumps with McAuley and tries to head the ball home, only for it to get stuck between them. Cole readjusts superbly and appears to acrobatically volley it into the net from about three yards!
27 mins - Keane's men are on top here. Twice, Dyer and Tomkins have to combine to clear dangerous balls into the West Ham penalty area. No clear sight of goal for the home side there, though. Noble has slipped into the centre of midfield alongside Hitzlsperger, with the pair playing in front of Parker.
24 mins - Ipswich have a corner. The ball flies through to Carlos Edwards, who crosses dangerously towards McAuley, but the defender can only divert his header well wide of the target from ten yards.
23 mins - An early change from the Hammers as captain Upson is replaced by Noble. He lobs the armband to Parker before making his way off. Dyer is now at right-back, with Tomkins alongside Da Costa in the centre.
21 mins - There is something great about watching Hitzlsperger ping a ball around. His left foot is an absolute wand and the ease with which he sends the ball 40 yards to the feet of a team-mate is a real joy to watch.
18 mins - The home side have come into this now and Grant Leadbitter lets fly from 25 yards. The low shot is held easily by Green.
15 mins - Robert Green, take a bow. Priskin gets the wrong side of Da Costa and bears down on goal before shooting from no more than eight yards, but Green is there to block the ball behind. Kennedy takes the resulting corner and New Zealand World Cup defender Tommy Smith heads over. He should have done better with that. Superb from the England goalkeeper previously, though.
13 mins - Not a huge amount to report here so far. Robert Green has been a virtual spectator. Grant has changed the formation a bit here, with Dyer moving ahead of Parker and Hitzlsperger to support Cole. Faubert and Boa Morte appear to have moved slightly wider.
10 mins - Superb play from Parker, Hitzlsperger and Faubert releases Tomkins, who wins a corner. Faubert's kick is a bit short and Cole is penalised for shoving an Ipswich defender. Free-kick to the Tractor Boys.
9 mins - Da Costa does well twice in quick succession. First, he shields the ball out for a goal kick under pressure from Priskin, then he rises high to head powerfully clear from a free-kick. That was typical defending from 'The Beast', as Da Costa has been christened by his teammates.
6 mins - Ipswich are hardly getting a look in here. The movement is good and the passing is crisp as West Ham knock the ball around patiently for nearly a minute. Tomkins crosses and the hosts scramble the ball clear before Cole can pounce. Encouraging signs.
4 mins - Tomkins finds Hitzlsperger, who turns instantly with one touch before being brought down 35 yards out. The Hammers take the free-kick quickly and the ball is worked back to the German, but his pass towards Faubert is too strong and goes behind. That first bit of play was real class from Der Hammer.
3 mins - The Hammers fans are singing their hearts out, but the home supporters are in good voice too. On the pitch, West Ham are settling down nicely. Every player has had a touch as the visitors stroke the ball around with confidence.
1 min - Ipswich win a throw and launch the ball into the box. Parker gets a toe in and West Ham break through Dyer and Faubert. The Frenchman tries to play in Cole, but he is offside. Unlucky.
3.02pm - The two teams are staying as they are and we're nearly ready to go. Ipswich will kick-off.
2.59pm - To the strains of 2Unlimited, the two teams emerge on to what looks like a fantastic playing surface here at the Portman Road. Referee Fred Graham blows his whistle and calls captains Matthew Upson and Jon Walters forward to shake hands.
2.57pm - The wheelie tunnel is being rolled into place, which must mean we are rapidly approaching kick-off here. Someone is going to have to remove the massive advertising tarpauline from the pitch before we start. As I type, two stewards are doing their thing.
2.54pm - Both teams are back in the dressing room to change into their kits. Just to point out that the numbers being worn by the players today are not their confirmed squad numbers for the new season.
2.50pm - It is interesting watching the huge squad warm up, as so many people are doing so many different things. David Coles is working with Green, Kurucz and Stech, while Paul Groves is helping Upson to practice his heading.
2.45pm - The starting XI, minus Robert Green, are enjoying a game of keep-ball inside a 20-yard square. Mark Noble, who is involved today despite my oversight, is playing as the eleventh man in a white bib. Basically, he is on both teams. Noble is the best player on the pitch, but then nobody wants to tackle him, so that isn't too hard for him!
2.40pm - Sorry, I originally left Mark Noble off the substitutes! Apologies for that. Ipswich's team is now in. See below for the lineup and substitutes. Valon Behrami is nursing a slight injury, while all of you will know that Zavon Hines and Jack Collison are currently on the comeback trail after undergoing knee surgery.
2.35pm - The team news is in from the away dressing room. See below for details. Robert Green will start in goal, with a back four of James Tomkins, Manuel da Costa, Matthew Upson and Herita Ilunga. The midfield three will be Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer and Thomas Hitzlsperger, while Julien Faubert and Luis Boa Morte will support central striker Carlton Cole. New signings Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne are among the substitutes.
2.30pm - Apologies for the late team news, but we still do not have confirmation of the two teams from the dressing rooms. Both sets of players are out on the pitch going through their pre-match exercises. The Hammers are being watched carefully by assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic as fitness coach Eamon Swift puts them through their paces.
Good afternoon and welcome to Portman Road, the home of 1978 FA Cup winners Ipswich Town, for West Ham United's fifth pre-season friendly.
The Hammers are a perfect four from four so far, having beaten Peterborough United, VfL Borussia Monchengladbach, Panathanaikos and MK Dons.
Manager Avram Grant is expected to name a near full-strength starting lineup with just a fortnight to go until the start of the Barclays Premier League season, while new arrivals Frederic Piquionne and Pablo Barrera could make their debuts in a Hammers shirt.
The visit to Suffolk will bring back memories for four West Ham players - Kieron Dyer was born in began his career at Ipswich, making 113 appearances for the club, while Mark Noble spent three months on loan here four years ago. Matthew Upson was born in nearby Hartismere, while Robert Green made his senior debut for Norwich City against the Tractor Boys in April 1999 and enjoyed many East Anglian derby meetings during his eight seasons with the Canaries.
Ipswich do not have any former Hammers in their squad this afternoon, but goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett did line up against West Ham for Hartlepool United in the FA Cup fourth round two seasons ago.
The most recent meeting between the two teams occurred at Portman Road two years ago on 4 August 2008. Dean Ashton scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 Hammers win, while Craig Bellamy and Noble were also on target.
West Ham United: Green, Tomkins (Stanislas 80), Da Costa (Gabbidon 62), Upson (Noble 23), Ilunga (Daprela 73), Parker (Kovac 73), Dyer (Piquionne 62), Hitzlsperger (Barrera 73), Faubert (Spector 73), Boa Morte (Diamanti 62), Cole
Subs: Kurucz, Stech, McCarthy
Ipswich Town: Murphy, Peters (Lambe 73), Kennedy (O'Connor 73), McAuley, Hyam, Smith, Norris, Leadbitter, Edwards (Ainsley 73), Walters, Priskin (Murray 73)
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Brown, Hourihane