Filed: Tuesday, 17th July 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham's pre-season campaign suffered a setback at the Kassam Stadium as Sam Allardyce's side were beaten by a bunch of triallists.
United - admittedly under-strength themselves - suffered a second defeat of pre-season thanks to Deane Smalley's 36th minute strike.
Oxford - who play in League Two, the fourth tier of the English professional league - were making their first appearance of pre-season against a West Ham side who had already played three games (with a record of one win, one draw and a defeat).
However they were more than a match for the Hammers who featured established first team players such as Winston Reid, Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te - as well as a smattering of youngsters and reserves.
Having won their first match of pre-season at Southend 72 hours ago, Allardyce must have been hoping that his players would push on and compliment that with a second successive win.
However the reality was far different as the Irons struggled to make inroads in the final third of the pitch and Oxford goalkeeper Ryan Clarke - the only player of theirs to last a full 90 minutes - was never seriously tested throughout the game.
In front of a decent-sized crowd of just under 5,000, the home side grabbed an unexpected win courtesy of 23-year-old reserve striker Smalley, who has enjoyed spells at clubs such as Oldham, Rochdale and Bradford already in his short career.
A Sean McGinty cross was half-cleared by new signing George McCartney, where it fell perfectly for the youngster who volleyed home from an acute angle to the delight of the majority of the crowd.
West Ham - who not unexpectedly looked the stronger of the two sides in the opening half hour failed produce an equaliser theraeafter despite the home side making ten changes at the break.
However the game did at least give Sam Allardyce the opportunity to have a closer look at one or two players on the fringes of his first team squad and give his team another oportunity to get themselves some much-needed match fitness.
Match facts: Oxford Utd 1 West Ham Utd 0
West Ham Utd: Henderson, Demel (Nasha 61), Spence, Reid (Wearen 61), McCartney (Taylor 46), Noble (Moncur 61), Nolan (Ruddock 61), O'Neil (Pollitt 61), Morrison (Turgott 61), Cole (Maynard 46), Vaz Te (Hall 61).
Subs not used: Larkins, Lletget.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Batt (Boateng 46), Evans (Raynes 46), Wright (Tafazoli 46), McGinty (Capaldi 46), Heslop (Smith 46), Chapman (Forster-Caskey 46), McAllister (Harris 46), Pittman (Constable 46), Smalley (Rigg 46), Potter (Craddock 46).
Subs not used: Crocombe, Lynn, Long
Goals: Smalley (36).
Attendance: 4,708 (1,101 away fans).
* Image courtesy of No_Bursting_My_Bubbles
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Hammers face home tie [15th Aug 2012]
Ipswich Town 3 West Ham Utd 1 [4th Aug 2012]
Dynamo Dresden 3 West Ham Utd 0 [27th Jul 2012]
Tractor boys await [29th May 2012]
Wandering star [16th Mar 2012]
Wilder over the moon [20th Dec 2011]
Against Hall odds [1st Nov 2011]
Czech out [14th Oct 2011]
09:50AM 18th Jul 2012
''This pre-season is starting to get really embarassing. They say we had a mixture of reserves, first team and youngsters when infact we had a strong team out in the first 61 minutes and they managed to score in the 36th! Not impressed with the pre-season opposition, was looking forward to next season up to now.''
09:21AM 18th Jul 2012
''Was at the game with the family last night. Very good atmosphere and loved the chants and counter chants regarding one Paolo Di Canio. Hillarious.
Rousing rendition of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles". No other anthem comes near it.
Now to the footy.
Almost first team out on the pitch in first half. Hammers kept ball well. One shout of "You are NOT Barcelona" summed it up. Lots of possession. Unfortunately no end product.
Oxford actually hoofed the ball up. Couple of dicey moments in defence including the goal. Well taken though it was.
Nolan and Noble were utter rubbish. McCartney looked anything but a Premier League player.
2nd Half: Almost a new team. Not as much possession but looked dangerous. More pace with the youngsters on the pitch. Hall and Pelly provided the skills. Those two look good. Unlucky to hit the bar and post.
Summary: A good run out. Looked if though Hammers were out for a little training match. Oxford played it like a cup final. Chasing and tackling throughout. Understable as most in second half were triallists. How seriously Sam took this game was summed up by Big Sam only appearing once on the sideline (after the tackles started flying in). Had a quick word with the player.
Enogh to say and this will not come as a surprise to anybody. We do need fresh faces. This squad is not good enogh for the long season ahead.''
by Paul Domenet
09:11AM 18th Jul 2012
''Morrison looked useful. Hall was dangerous when he came on but as ever it was the system not the players which was so depressing. No imagination. No penetration. And utterly predictable. He could buy Balotelli, Torres and Gomez and it wouldn't change anything.''
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