West Ham end pre-season with disappointing Bournemouth defeat
- Credit: PA
Pre-season: West Ham 3 Bournemouth 5
West Ham United ended their pre-season preparations with a dismal, disappointing defeat in this Betway Cup contest at London Stadium, where recently-relegated Bournemouth left David Moyes with plenty of food for thought ahead of next Saturday’s big Premier League kick-off against Newcastle United.
Arnaut Danjuma and Dominic Solanke put the recently-relegated Cherries into a commanding two-goal lead within the opening 16 minutes, before substitute Josh Cullen twice set-up Jarrod Bowen in closing minutes of the first-half to somehow leave it level at the break.
But second-half strikes from substitute Dan Gosling, Adam Smith and the newly-arrived Jaidon Anthony put Jason Tindall’s side firmly back in control before Felipe Anderson stepped from the bench to nod a late consolation for Moyes men.
With Tindall returning the face the club where his father, Jimmy, served for some two decades as the Hammers Youth Development Officer, the newly-installed Bournemouth manager would have left his native East End buoyed by his side’s performance ahead of the forthcoming Championship campaign.
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Despite Declan Rice, Andriy Yarmolenko, Tomáš Sou?ek, Darren Randolph and ?ukasz Fabia?ski all being away on international duty, Moyes was still able to kick-off with an experienced starting line-up.
But one man conspicuous by his absence was Grady Diangana, whose overnight record-equalling £18million transfer to West Bromwich Albion had led to dissent, dismay and disappointment in the East End.
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Unusually, Mark Noble had also tweeted his discontent at the sale of the highly-promising Academy graduate and, on the afternoon after the night before, the heart-on-sleeve skipper’s mood would not have been lightened by the Hammers lackadaisical start to their final pre-season contest.
Already inside the opening seconds, Danjuma had carved his way into the West Ham area before seeing Solanke fail to convert what looked like a routine tap-in.
Then, with just five minutes on the clock, the Dutchman decided to go it alone as he again waltzed into the left-hand side of the Hammers box and, with neither Ben Johnson nor Issa Diop finding a decisive tackle, Danjuma simply slotted his solo eight-yarder under the diving David Martin.
And after Diop was booked for tugging back the Cherries’ goalscorer, Tindall’s side doubled their lead on 16 minutes with a carbon-copy second strike of the afternoon.
This time, Smith strode into the Hammers area before sending a low, left-sided cross into the six-yard box, where Solanke now made no mistake in sweeping his shot through the helplessly-exposed Martin.
Midway through the first-half, Johnson was booked for cynically scything Smith as the Cherries midfielder attempted to make another darting dash down the left touchline and that would prove to be the disappointed, young right-back’s last action of the match as Ryan Fredericks stepped from the bench.
Josh Cullen then replaced Manuel Lanzini and, after Danjuma failed to make the most of former Hammer Junior Stanislas’ low right-wing ball into the danger-zone, the young West Ham substitute quickly marked his return from a season-long loan spell at Charlton Athletic with two telling assists.
On 38 minutes, the Republic of Ireland international invited Bowen to ghost into the six-yard box and - with the Bournemouth rear-guard fruitlessly appealing for offside on a VAR-less afternoon – the January capture from Hull City prodded over Jordan Archer, whose parry could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.
That same combination then pulled the Hammers level three minutes later, when Cullen’s well-flighted left-wing cross was nodded home by Bowen to double his tally and somehow send rejuvenated West Ham in at the break all-square.
Just after the restart, Sébastien Haller skied another Cullen centre high into the newly-configured empty seating behind Archer’s goal, while at the other end, ‘keeper Martin looked more like central-defender father, Alvin, when he raced from his line and ushered Solanke away from danger.
But that was as good as it would get for Hammers third-choice goalkeeper, who again saw Solanke drag him from his goal as the hour-mark approached and, although the Bournemouth striker’s tightly-angled shot hit the near-post, interval substitute Philip Billing laid the ball back to fellow half-time arrival Gosling, whose pin-point 18-yarder flew in-off the right angle.
With their lead restored, the Cherries pressed again and, just five minutes later, Smith drilled a low angled 18-yarder across the face of the sprawling Martin and into the far corner.
On 67 minutes, substitute Anthony then netted the goal of the match with a curling, angled 20-yard shot that flew beyond the outstretched left-glove of the airborne Hammers ‘keeper and under the right-hand angle.
With the customary flurry of substitutions having taken place, it was left to another late- arrival , Felipe Anderson to net an 84th-minute consolation for the Hammers when he rose highest at the far post to nod home an in-swinging corner from the fresh-legged Robert Snodgrass, leaving Moyes looking for vast improvements against Newcastle in seven days time.
HAMMERS: Martin, Johnson (Fredericks 26), Cresswell, Ogbonna (Balbuena 62), Diop, Noble, (Wilshere 62), Fornals (Snodgrass 82), Lanzini (Cullen 32) Bowen (Masuaku 62), Antonio (Anderson 62), Haller (Silva 82). Unused subs: Trott, Coventry.
CHERRIES: Archer, Stacey, Rico (Jordan 76), Simpson, Mepham (Ofoborh 60), Lerma (Gosling h/t), Cook L. (Kilkenny 76), Smith (Pugh 63) Stanislas (Zemura 76), Danjuma (Billing h/t), Solanke (Anthony 60). Unused subs: Dennis.
Referee: Graham Scott
Booked: Diop (16), Johnson (25)