May 24 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Hammers slip to Tractor Boys again
Ipswich Town 3 West Ham United 1
Results don’t mean much at this stage of pre-season, but West Ham boss Sam Allardyce may well have been a little perturbed by the manner of this defeat at Portman Road this afternoon.
While the Hammers were marching back into the Premier League last term, they did lose twice to Ipswich, including an embarrassing 5-1 loss here in January.
It was more of the same in this match as the Tractor Boys dominated for long periods and thoroughly deserved their victory against an under-par Hammers side which included James Collins making his first appearance since his signing from Aston Villa this week.
Hammers adopted a 4-4-2 formation with new boy Modibo Maiga playing up front alongside Carlton Cole, with Ricardo Vaz Te on the right and Matt Taylor on the left.
But it did not seem to be an effective plan as Ipswich took full advantage of the extra room in the middle of the park to take control.
It was certainly Ipswich who started the brighter and in the fourth minute they went close to taking the lead when Michael Chopra met a low cross from the right, only to shoot inches wide.
On 15 minutes they did get in front. Just as West Ham had begun to take some semblance of control, Ipswich went up the other end where Gary O’Neil upended the tricky Lee Martin for an obvious penalty.
Chopra stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, sending Jussi Jaaskelainen the wrong way.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 as West Ham conceded a free kick on the right hand side. Martin stroked the ball into the box and Luke Chambers was there to head the ball back into the far corner.
It could have been three on 22 minutes when Jay-Emmanuel Thomas cut inside as West Ham failed to close him down, only for his scuffed shot to slip inches wide with Jaaskelainen struggling to reach it.
Mali international striker Maiga attempted to haul the Hammers back into the game with an ambitious shot on 31 minutes, but his effort, though powerful, flew high and wide of Scott Loach’s goal as the Hammers failed to make an impression in a very disappointing first half.
Manager Sam Allardyce opted to change the formation for the second half with Maiga switching to the left side in a 4-3-3 formation and it seemed to have the desired effect as West Ham got back into the game.
Vaz Te forced a decent save from Loach on 57 minutes with a shot from the edge of the box, while Taylor began to cause problems with his deliveries from the left hand side.
West Ham continued to press in the second half and they were rewarded on 73 minutes.
Nicky Maynard played in Taylor on the edge of the box and he swung a left-foot shot which hit the post and flew into the net to make it 2-1.
Taylor came close again 10 minutes later when he met Guy Demel’s cross with a header that went across the goal and slipped inches wide.
But on 83 minutes, Ipswich secured their deserved victory when Jason Scotland stormed forward before curling a shot from outside the box into the far corner.
Maynard almost set-up Vaz Te for a consolation in injury time, only for Loach to save his shot, but it was already too late for the Hammers who have just one more friendly before they kick-off their Premier League campaign against Aston Villa at Upton Park on August 18.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen (Henderson 79), Demel, Potts (O’Brien h/t), Collins, Reid, O’Neil (Moncur 77), Noble, Taylor, Vaz Te, Maiga (Maynard 62), Cole (Fanimo 74). Sub not used: Lletget,