GALLERY: Colchester United 1 West Ham 2
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Joe Cole and James Collins were on target as West Ham beat Colchester United 2-1 in a friendly at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday.
The Premier League outfit played most of their first team squad at one time or another throughout an entertaining 90 minutes.
Always the classier, West Ham deserved their victory but U’s fans had plenty to cheer and finished the night on a high when Jabo Ibehre headed home a 90th-minute consolation.
There was a great atmosphere in the ground, aided by thousands of Hammers fans on a sultry evening.
An early foul on Gavin Massey by Mo Diame came to nothing, but in the sixth minute West Ham took the lead.
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Mark Cousins in the home goal made a real hash of trying to clear his lines and as Joe Cole buzzed about, it was the West Ham and England midfielder who was hit by the keeper’s clearance, the ball trickling into the net.
It was an embarrassing goal to concede for the U’s and was met with ironic cheering around the ground.
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After the restart, Elliott Lee turned well before being tripped and Marcus Bean had a 30-yarder that flew straight at Adrian in the visiting goal.
West Ham were knocking the ball around well, with Diame especially prominent, however, Clinton Morrison forced a good save out of Adrian on 21 minutes and James Collins then blocked well as the U’s settled.
Mark Noble was working hard in midfield for the Hammers, but Colchester were giving a decent account of themselves against good opposition.
Massey was lively and he cut inside Collins before just curling a shot past the post on the half hour.
Cole then almost put Guy Demel in, but Cousins was out sharply and then atoned for his earlier howler, saving well with Lee was clean through.
Collins blocked a cracking Freddie Sears effort and Bean won the U’s first corner in the 40th minute.
The second half started in almost the same fashion as the first, as West Ham scored their second.
An inswinging corner from Cole in the 50th minute was met by Collins at the near post and his deft flick found its way into the far corner of the net.
Tom Eastman cleared well, but it was West Ham who were enjoying the better of the second half.
Matt Jarvis in particular was getting much more into the game out on the left.
Cousins may have been the villain of the piece at the start of the game, but he now kept the score down with a plethora of saves, including one double one from Jack Collison and Pelly Ruddick.
The U’s continued to work hard and this was a good work-out for both sides.
Cousins was by far the busier keeper however and he dived at the feet of Collison in the 85th minute.
Claims for a U’s penalty fell on deaf ears after the flying Sanchez Watt was wrestled to the ground by Dan Potts.
But the U’s fans enjoyed something to cheer about when Ibehre notched a goal in the final minute of the game.