Report: The signs are good despite Blues' defeat by West Ham in final dress rehearsal
PUBLISHED: 16:51 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:39 28 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town may have lost their final pre-season game at home to West Ham this afternoon, but there were promising signs during Paul Hurst's first game on home soil.
Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic scored the goals for the Hammers in their 2-1 victory, with Ellis Harrison scoring his first in an Ipswich shirt in what was an impressive Portman Road bow for the new signing.
Gwion Edwards was busy on the right flank, while the midfield trio of Flynn Downes, Andre Dozzell and Tristan Nydam were more than a match for a West Ham engineroom including the likes of England international Jack Wilshere.
Martyn Waghorn was again an unused substitute, as he was against MK Dons on Tuesday, as he continues to be linked with a multi-million-pound move away from Portman Road.
Things didn’t start well for the Blues as Anderson, a £36million summer signing from Lazio, headed the ball home after receiving Ryan Fredericks’ cross in acres of space.
A number of individual errors followed, with Luke Woolfenden at times looking to struggle with the pace of the game as he let his concentration slide, but the Ipswich youngsters soon felt their way into the game.
The midfield trio of Flynn Downes, Tristan Nydam and Andre Dozzell began to see more and more of the ball, and it was from this axis the Town equaliser arrived. Dozzell picked up possession and turned quickly in midfield before executing a pinpoint through-ball which Harrison latched onto and finished neatly past Lukasz Fabianski.
The new signing from Bristol Rovers nearly made it two for the afternoon but his header, from a Freddie Sears cross, came back off the post, before Jonas Knudsen sent a volley over moments later to end the half.
Robert Snodgrass, formerly of Norwich City, forced a good low save from Bartosz Bialkowski on the hour mark after the Blues had kept their visitors penned in during the opening minutes of the second period,
The Hammers were ahead on 70 minutes as the Ipswich midfield were caught ball-watching, with Arnautovic bursting through the middle of the Town defence to poke the ball into the back of the net.
Ipswich responded, though, playing some nice football as the changes began to come, with Trevoh Chalobah making his first appearance for the club after coming on in place of Nydam. He sat in the role ahead of the back four and looked calm and composed, despite only flying back into the country yesterday following his involvement at the Under 19 European Championship in Finland.
Ipswich open their Championship season next week with a home clash against Blackburn.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Spence (Emmanuel 83), Chambers, Woolfenden, Knudsen (Kenlock 72); Downes, Nydam (Chalobah 75), Dozzell (Ward 79); Sears, Edwards (Roberts 83), Harrison (Lankester 83)
Subs: Gerken, Clements
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks (Zabaleta), Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku, Obiang, Kouyate (Snodgrass 46), Wilshere (Noble 46), Yarmolenko (Martinez 63), Anderson (Haksabanovic 63), Arnautovic (Cullen 81)
Subs: Adrian, Diop, Rice
Att: 15,246 (4,175 away)