Filed: Wednesday, 30th July 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
Last season it was Orient and Oldham - this time around Wycombe become the latest lower-league club to send the Hammers to an embarrassing defeat, in last night's friendly encounter at Adams Park.
The defeat - although naturally disappointing - was hardly surprising however given the tiny squad which Glenn Roeder currently has at his disposal, thanks to a summer of sackings and sales as the club desperately try to keep their head above water.
It has been pointed out before that Roeder has just a handful players with more than ten games first-team experience left in his squad; evidence of how restrictive that may prove over the coming season was clear for all to see last night as his side were distinctly second best for parts of the game against an at best mediocre opposition.
As is often the case it was the former Hammers who came back to haunt the club; Gavin Holligan - whose one first team appearance for West Ham came as a second-half substitute at Liverpool 3 years ago - scored Wycombe's opening goal after an all-too-typical fumble from David James after 20 minutes (the cross supplied by another former Hammer, Darren Currie).
That lead was doubled just minutes later when the Hammers defensive frailties were exposed for all to see; a hopeful throw-in found the head of an unmarked Roger Johnson; Wycombe captain Johnson making no mistake with the header.
The deficit was reduced to one after 42 minutes when Freddie Kanoute capitalised on a spilled Jermain Defoe shot; Kanoute smashing the ball home into an empty net from the edge of the six-yard-box.
After the break West Ham took the game to their second division opponents, yet despite great opportunities for the likes of Kanoute and Defoe failed to restore parity on the night.
Chasing an equaliser inevitably meant gaps would be left at the back, and the home side took advantage to add a late third goal which, in all fairness, was more than a little harsh on the Hammers. Lewis Cook slid in to convert a wide cross with just six minutes remaining to leave the game 3-1 to the home side.
An unhappy Glenn Roeder - who also revealed that he is on the verge of making his first signing of the summer - speaking after the game said:
"It was a disappointing result. Credit to Wycombe for how much effort they put into the game - but the problems we had tonight were all caused by ourselves.
"The first and the second goals were unacceptable; David James is honest and he was not happy with the first goal - but errors like that make things difficult.
"It gives us plenty of food for thought and after doing so well in the first three pre-season games it was disappointing, to say the least, to come here and lose 3-1."
A delighted Wycombe manager, Lawrie Sanchez said after the game:
"It was a good result but the manner in which we played, especailly in the first half, was first class."
So the first defeat for the Hammers first XI in pre-season, which is probably more than most expected thanks to the behind the scenes turmoil at Upton Park.
That leaves just one more pre-season friendly before the first division campaign kicks off at Preston next weekend; PSV are the opponents for that at Upton Park this coming Friday evening.
West Ham United: James, Schemmel, Pearce (Byrne 46), Repka, Dailly, Hutchison, Lee (Carrick 63), Cole, Sofiane, Kanoute (Garcia 63), Defoe.
Subs not used: McMahon, Ferdinand, McClenahan.
Wycombe Wanderers: Williams, Senda, Vinnicombe, Johnson, Rogers, Currie (Cook 63), Simpson (Brown 83), Mapes (Bulman 70), Harris (Harding 70), Holligan (Patterson 28), McSporran (Roberts 63).
Subs not used: Matthews, Simpemba, Oliver, Thompson.
Goals: Holligan (20), Johnson (25), Kanoute (42), Cook (84)
Something old, something new [7th Jun 2012]
Goalkeeper signs permanent deal [21st May 2012]
Henderson loan confirmed [16th Mar 2012]
Henderson set to sign [10th Mar 2012]
Stech joins Os [24th Feb 2012]
Sears draws blank [20th Feb 2012]
Rhodes on song for PL scouts [6th Jan 2012]
'Keeper heads north [2nd Jan 2012]
Pre-season pitch minutes: final table [1st Aug 2011]
comments powered by Disqus