West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw against Boreham Wood in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night, despite controlling much of the match.
As expected the Hammers generally had the better of the proceedings, but it took longer than hoped before they got the breakthrough as Sam Baldock scored after good, unselfish play by Ricardo Vaz Te in the 27th minute.
They were pegged back soon after the restart as forward Inih Effiong seized on some calamitous defending by Sam Allardyce’s team.
The newly-promoted Premier League club named two entirely different teams in each half, both having a blend of youth and experience as Pelly Ruddock, a signing from Boreham Wood, captained the first-half team containing the likes of Vaz Te, Mark Noble, George McCartney and Jussi Jaaskelainen.
In the second period Winston Reid, Gary O’Neil, Kevin Nolan and Nicky Maynard were the senior players, joined by talented former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison.
The visitors got off to a good start as McCartney and Vaz Te combined well down the left before the former Portugal Under-21 international found George Moncur, whose curling effort was palmed away well by the goalkeeper.
Ruddock, on his return to the Wood, almost opened the scoring as he attempted a volley from Matthew Fanimo’s pinpoint cross, but the midfielder sliced his effort when he should have controlled the delivery.
With 21 minutes on the clock, the home side almost took the lead from a corner, but Callum Reynold’s powerful header went straight over Jaaskelainen’s bar and out for a goal-kick.
Six minutes later Boreham Wood were left ruing that miss as Sam Allardyce’s side took the lead through Baldock. Vaz Te charged through the centre before flicking the ball to his right for the 23-year-old to tap home, via a deflection.
As the first half came to a conclusion, Jaaskelainen was finding himself more and more involved, first stopping a free-kick from the corner of the penalty area, then diving down to his left to stop a low strike from left-back Mark Jones.
West Ham almost doubled their lead straight after the break as Maynard nearly got on the end of Nolan’s toe-poke, and the Wood duly punished them moments later.
Substitute Effiong grabbed the equaliser after an Eoin Wearen back pass went horribly wrong, allowing the giant forward to blast a shot into the net.
Morrison was looking the most likely to produce something in the second period for West Ham, with the 19-year-old spreading the play nicely, but the away side were struggling to create chances, until the final minutes.
England youth international Morrison was involved once again and a clever move almost ended in a Nolan goal, but he couldn’t find the back of the net following Matty Taylor’s cross and Boreham Wood held on for a creditable draw.