Oxford United 1-0 West Ham United
West Ham’s unimpressive pre-season form continued on Tuesday night as the newly promoted Premier League side were defeated 1-0 by League Two side Oxford United.
Sam Allardyce named a team combining youth and experience once again and the match started in entertaining, end-to-end fashion as first the talented Ravel Morrison cheaply conceded possession, allowing the home side to break, but Oxford were unable to make the most of the chance.
West Ham's evident threat up front was outweighed by their instability at the back as they again nearly conceded from a counterattack as Oxford broke from a corner only to see Jon-Paul Pittman’s effort from the edge of the area fly comfortably over.
However, the Premier League side weren’t quite as lucky 10 minutes later as Deane Smalley smashed the ball past Henderson from close range, following a poor attempted clearance by George McCartney, to give the League Two side the lead at the break.
Throughout the 90 minutes West Ham struggled a great deal to create meaningful chances, but their best effort came with 20 minutes to go as former Oxford player Rob Hall hit the post from 22 yards out, as the home team hung on for a memorable win.
Ebbsfleet United 2-3 Reading
Unlike West Ham, Reading were able to pick up a win on Tuesday evening when they travelled to Ebbsfleet United, running out 3-2 victors.
The Royals took the lead just after 15 minutes when Jake Taylor rose highest in the Fleet penalty area, heading a corner past Preston Edwards in the hosts’ goal.
However, Fleet did manage to muster an equaliser before half-time as Ben Greenhalgh drove the ball into the box and Moses Ashikodi squirmed through the Reading defenders to reach the ball first and slot past the goalkeeper.
Soon after the break Fleet found themselves behind again as first Jordan Obita fired in on 53 minutes, before Brett Williams found the net moments later with a simple finish.
Reading’s two-goal lead didn’t last very long, though, as Tom Phipp finished with aplomb from 30 yards out just three minutes later, but Brian McDermott's men were able to hold on for the win.
Worcester City 1-0 West Brom
West Brom’s pre-season got off to a slow start against Worcester City on Tuesday evening as they stumbled to a 1-0 defeat away from home.
The Baggies played an unrecognisable team to what would usually appear in the Premier League, with the squad littered with youngsters and development players, while reserve team coach David Oldfield took charge.
In what was a fairly even encounter, both sides had their share of chances as the Blue Square Bet North side got the only goal of the game through Mike Symmons nine minutes shy of half-time with a well-taken strike.
Lesser-known players such as Alex Jones, Ambalu, James Bantom, Callum Jones and Jordan Francis all played a part for the visitors and, while Oldfield was disappointed with the first-half performance, he feels that the team redeemed themselves after the break.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Oldfield declared: “Our performance in the first half was pretty average but we improved in the second half.
"We showed more willingness to get on the ball and push them - but Worcester are a good side and had the experience that our boys lacked.
"Overall it was a good learning curve this early on in pre-season."