Hammers honour Taylor with testimonial win at Cambridge

Cambridge United v West Ham United – Greg Taylor Testimonial, Abbey Stadium – Report

Cambridge United 2-4 West Ham United

David Moyes was able to give a number of his squad minutes as West Ham United stretched their legs at the Abbey Stadium ahead of the Premier League’s return on Boxing Day.

The Hammers faced Cambridge United in a testimonial match for the hosts’ long-serving defender, Greg Taylor, who has made more than 350 appearances for the League One outfit since signing from Luton Town in 2013.

Moyes was without his five World Cup starsDeclan Rice, Thilo Kehrer, Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola and Lucas Paquetá. Nevertheless, the Scotsman named a strong starting line-up as his charges looked to brush off the cobwebs in unfamiliar surroundings.

The East Londoners appeared rusty during the early exchanges. Jarrod Bowen went close, firing narrowly wide. However, despite enjoying plenty of possession, the Premier League side found the going tough against their match-fit League One opponent. Indeed, it was Cambridge who opened the scoring after half an hour when Zeno Ibsen Rossi swept home from close range after the Hammers had failed to deal with a troublesome corner.

But the lead lasted less than a minute. Bowen rifled high beyond U’s stopper, Will Mannion from eighteen yards as the visitors responded instantly.

The unfortunate Lewis Simper, a one-time Concord Rangers loanee, turned the ball into his own goal to hand West Ham the lead seconds before the interval. Emerson provided the cross, low from the left.

Moyes would utilise his squad, during the second period. Ben Worman forced substitute goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, into a save at the foot of a post, while George Williams hit the frame of the goal as Cambridge returned brightly. However, it was West Ham who extended their advantage when Said Benrahma raced forward before cutting in on his right foot and lashing an unstoppable shot past U’s sub-keeper, James Holden.

West Ham’s promising French midfielder, Pierre Ekwah swiftly added a fourth with a low, left-footed strike that crept inside the post. Meanwhile, Taylor marked his occasion by reducing the arrears from the penalty spot after Levi Laing had felled Harvey Knibbs.

Gianluca Scamacca passed up several opportunities to add to the Hammers tally, Moyes’ will also be concerned over the fitness of Aaron Cresswell, after the defender was replaced during the opening half.

West Ham now faces further warm-up matches against Udinese and Fulham on Saturday, December 10 and 17 before taking on Arsenal in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Monday 28 (8pm).

Cambridge United: Mannion (Holden 46′), Okedina (Williams 46′), Ibsen Rossi (Jones 46′), Taylor (Capt) (Jobe 83′), Dunk (Brophy 46′), Digby (Worman 46′), Simper (Hoddle 90+1′), Knibbs (Ironside 60′), Lankester (McConnell 80′), Janneh (Scales 90+1′), Smith (Tracey 60′)

Booked: None

Goals: Zeno Ibsen Rossi 30′, Greig Taylor (penalty 80′)

West Ham United: Fabiański (Randolph 46′), Johnson (Laing 60′), Dawson (Coufal 46′), Ogbonna (Forbes 60′), Cresswell (Capt) (Emerson 16′), Downes (Potts 68′), Coventry, Fornals (Ekwah 60′), Lanzini (Scamacca 46′), Bowen (Benrahma 46′), Antonio (Swyer 68′) Subs not used: Hegyi (GK), Greenidge, Earthy, Appiah-Forson

Booked: None

Goals: Jarrod Bowen 31′, Lewis Simper 45′ (own-goal), Said Benrahma 68′, Pierre Ekwah 72′

Referee: Neil Hair

Assistants: George Byrne and Gareth Viccars

Fourth Official: Stacey Fullicks

Attendance: 2,805 (851 from West Ham United)


Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk