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Braintree come from behind to beat young Hammers
BRAINTREE TOWN 3
WEST HAM 2
Braintree Town came from behind to record the second win of their pre-season campaign against a West Ham Development side.
With their first-team on tour in Germany, the East London club brought their under-21 team to the Amlin Stadium under the watchful eye of West Ham’s legendary director of youth development Tony Carr.
It may not have been the Premier League superstars who were testing the Iron, but what the Hammers players lacked in age, they more than made up for in talent.
The sharp passing game that is the hallmark of the West Ham Academy was in evidence with the current crop of youngsters, but the hosts were more than a match for that.
Having weathered a bright start by the visitors, Braintree opened the scoring in the 13th minute when a cross from the right was only cleared as far as Kenny Davis and the Iron skipper unleashed a fierce shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Neither side was able to dominate for the next half an hour, but West Ham thought they had pulled level on 41 minutes when Paul McCallum had the ball in the back of the net.
However, the linesman’s flag had been raised for an offside in the build-up and the Iron stayed in front.
It was a brief respite for the hosts, though, as, two minutes later, a cross from George Moncur was slid home by McCallum to make it level at half-time.
It was a busy start to the second half as West Ham first took the lead with a superb strike by Kieran Sadler in the 47th minute only to be pegged back once more.
Two minutes later a replica of the Hammers’ first goal came when Chez Isaac’s cross from the right was drilled into the net by Dan Sparkes to make it 2-2.
A great point-blank save by West Ham keeper Raphael Spiecel denied Sean Marks from putting Braintree back ahead, but they did get the decisive breakthrough in the 72nd minute.
A sharp turn by Dan Holman in the box gave him the space to get a shot away that flew past Spiecel to make it 3-2 to the Iron and that was how it stayed until the end.
The game was Braintree’s last home pre-season fixture and they now head to Leiston on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Braintree: Hamann (McDonald 45), Griffiths (Peters 72), Habergaham (Akalpele 83), Wells (Cox 75), Massey, Isaac, Sparkes, Davis (Paine 45), Symons (Wassmer 62), Marks, Holman (Carney 75).
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