West Ham 3-2 Sampdoria - Late Burke goal gives Hammers win

By Rob Virtue on August 9, 2014 5:50 PM |

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West Ham go into next week's London derby opener against Tottenham Hotspur on the back of their first win in pre-season, after a narrow 3-2 victory against Serie A side Sampdoria.

After a miserable run of friendlies, Sam Allardyce needed to take some encouragement from the club's first meeting with the Italians.

And his side duly obliged thanks to a last minute winner by youth product Reece Burke.

In the starting line-up new signings Aaron Cresswell and Cheikhou Kouyate made their first appearances in Claret and Blue at Upton Park.

West Ham's first chance fell to captain Kevin Nolan. A free kick floated in by Mark Noble was met by the skipper with an extravagant bicycle kick which was saved well.

With 15 minutes on the clock, The Hammers settled into the game well with fluent football and Kouyate controlling the midfield with distinction.

Completely against the run of play, Sampdoria took the lead after 16 minutes as Stefano Okaka was too strong for James Collins, and the former Fulham loanee produced an expert finish past Adrian.

Moments later, Carlton Cole thought he equalised, however, linesman Steve Child deemed there was a foul on the visitor's captain Daniele Gastaldello and the goal was chalked off.

Since the opener, the game was rather stop start, and to add salt into the wound, Cresswell went off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Youngster Dan Potts replaced the new recruit with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. At the other end, Brazilian attacker Eder had a glorious chance to double Sampdoria's lead, but dragged his shot wide.

With 38 minutes gone, Kouyate's long range effort fell straight into the hands of visiting keeper Junior Da Costa after Mauro Zarate's free kick hit the wall.

On the stroke of half-time the Hammers were level when Mark Noble comfortably dispatched a penalty after Dan Potts was fouled in the box.

The second half began with two substitutions for each side. Ricardo Vaz Te replaced Zarate while Nenad Krsticic was replaced by promising Spanish midfield, Pedro Obiang, who has been linked with a move to Upton Park.

Midfield supremo Kouyate, who is quickly settling in at the Hammers based on his pre-season performances, drilled his shot wide of the right hand post with Carlton Cole was inches away from getting on the end of it. Allardyce made a like for like change, as Kouyate was replaced by Mohamed Diame after 56 minutes.

Just after the hour mark, West ham were the masters of their own downfall, as Collins wayward pass saw Eder pounce and stroke the ball past Adrian to restore Sampdoria's lead.

A marauding run by Diame saw his cross find the head of Nolan, but the skipper failed to generate any power and it was an easy save for Da Costa.

After West Ham made a double substitution, replacing James Collins and Carlton Cole with Burke and Elliot Lee, Diame showcased his skill, beating Fabio Cacciatore on two occasions and finishing well to bring the score back on level terms on 77 minutes.

Seconds later, West Ham nearly took the lead for the first time in the match. Ricardo Vaz Te's first involvement in the game saw him cross the ball towards the head of youngster Lee, who was a lick of paint away from scoring after hitting the crossbar.

However, on the 90th minute, two academy players came up with the goods. Lee's low driven cross found centre half Reece Burke, who simply tapped home and ensured the East Londoners recorded their first pre-season win of 2014.

West Ham: Adrian, Tomkins, Reid, Collins (Burke 75), Cresswell (Potts 35); Kouyate (Diame, 56), Noble (Poyet 83), Nolan ©, Downing; Cole (Lee 75), Zarate (Vaz Te 45).

Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Cullen.

Sampdoria: Da Costa, De Silvestri, Gastaldello © (Costa 72), Salamon, Cacciatore; Krsticic (Obiang 45), Palombo (Campana, 82), Soriano (Fedato 82); Eder (Sansone 67), Okaka (Bergessio 67), Gabbiadini (Fornasier 82).

Subs Not Used: Massolo, Duncan, Rizzo, Wszolek.

Att: 13,693

Jack Pinnock