Late headers from Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing grab West Ham United a draw at Stevenage

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Guy Demel (centre) holds off Stevenage's Andrew Bond (left) and Simon Walton (right). Picture: Action Images Guy Demel (centre) holds off Stevenage's Andrew Bond (left) and Simon Walton (right). Picture: Action Images

West Ham came from two behind late on to draw at League Two side Stevenage in their first pre-season match.

The Hertfordshire side took a two-goal lead through Tom Pett and an unnamed trialist before late goals from wingers Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing saw the Hammers sneak a draw.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce included Diego Poyet and Aaron Cresswell in his first half XI, with fellow new signing Cheikhou Kouyate part of the side for the second period.

Graham Westley’s side took the lead after 31 minutes in fortuitous circumstances.

New-boy Cresswell attempted to head the ball back to Hammers goalkeeper Adrian, who could not gather cleanly, allowing former Wealdstone winger Pett to nip in and net.

The Irons pushed for an equaliser after the break but could not beat Stevenage keeper Sam Beasant.

Instead, Stevenage doubled their lead with just 12 minutes left on the clock.

An unnamed trialist scored, turning sharply and firing past substitute keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

In the 84th minute Jarvis got one back for Allardyce's side, rising highest to head home Guy Demel’s inch-perfect cross after Roarie Deacon lost the ball.

An unlikely comeback was completed in the 90th minute as another winger, Downing, headed home, Jarvis turning provider.

West Ham United first-half XI: Adrian, O'Brien, Cresswell, Reid, Chambers, Noble, Poyet, Vaz Te, Nolan, Morrison, McCallum.

West Ham United second-half XI: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, Potts, Kouyate, Whitehead, Downing, Diame, Jarvis, E.Lee.

Subs: Howes, Burke, Cullen, Fanimo, Gordon


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