West Ham United Sampdoria
Exciting youngsters Elliot Lee and Reece Burke combined at the death to give the Irons a last gasp win over the Italians.
It took 38 minutes for the team’s new attacking brand of football to register a shot on target and it came from the standout performer Cheikou Kayoute.
We lined up – amazingly with a 3-5-2 formation for the first time this pre-season and started well with Stewart Downing and Aaron Cresswell on the flanks with James Collins, Winston Reid and James Tomkins at the back.
Kouyate took the place normally filled by his Senegalese pal Mohamed Diame, slotting in alongside Mark Noble with Kevin Nolan and Mauro Zarate playing off Carlton Cole.
But for all the majority possession, the Irons were exposed by a counter attack on 16 minutes when Stefan Okaka slotted past Adrian.
Cole’s “reply ” was ruled out four minutes later. Koutaye was the driving force with his energetic bursts and quick feet.
There were concerns after he was floored in a nasty collision but was soon back in the thick of the action a few minutes later. Cresswell though hobbled off but replacement Dan Potts made an instant impact.
His inside run into the box was rewarded with a penalty when a Samp defender brought him down and Noble obliged from the spot.
It was all very encouraging but after the break Zarate was withdrawn and Vaz Te went on wide to leave Cole in the one up role.
Kouyate received a great ovation when replaced by Diame on 57 minutes and three minutes later we were behind when Eder gets into space between Collins and Tomkins and shot past Adrian.
However Diame scored a monster goal midway through the half when he stormed his way past a defender and fired home left footed.
Lee and Burke appeared for Cole and Collins in the 75th minute and a quarter of an hour later combined to win it for the Irons.
Bang on 90 minutes Lee was sent into space is sent into space before threading a pass into the path of 17 year old Reece Burke to sidefoot home.