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    McCartney heads Hammers to victory
    George McCartney celebrates his goal against Roma with team-mate Matt Etherington (Photo: Rob Newell)
    George McCartney celebrates his goal against Roma with team-mate Matt Etherington (Photo: Rob Newell)

    West Ham 2
    Roma 1
    (Pre-season friendly)

    WEST Ham rounded off their pre-season campaign with three wins in three as they recorded a 2-1 victory over visitors Roma.

    Second half goals from George McCartney and Dean Ashton, his third of the summer, saw the east Londoners through against the Serie A runners-up in what was a far-from-friendly friendly, featuring plenty of tasty tackles.

    Roma showed their pedigree in the first half with some skillful attacking football and Ludovic Guilly put the visitors ahead on 13 minutes with a right-foot drive into the top corner from 20 yards.

    Mauro Esposito almost made it 2-0 to the Italians on 21 minutes, firing Guilly's cross onto the top of the bar with an acrobatic overhead kick, but after the break it was all West Ham.

    Dean Ashton's introduction provided a strong presence up front as Alan Curbishley redeployed his team to counter Roma's line-up.

    George McCartney celebrated his first goal for the club on 63 minutes rising from the pack to head home Freddie Ljungberg's inswinging corner.

    Four minutes later Ashton made it 2-1, showcasing strength and skill to beat marker Max Tonetto at the edge of the box and slam the ball through keeper Gianluca Curci's legs from 12 yards.

    McCartney said: "I was surprised that my header actually went in, normally they fly over the bar. It went totally to plan. Freddie put in great set pieces all day and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. It was nice to get a good result."

    The left-back added: "The manager has brought in a lot of new players and it always takes a few games to gel together but over the last two or three games you can tell that things are working out.

    "The fitness is there and we're looking ready for the new season. As the pre-season has gone on we've got better with each game and you could tell in the second half that we've put in a lot of hard work and that it's paying off."

    WEST HAM: Green (Wright h-t); Neill, Ferdinand (Gabbidon 86), Upson, McCartney; Ljungberg (Pantsil 74), Bowyer (Cole 86), Noble, Boa Morte (Etherington 28); Zamora (Ashton h-t), Bellamy (Mullins 78). Unused subs: Spector, Collins, Walker, Davenport, Reid.

    9:09am Monday 6th August 2007

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