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Hammers pair return to action
8:26am Wednesday 20th August 2008 in Latest Sport
NIGEL Quashie and James Collins both made successful comebacks from injury as West Ham United drew 2-2 with Queen's Park Rangers in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
As exclusively revealed by the Echo on Tuesday morning, the pair each completed 45 minutes for Kevin Keen's Irons before being replaced at half-time at Upton Park.
Midfielder Quashie has not played a first team match since injuring his foot during the second half of the Hammers' 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on March 4, 2007.
Wales international central defender Collins, meanwhile, has been out of action since suffering a knee ligament injury in a reserve team match against Portsmouth in January.
“If you think about it, neither of them has played a full match for quite some considerable time,” reserve team manager Keen told whufc.com “That was their first 45 minutes and they have both come through it OK.”
West Ham took a two-goal lead thanks to a three-minute brace from Luis Boa Morte mid-way through the first half.
However, Rangers mounted a stirring comeback.
Former England Under-19 winger Hogan Ephraim scored the Super Hoops' first goal just before half-time before Matteo Alberti's penalty ensured the shares were spoiled.
The match also saw new signing Jan Lastuvka, the Czech goalkeeper, play his first home game for the club, while Lee Bowyer continued his comeback from a groin injury.
And Keen said Bowyer and goal-scorer Boa Morte were the outstanding players on the Boleyn Ground pitch.
“I thought Lee and Luis were the best two players on the pitch by a distance,” said the boss.
“They were both very good and their attitude and fitness was good. 'Bow' created a lot of things.
“Luis scored two so it was a good run-out for us.
“We got what we wanted out of it.”