West Ham captain Mark Noble scores in testimonial match
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 29/03/16 1:08am
Mark Noble scored to help a West Ham XI claim an entertaining 6-5 victory over a West Ham All-Stars team in his testimonial match at a sold-out Boleyn Ground.
The West Ham captain, accompanied by his two children, was met by a guard of honour as he made his way out onto the pitch in the last ever testimonial match to be played at the Boleyn Ground before the club's move to the Olympic Stadium.
Noble, a product of the famous West Ham academy, has made over 350 appearances for the club since making his senior debut in 2004 and was given a standing ovation by the 35,000-strong Hammers faithful and a further guard of honour by both sets of players at the final whistle.
The All-Stars side, that included former Hammers David James, Rio Ferdinand, Paolo Di Canio and Trevor Sinclair, took the lead in the 13th minute when Craig Bellamy fired past Adrian from just inside the penalty area.
Noble, having earlier been denied by a fine save from James, capped his day off with a goal, levelling up the scores in the 25th minute after exchanging passes with Diafra Sakho.
West Ham goalkeeper Adrian then gave his side the lead in the 27th minute after being allowed to dribble the ball the length of the field, with the protection of Michail Antonio, before finishing past James.
Alex Song added a third in the 36th minute before Sakho got his name on the scoresheet, tapping home a Noble cross from close range a minute before half-time.
Noble made way at the break as both sides rung the changes, with the All-Stars fielding a completely different XI for the second-half.
Teddy Sheringham reduced the deficit for the All-Stars shortly after the interval, but Sakho restored West Ham's three goal advantage and celebrated by taking a selfie with his team-mates and All-Stars goalkeeper Jimmy Walker.
Noble returned to the field in the 70th minute and was quick to congratulate Dean Ashton just moments later after the All-Stars forward scored a sensational scissor kick to make it 5-3.
Ashton grabbed his second of the match in the 76th minute before Di Canio, playing for the West Ham XI in the second-half, made it 6-4 two minutes later, steering his shot beyond Walker much to the delight of the Boleyn Ground faithful.
Taylor Tombides, the brother of the late West Ham forward Dylan, scored the final goal of the match in the 86th minute and his strike received a standing ovation from the Hammers supporters.
Despite the scoreline, the sides then took part in a penalty shoot-out with Noble tucking his spot-kick beyond Walker.
After 22 spot-kicks and with the sides locked at 7-7, referee Andre Marriner called time on the match, although the scoreline mattered little as the West Ham fans once again showed their appreciation for their long-serving midfielder at the final whistle.