PAUL Rachubka staked his claim for a return to action at Fulham – but the Seasiders’ new Barcelona-style formation didn’t get the better of West Ham Rreserves.
A Seasiders second string featuring Keith Southern, Brett Ormerod and Matt Phillips adopted a Barca-inspired 4-4-2, with the midfield quartet in a diamond shape at Bloomfield Road yesterday.
Malaury Martin was at the tip, with Ludovic Syvlestre in the holding role. Andy Reid and Southern played on the left and right of the diamond, with Ormerod and Sergei Kornilenko up front.
But despite an enouraging first-half display, in which Ormerod and Kornilenko scored, a youthful Hammers side grew stronger and ran out comfortable 4-2 winners.
The main positive was Rachubka’s return. He replaced Mark Halstead after half-time for his second appearance following a knee injury.
Rachubka made one fine save and looked in good nick. He will now hope to be in the 18 at Fulham on Sunday week, though Halstead did little wrong and would be upset to miss out.
Matt Gilks wasn’t deemed fit enough to take part after a minor calf injury, so his hopes of a return at Craven Cottage appear slim.
POOL reserves: Halstead (Rachubka 45), Phillips, Basham, Sbai, Carney, Sylvestre, Southern, Reid, Martin, Kornilenko (Tomsett 82), Ormerod.