West Ham United v ND Mura 05
Fazanerija, Murska Sobota
Thursday 23 July
Kick-off: 6pm (5pm UK time)
The referee brings the game to a close and the Mura players rush to get the shirts off the back of their opponents' backs. The Hammers players seem tired and well they might after 10 days of solid grafting in the searing heat. The fantastic sight of Danny Gabbidon and Scott Parker on the pitch alongside the returning James Tomkins and Mark Noble will no doubt give Gianfranco Zola plenty of reason for optimism as he gathers his thoughts ahead of the trip to China for the Barclays Asia Trophy.
90 min - Unless something special happens in the dying seconds it does not look like we will get a goal here tonight, but there are plenty of positives for the Hammers to build on before they set off for China on Sunday.
89 min - More good defending from the Hammers as N'Gala makes a superb headed clearance from underneath his own crossbar. The Newham-born defender has had some encouraging moments tonight.
87 min - Great defending from Tomkins at one end of the pitch to shepherd the ball out before a smart passing move sees Noble force a corner at the other. Stanislas takes it, Cole flicks it on but somehow it evades everyone.
85 min - Jimenez is clattered into by Pregej Marko and the players have a brief head-to-head discussion, which the referee quickly rushes in to calm down. Moments later, the West Ham No17 slides in on the same player and is shown a yellow card.
81 min - That is what we like to see! Parker welcomes the new substitute to the match as he strongly, but fairly, takes the ball from him. It is good to see the Hammer of the Year back in action.
80 min - One more change from Mura as Kmetec Marko makes way for Kulcar Kristjan.
79 min - A dangerous cross from Spence on the right is beaten away by Bostjan and then seconds later, Stanislas fires in a wicked right-footed shot that the Mura No1 does well to beat away.
75 min - The shadows are getting longer here, but the sun continues to beat down. The West Ham players should be used to it now after ten days of training in the scorching sun. I saw a weather forecast for China earlier and there are torrential downpours predicted for when the Hammers arrive on Monday. Let us hope they can adapt to those conditions just as easily.
74 min - Two more changes as Bohar Damjan and Kokol Vladimir enter the fray. Darjan and Bozic Marko make way.
70 min - An ambitious overhead kick from Tomkins threatens to loop in but Bostjan gets back to gather it safely. After threatening early in the half, Mura are being pinned back by this new-look Hammers team.
69 min - Parker gets involved in a tangle on the edge of Mura penalty area and the referee awards a free-kick. Jimenez takes it but blasts it straight into the wall. The rebound falls back to the Chilean but his volley flied straight into the wall again.
67 min - Parker has taken the armband and is playing in the centre of midfield with Noble and Collison. Cole will be supported by Stanislas and Jimenez in attack.
65 min - I think that should be most of the changes over from both teams now so hopefully the game can settle and we can now have a 25-minute mini-game with these two new teams.
61 min - Zola responds by making five changes himself. James Collins, Jimenez, Collison, Noble and Cole come on with Grasser, Lee, Edgar, Savio and Hines making way.
60 min - More substitutions to report. Ristic Goran is taken off for Pregelj and the superbly named Bingo Klement leaves the field to be replaced by Janza Jernej.
58 min - Great defending from Tomkins, who just uses his strength to usher Kmetec Marko off the ball. The West Ham No5 has made a solid start to his pre-season in the 13 minutes he has been on the pitch.
56 min - Mura make a change with Flisar Mitja coming on for Aleksandar up front.
55 min - The penalty does not seem to have affected Kurucz as seconds later he rushes from his goal to superbly tackle Darjan with his legs.
54 min - Penalty to Mura. Kurucz rushes from his line and catches Kmetec Marko. The same player steps up to take it.... and blazes it over the bar! A real let off for the Hammers there.
49 min - Kurucz is called straight into action as Kmetec Marko plays in his strike partner, Markovic Aleksandar in the penalty area. The angle is tight, but Kurucz makes himself big and beats the ball away with both hands. Good goalkeeping from the 21-year-old there.
47 min - Three changes to report at the break and I am pleased to report that Parker is getting his first run-out of the season. Parker is joined on the field by Kurucz and Tomkins, with Green, Gabbidon and Payne making way.
46 min - Hines and Edgar get us going in the second half.
Half time - The referee blows up for half time and the players jog off for their refreshments. Noble, Jack Collison, Parker and Carlton Cole run straight out to the middle to warm up so it looks like we will have changes at the interval.
45 min - Last minute of the half and one change I can see happening is young goalkeeper Peter Kurucz getting a run out. The Hungarian stopper, who signed permanently in the summer, is warming up on the touchline.
43 min - Those two chances seem to have given the visitors a lift and it is all one way traffic. Only a perfectly-timed tackle thwarts Hines on the far side of the pitch, just as the No9 looked to cut in on goal.
40 min - More West Ham pressure as Edgar is brought down right on the edge of the Mura penalty area. Stanislas, who seems to have been moulded into something of a set-piece specialist, drills it along the floor but Bozic Marko is there to hack it clear.
39 min - Corner to West Ham after Drahno Mihal tackles Hines. Stanislas hits the flag-kick in deep and Spence rises highest to head goalwards only to see his effort hacked off the line Darjan. The best chance of the match so far.
36 min - Another shot on goal from Mura that is does not bother Green. N'Gala got up well to head a long ball clear only for Slavic Darjan to pick up the loose ball and fire it back at goal from 30 yards. Like several other efforts we have seen this half, though, it flies high into the fence behind the West Ham goal.
34 min - If the other games on this tour are anything to go by then we can expect to see plenty of changes in the second half. Hopefully, Scott Parker, Mark Noble and James Tomkins will get their first taste of pre-season action, while Luis Jimenez will get a chance to build on his promising debut yesterday.
32 min - The same player gets another effort in on goal, this time with his head but again it does not really trouble Green as the England international takes a simple catch.
28 min - N'Gala and Gabbidon are worthy of a mention here. The central defenders have had a solid game together so far and Green has not had a save to make. Kmetec Marko tries to rectify that with a 40-yard effort that sails well over.
27 min - Back to the action on the pitch and the game has settled now. Mura seem really fired up for the game, as you might expect, but West Ham are sticking to their patient passing style and will not be rushed.
24 min - Mura have some very vocal support here at the Fazanerija, with one particular section in the stand behind Green's goal being particularly vocal. It might not be all football related, though, as they have a banner in front of them that says something about a protest in Slovenian. If only I had brushed up on my Slovenian a bit more before the game I could tell you what they are shouting about.
21 min - Bozic Marko takes it but Olly Lee in the wall does his job and the ball bounces to safety. Seconds later, Hines latches onto a through-ball and just as he takes it round Kamnik Bostjan, the 'keeper brings him down. The referee takes a few seconds to make his mind up and rules no penalty. I would like to see that one again.
20 min - Free-kick to Mura right on the edge of the West Ham penalty area. Spence was penalised for blocking Kmetec Marko, which seemed a bit harsh to me.
17 min - Lovely move from the Hammers sees them create the game's first clear opening. Savio turned Kljajic Ziga inside-out and then cut the ball back to Stanislas, who tries a cheeky back-heel that skids just wide of the post.
15 min - Green is captain for this evening's game and just as I write this he shows a lovely touch to control and clear a back-pass as Kmetec Marco closes him down.
12 min - Positive run forward and shot by Stanislas, who looked lively against in the Hammers' first game of the tour against Flavia Solva. The winger picked up the ball up in a deep position before beating Filipovic for pace and blasting over the bar.
9 min - Some nice work from Savio to trick his way past his marker on this near touchline. The German Under-20 international has started the game on the right wing with Stanislas and Edgar on the left.
8 min - Just to update you on the 'Bubbles' front, we managed to find a copy of the song just before kick-off and it was played out over the PA. I am not too sure the locals knew exactly what was happening, but it was good to hear nonetheless.
6 min - It looks as though Gianfranco Zola has sent his side out to play a 4-3-3 with Jordan Spence and Georg Grasser at full back, Lee, Payne and Stanislas in the middle and Savio, Zavon Hines and Edgar up front.
4 min - Stanislas curls it in from the right-hand side of the area but Olly Lee and Anthony Edgar cannot quite connect with it. Mind you, the goalkeeper did his best to spill the easy catch so the Hammers should take note.
3 min - First foul of the day goes to West Ham and they gain a free-kick 25 yards out.
1 min - We are underway at the Fazanerija and West Ham United get on the attack straight away.
5.59pm Before kick-off we will have a minute's silence for Mura goalkeeper Ales Ajlec, whose mother died yesterday.
5.55pm We have the teams at last and, as expected, West Ham United start with a youthful side with plenty of experience on the bench. Only Green and Junior Stanislas start again after appearing yesterday against Bursaspor.
5.46pm The Mura players are on the pitch as well now and the band are having a breather. Just 15 minutes until kick-off and we are still waiting for final confirmation of the teams...
5.43pm James Tomkins and Jack Collison have now joined the other players on the pitch to warm up. Could that mean we will be seeing Tomkins for the first time this pre-season tonight?
5.40pm You get the feeling that this really is quite a big occasion for Mura. We are told they are expecting a sell-out crowd here tonight and a brass band, complete with majorettes, is entertaining the crowd in the main stand.
5.35pm The stadium announcer has just been in to ask if West Ham have a famous song that he can play for us before kick-off. It was a tough call but I mentioned there may be a certain song called Bubbles that the fans will enjoy and we are all frantically trying to obtain a copy in time for kick-off for him. If we do manage to source one, there are several UK Hammers fans here that will appreciate it. Certainly some of the faces that are here tonight were at the Bursaspor game last night and have made the short trip into Slovenia.
5.30pm There is quite a relaxed atmosphere here in Murska Sobata as the music booms out of the PA and the sun beats down. Luis Jimenez, Valon Behrami and Luis Boa Morte are all sitting at the side of the pitch chatting while James Collins, Savio and Josh Payne do some pretty impressive keep-ups near the centre circle. I must say that Savio has got some fancy moves in his repertoire.
5.25pm A local bike dealer has obviously seen an opportunity for some publicity and has placed two rather expensive looking motorbikes in front of the main stand and the players have all been taking it in turns to pose atop the machines. Mark Noble probably looked the best as he put his shades on to cut a good Terminator-style pose that even Arnie would be proud of.
5.15pm To give you a bit of background on what has been going in Austria today, the players had a light training session before lunch at 12. Then it was back to their rooms for a rest and to pack up their belongings ready for the flight back to England. A light pre-match meal followed at 3pm before the coach set off for the 20 minute drive across the Austrian border and into Slovenia.
5pm Good evening from the Fazanerija Stadium in Slovenia. Please note that kick-off has now been moved to 6pm local time or 5pm for those of you following in London. The West Ham United players are out warming up with Kevin Keen on the left-hand side of the pitch, while Ludo Miklosko puts the three goalkeepers through their paces. We are still awaiting team news and, as we have come to expect on the tour so far, this may not be with us until 15 minutes before kick-off. Looking at the players warming up for the Hammers it could well be a young team tonight after most of the senior players got at least 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Bursaspor last night. Danny Gabbidon is out there, as are James Collins and Robert Green but it looks like they could be the only 'senior' players we see tonight. Of course we will bring you news on that as soon as we get it.
West Ham United: Green, Spence, N'Gala, Gabbidon, Grasser, Savio, Lee, Payne, Stanislas, Hines, Edgar
Subs: Kurucz, Tomkins, Collins, Parker, Noble, Collison, Boa Morte, Jimenez, Cole
ND Mura: Bostjan, Ivan, Mihal, Klement, Blagus Goran, Ristic Goran, Darjan, Marko, Ziga, Aleksandar, Kmetec Marko
Subs: Filip, Jernej, Mitja, Pregelj Marko, Matic, Damjan, Kristjan, Vladamir