BRAINTREE TOWN v WEST HAM UNUTED XI
THE AMLIN STADIUM
WEDNESDAY 24 JULY 2013
iPHONE APP I TWITTER I FACEBOOK I WEST HAM TV I PODCAST
Final score - Braintree Town 3-2 West Ham United XI
91 mins - A couple of seconds past the 90 minutes and the final whistle is blown. Goals from McCallum and Sadlier are not quite enough and Braintree's win is met with a loud cheer from the home fans. It's been entertaining. The Development Squad return to action on Saturday, when they travel to Manchester City. Thanks for joining us. We'll have post-match reaction and highlights on West Ham TV and whufc.com soon.
90 mins - Braintree are finishing on top as they win a corner that Burke does welll to head clear from under his own crossbar. West Ham eventually scramble the ball away, but a late equaliser is looking unlikely.
88 mins - West Ham win a corner, but the ball is headed over the top. Is that the visitors' final chance gone? They will be disappointed to lose this as they have generally given a good account of themselves. A couple of pieces of loose defensive play have cost the Hammers dear so far.
84 mins - Another change. Akapale replaces Habergham. I am told he has 'pace to burn'. He has six minutes to burn it.
82 mins - Tombides has a go from a free-kick about 30 yards out and it's a great hit from the Australian. He gets it up and over the wall before the ball dips viciously and McDonald has to go down to his right to make the save at the base of the post. Good stuff from the striker.
80 mins - As things approach a conclusion now here in Braintree, I should say that the Hammers will be sending a team to another non-league side in the shape of AFC Hornchurch on Saturday 3 August. Tickets for the 3pm kick-off are priced at £10 for Adults and £5 for Concessions and U16s. You will be able to buy tickets on the day at The Stadium in Bridge Avenue. The first team do not have a fixture that weekend, so Big Sam may choose to send some senior players down to Hornchurch for a run out.
76 mins - Two more changes for each side. West Ham replace Driver and Spence with Burke and Harney, while Braintree bring on Cox and Carney for Wells and Holman.
75 mins - Some anxious moments at the back for the Hammers as Habergham's cross from the left is hacked clear by a flying Wearen. Marks was threatening in behind to make it 4-2.
72 mins - Goal! Braintree are back in front. After the Hammers fail to clear a corner, Sparkes' initial shot is blocked but the ball falls to Holman, who smashes it past Spiegel from about 12 yards. West Ham have it all to do again.
71 mins - It's a cliche, but the game has lost its pattern a bit with all the changes. West Ham have a very young team on now, with only goalkeeper Spiegel, centre-back Spence and right-back Driver remaining from the starting XI.
68 mins - Peters comes on for Griffiths for the home side.
65 mins - Seven changes from the Hammers. On come Page, Cullen, Amoo, Maguire and Dylan Tombides. Off go Shaw, Moncur, Sadlier, Turgott and McCallum.
62 mins - Braintree replace Symons with Charlie Wassmer, who I am informed is a trialist. I can also inform you that he is tall, blond and wearing lime green boots.
61 mins - Spiegel elects to stay on his line rather than come for Sparkes' cross. Marks reacts quickly and catches his volley flush, but its straight at Spiegel from about a yard out! It's a great save, but a little fortunate.
60 mins - Turgott wins a corner, which he takes himself and finds the head of McCallum. The striker makes a good contact, but the ball flies over the top. Before West Ham make a raft of substitutions, I should mention the superb selection of conifer trees on the far side of the ground. They are basically giant Christmas trees. Very good.
58 mins - Two chances in quick succession for Braintree. First, Holman fires a shot just past the top corner, then Spiegel has to be brave to dive on the ball after it had squirmed through Wearen's legs and nearly fallen to Marks.
54 mins - Driver and Turgott combine before the latter crosses low for McCallum. The goalkeeper dives out, catches and then collides with his defender, losing the ball in the process. Thankfully for the hosts, it rolls to safety and is cleared away.
50 mins - Goal! The lead didn't last for long. A high dropping cross from deep on the right lands in exactly the right place for the unmarked Sparkes to send a controlled left-foot volley past Spiegel. Very impressive finish, but the Braintree player had a lot of time and space.
47 mins - GOAL! Fantastic goal from Sadlier. He picks up the ball wide on the left, races inside his full-back and curls an unstoppable shot past McDonald and inside the far post from about 20 yards. Great individual skill from the Republic of Ireland U19 forward.
46 mins - We're off again. A few changes from Nick Haycock at the break, with Wearen replacing Chambers at centre-back and Miles and Marlow on for Bywater and Makasi in midfield. Braintree have brought on McDonald for Hamman in goal, while Matt Paine has replaced goalscorer Davis in midfield.
Half-time score - Braintree Town 1-1 West Ham United XI
46 mins - Spence is penalised for fouling Holman just outside the penalty area. The No10 himself takes the free-kick and curls the ball around the wall and just past the far post. After the ball thuds into the advertising board, the half-time whistle is blown. Honours even at the break.
43 mins - GOAL! McCallum has his goal now. Blair Turgott races down the right and cuts the ball back to Moncur on the edge of the penalty area. It's a bit awkward and bobbles up, so Moncur can't hit it first-time. Instead, he takes a touch, makes a yard and drives a low cross-shot that eludes the defender and allows McCallum to tap in from a couple of yards.
41 mins - West Ham think they have an equaliser as McCallum taps in at the second attempt after Griffiths had blocked his initial effort. However, the assistant has his flag raised, presumably for offside against McCallum from Bywater's initial through ball.
37 mins - The floodlights are on here now at the Amlin Stadium as the sun sets on another gorgeous day. West Ham are playing the better football, but they are not finding it at all easy to break down the home defence. They do have another corner, though, as Sadlier's cross is blocked behind. Moncur delivers another great ball, but it eludes its target.
32 mins - Better. Moncur and Sadlier exchange passes before Moncur plays a second one-two with McCallum and spreads play wide right to Driver. He takes a nice touch into his stride and smacks a low shot that takes at least one deflection off a defender before goalkeeper Hamman saves low to his left. Good football recognised by applause from the stands.
30 mins - Nicky Symons catches a sweet strike on the half-volley from about 30 yards, but thankfully it is close enough for Spiegel to catch after moving a yard to two to his right. West Ham break and win a corner, but Moncur's left-wing delivery is easily cleared. It's quite an even contest now, to be fair.
26 mins - Alan Devonshire has really done a fantastic job here at Braintree. The 1980 FA Cup winner and former England winger is running a Conference National side on a budget the fraction of the size of many of his rivals. Braintree are part-timers, but the vast majority of sides in the same division are full-time, with many of them recent Football League clubs like Luton Town, Hereford United, Macclesfield Town and Grimsby Town. The Iron finished ninth last season - some achievement.
24 mins - Another corner for West Ham as Shaw forces Wells to put the ball behind. It comes to nothing, though.
23 mins - The ball drops to No10 Holman about 30 yards out. He has a chance to shoot, but makes a hash of it and drags the ball well wide of the left-hand post.
21 mins - Massey puts a Turgott cross behind for a corner. Chance for Turgott himself to create something. And he nearly does for Chambers as the defender sees first a header and then a well-taken volley cleared off the line. The ball flies away for another corner, which comes to nothing as Chambers is whistled for a push at the far post.
20 mins - Shaw is harshly penalised by the assistant referee for a foul on Chez Isaac. Davis crosses and Simmons rises and heads the ball high and wide. Dangerous delivery from the goalscorer.
17 mins - The goal wasn't exactly against the run of play, but the Hammers had shaded the opening period before Davis' strike. Bywater gets in behind again and tries to lob the ball over the goalkeeper from an acute angle. He gets a little too much on it, however, and the ball lands past the far post and the lurking Paul McCallum.
13 mins - Goal! Braintree have carried more of a threat and big striker Sean Marks forces Chambers to concede a throw. It is hurled over and Bywater's clearance falls to Kenny Davis on the edge of the box. He smashes the first-time show low through the legs and into the bottom right-hand corner. Braintree lead.
11 mins - Don't forget, you can get your tickets to watch the Hammers take on UEFA Champions League qualifiers Pacos de Ferreira now. We host the Portuguese side at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 10 August at 3pm. For full ticket details, click here.
7 mins - Great football there as Bywater slips in Shaw down the left wing. He clips over the cross first-time and Massey has to be alert to head over his own crossbar. The Hammers work the corner and then play some delightful stuff in and around the box. Braintree stand firm and don't let their opponents get a shot away. Finally, the ball is lifted over the defence for Sadlier, but he is caught just offside. Really easy on the eye, this football.
5 mins - West Ham have started well. They are knocking the ball around confidently on a nice playing surface here at Braintree. The challenge will be to overcome the fact the visitors are playing bigger, stronger, older players.
2 mins - The corner comes over and is cleared as far as Sadlier on the edge of the box, but his shot is charged down and the Iron clear their lines eventually.
50 secs - West Ham fashion an early opportunity as Bywater digs a cross out from the left wing. It skims off the head of a defender and drops to Turgott. He takes a touch and sees his shot deflected behind by Habergham for a corner.
7.44pm - A few seconds early, West Ham get things underway here on a lovely sunny evening in north Essex.
7.40pm - Here come the two tyeams. West Ham are in their home kit of claret and blue, while Braintree look like a team of Blackpool impersonators. The home side are in all-orange. The Hammers are being captained by Callum Driver tonight.
Good evening and welcome to a sunny Amlin Stadium for tonight's pre-season match between Alan Devonshire's Braintree Town and West Ham United's Development Squad.
With Sam Allardyce's first team away in Germany, Nick Haycock has brought a young and relatively inexperienced squad to Essex. However, with the likes of Raphael Spiegel, Jordan Spence, Callum Driver, George Moncur, Blair Turgott and Paul McCallum in the line-up, there are still plenty of recognisable faces on show.
Haycock will also give Leo Chambers and Eoin Wearen another chance to work on their fitness as the pair step-up their respective returns from long-term knee injuries. There is also the welcome sight of Dylan Tombides' name among the substitutes.
After thrashing Swansea City 4-0 at Little Heath on 16 July, the Under-21s pushed an experienced Wolverhampton Wanderers side all the way before going down to a narrow 3-2 defeat on Saturday. McCallum (pictured) has scored in both matches and will look to hit the net again after impressing in the first team's pre-season match against Cork City earlier this month.
Hammers legend Devonshire's Braintree have also been busy in pre-season, beating League Two side Southend United 2-1 before holding another team from the same division, Portsmouth, to a goalless draw. On Saturday, the Iron were beaten 4-1 by League One club Colchester United.
Braintree Town: Hamman, Griffiths, Habergham, Wells, Massey, Isaac, Sparkes, Davis, Simmons, Marks, Holman
Subs: McDonald, Cox, Carney, Paine, Peters, Wassmer, Akapele
West Ham United XI: Spiegel, Driver, Shaw, Chambers, Spence, Makasi, Moncur, Bywater, Turgott, McCallum, Sadlier
Subs: Guzman, Burke, Marlow, Wearen, Page, Harney, Cullen, Miles, Amoo, D.Tombides, Maguire