Dyer delighted with reserves

It was a case of home, sweet home for Alex Dyer's West Ham United reserve side as they maintained their 100 per cent home record against Portsmouth.

First-half goals from David Di Michele and Kyel Reid went without reply as an experienced line-up triumphed over their visitors on a chilly night at the Boleyn Ground.

Di Michele opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a well-placed effort into the top corner following good work from Diego Tristan and Freddie Sears on the left-hand side. Reid doubled the advantage just after the half-hour mark. The midfielder, who turned 21 just a few hours after the match had finished, marked the special occasion with a thunderous left-footed drive into the top corner after the ball had fallen to him on the edge of the penalty area.

Tristan and Di Michele were joined up front by Sears and he, along with James Tomkins and 18-year-old full-back Ryan O'Neill, added a youthful edge to the side and the reserve team manager believes that playing with more experienced players can only help their progress.

"Again the senior boys came up trumps. They came in the side on a cold night and worked hard for each other and deserved the result. We passed the ball well and created a lot of chances. Playing with these older players really helps the youngsters' development."

As pleasing as the result was, it was the performances of the returning Tomkins and Tristan that will have given Dyer real cause for optimism. The form shown by the pair and several others in the match will give Gianfranco Zola an added boost as he starts his preparation for the first team game against Liverpool on Monday.