Dixon on target again

Terry Dixon continued his encouraging form for the reserves with the winner in a friendly with Grays Athletic.

Dixon finished neatly for the only goal of the 1-0 victory in an eventful first period, that saw chances passed up by both sides. Goalkeeper Adam Street was Alex Dyer's side's saviour on several occasions, pulling off a string of outstanding saves.

"We won 1-0 and had a couple of first-year players involved. Everyone got 45 minutes and it was a worthwhile exercise," the reserve-team manager said.

"The lads played well and passed the ball around well. On the whole we played some good football. In fairness, they could have scored two or three goals but Adam Street pulled out two or three outstanding saves."

Dyer named a side for each half of the game, consisting of a mixture of reserves like Danny Kearns and youth players.

"We had a totally different team for the second half and a couple of the first year players blended in with some of the older ones like Kearnsy. Again it was different as they made a few changes as well.

"They were a physical side but we contained them and created a couple of chances. Overall it was a good performance and a good run out."

Striker Dixon also continued to show his progress by grabbing the game's only goal.

"Terry Dixon scored a good goal. It was good movement. He got the ball on to his left foot in the box, dropped his shoulder and put it into the bottom far across the goalkeeper.

"He had a couple of opportunities, one of which went just past the post. We created quite a few good chances so I was pleased with the first half."

The two separate XIs for either half allowed Dyer to experiment with different players in a range of positions.

"It was nice to see people like Anthony Edgar come back as he'd been injured with a pulled hamstring for a couple of weeks.

"Holmar [Orn Eyjolfsson] was at centre-half and did well alongside Jordan Brown. It was nice to see Jordan in a different position as he normally plays left-back.

"Eoin Wearen played centre-half in the second half. It was different for them and it's important that they can play in other positions and learn what other people can do. They seemed to handle it well enough."

With no reserve league game scheduled until the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on 5 January, Dyer was grateful of the match practice against a much more physical side.

"It was great experience for the players as a lot of them played in the FA Youth Cup a week ago and did very well. It was nice for them to step up and show how far they have come. Even though they are semi-pros they are playing against, a lot of them will have had football league experience."

Tuesday's meeting also saw the Hammers come up against some familiar faces in the shape of Grays manager Julian Dicks and his assistant Kenny Brown.

"It was good to see them. We had a good chat with them and it was nice to see ex- West Ham boys doing well. It was nice to catch up and a nice afternoon."