Reserves 5-2 Stoke City FT

West Ham United reserves v Stoke City reserves
Barclays Premier Reserve League South
Woodside Park, Bishop's Stortford FC
Tuesday 24 November 2009


Full-time - West Ham United reserves 5-2 Stoke City reserves

92 mins - Stoke try to snatch a late consolation as Faye rolls a free-kick short to Pugh, but his low shot is well wide. Seconds later, the referee blows the final whistle. Alex Dyer will be pleased with that performance and result. His namesake Kieron will also be pleased with two goals and a lively showing. The rest of West Ham's team also did well, with Nouble, Dixon and Eyjolfsson all catching the eye. West Ham are up to fifth in the league standings.

91 mins - Stech claims the ball as we head into two minutes of added time. Manager Zola leaves for home. He will have been happy enough with what he saw tonight, I'm sure.

90 mins - The Hammers are still working hard to close down their opponents as we head into the final minute. Stoke win a free-kick wide on the left that results in a bit of penalty area pinball before Kearns slices it out for a corner.

88 mins - West Ham force two corners down the left, both of which are worked short before Stoke snuff out the threat.

87 mins - Nouble has had quite a night. He has chalked up three assists to go with his goal. Good work from the big England U19 forward. 

85 mins - Can West Ham score a sixth goal for a second time this season?

83 mins - GOAL! Daprela finds Dixon with a fantastic 50-yard pass out of defence after Zola had cleared a Pugh free-kick. Dixon holds the ball up superbly before rolling the ball to Nouble, who takes a couple of touches and drives the ball low past Sorensen.

81 mins - We're into the final ten minutes and Edgar is looking to get his name on the scoresheet, bursting past his marker and letting fly, but the ball heads over the crossbar, over the stand and towards the M11. 

78 mins - Payne comes close to reclaiming a three-goal lead for the home side, taking a short free-kick from Edgar before seeing his shot deflected on to the roof of the net.

75 mins - GOAL! This is getting a bit silly. A corner is curled in from the right and Moult outjumps his marker to net his second header of the night.

74 mins - Wearen is penalised for holding back Griffin. The experienced former Newcastle United and Portsmouth defender belts the ball out of the stadium in frustration.

72 mins - That was Dixon's first competitive goal for the club. That is a nice reward for the London-born forward, who has recovered from a career-threatening knee injury. His fitness is starting to come too, as the 19-year-old showed by tracking back with his full-back all the way to the corner flag. Good defending.

71 mins - The few hundred hardy souls who braved the weather tonight have been rewarded with a fine performance from the hosts. Dyer's team look hungry for more goals.

68 mins - A second substitution by West Ham. Wearen replaces Dyer, who receives a warm cheer as he comes off. The England man signs some autographs before heading off. He will have impressed manager Zola and first-team coach Steve Clarke, of that there is no doubt.

65 mins - Another goal, this time for Stoke, is avoided as Eyjolfsson lunges in with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle to deny the on-rushing Faye.

64 mins - GOAL! Crikey! Another goal. Dixon scores himself this time, playing a neat one-two with Nouble before curling a first-time shot into the net from 18 yards.

63 mins - GOAL! Dyer obviously didn't like that very much. West Ham kick-off and Dixon fed Dyer, who cut into the box and the midfielder slotted his second of the night past the goalkeeper.

62 mins - GOAL! Moult gets his name on the scoresheet with a header from a corner that bounces into the top corner.

61 mins - Ferrari has a knock and receives some treatment. After a short while, he comes off, with Andrea Zola his replacement at left-back. Can the Italian impress in front of his father?

60 mins - The game is opening up a bit. Lund comes forward again, but his shot from 20 yards is dragged well wide of Stech's far post.

59 mins - Ferrari makes up for his error by finding Dyer with a good header. The midfielder turns and runs at the Stoke back line before shooting low. Simonsen dives low to his right and the ball thuds into his midriff.

58 mins - Ferrari fouls Lund in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area. Lund himself takes the kick short and receives the ball back before seeing his cross blocked. That was a real waste.

57 mins - Stoke are coming back into this a bit, but the Hammers still look fairly solid at the back. Eyjolfsson, in particular, has looked strong. The captain is revelling in his role and clearly enjoys leading the side. Dyer has sent Ahmed Abdulla to warm up along the touchline. Alex Dyer, that is, not Kieron.

54 mins - Payne gives away a free-kick and West Ham's defence switch off, allowing Moult far too much space inside the penalty area. The striker turns and shoots low, but his effort is weak and easy for Stech.

52 mins - Stech flaps at a cross and the ball drops. One Stoke player tries to turn the ball goalwards and it falls to Urwin, who somehow skies the ball over the goal and out of the ground from six yards.

48 mins - West Ham have assumed the ascendancy again after the break. Stoke have hardly been out of their own half so far. Dyer is again to the fore, and is heavily involved already.

47 mins - Stech is out smartly to dive at the feet of Moult. Good goalkeeping there.

46 mins - Moult and Urwin kick-off the second half...

Here come the visitors. In the meantime, substitute goalkeeper Sam Cowler and U18 stopper Sam Cowler are being warmed-up by Jerome John.

No changes from the home side at the break. The Hammers are the first team back out following the break. No sign of Stoke as yet.

Half-time score - West Ham United reserves 2-0 Stoke City reserves

46 mins - Moult gets a bit of space inside the West Ham box, but shoots into the side netting. A warning that the Hammers cannot afford to be complacent after half-time. Seconds later, referee Atkin blows and the first half ends. Good work so far from Dyer's side, who will climb to fifth in the table with a victory.

45 mins - Another chance for the hosts. Edgar plays Nouble down the inside-left channel. He cuts on to his right foot and feeds the ball back to Edgar, who takes a touch and lashes a shot wide. We are going to have one added minute, at least.

44 mins - Daprela nearly lets in Moult with a poor touch, but shows good pace and strength to win the ball back as the Stoke forward threatened to go clear.

42 mins -  Dyer goes again down the right and beats three men before cutting the ball into the box. Stoke half-clear to Kearns, who thinks about shooting but is crowded out.

40 mins - Stoke win a corner, but West Ham clear easily through Kearns. The whole West Ham team are oozing confidence at the moment. Let us hope they can translate that confidence into a third goal before the break.

39 mins - Kearns, Dyer and Edgar are running this game, with Payne providing a shield in front of the back four. Nouble, Dyer and Payne play some pretty football out on the left before Nouble cuts inside and shoots low. Simonsen parries, Dixon is forced wide and cleverly backheels the ball into the path of Edgar, whose fierce shot is blocked by a Stoke defender.

36 mins - GOAL! If the first goal was good, that second was absolutely fantastic. West Ham knock the ball around for a good minute, with Stoke chasing shadows. Kearns, Edgar and Ferrari combine before Nouble holds off Cohen before rolling the ball to Dyer. The England man bursts past Higginbotham before slotting the ball through the legs of Simonsen. That was simply frightening football from the Hammers. They must have completed at least 20 passes before the goal was scored.

33 mins - Ferrari comes close to scoring for the second straight league game. The Italian cuts in from the left and, after his initial cross was blocked, fires a low cross-shot across the face of goal.

32 mins - Alex Dyer does well to evade a clearance from Griffin. The manager ducks just in time to let the ball fly over his head. The rain and wind have eased off a lot.

29 mins - West Ham are playing well again tonight, just as they did against Norwich a week ago. If they can keep this pass-and-move football up, then they look by far the more likely scorers of the game's next goal.

27 mins - A good ball out from Kearns finds Edgar. He feeds Dixon, who runs at the Stoke defence before being crowded out.

25 mins - Ferrari again loses possession. The ball flicks off Daprela to Moult, but the forward rushes his effort and shoots straight into the stand.

24 mins - A good spell of possession ends with Ferrari trying to find manager Gianfranco Zola in the stand. Zola's touch lets him down, though, and the ball bounces off a seat before being retrieved.

21 mins - Stoke have a corner. Lund curls it over, but Arismendi can only head well over the top.

19 mins - Big let-off for the Hammers. Brookes plays a back-pass towards Stech but it is well short. Moult gets in on goal, but can only stab his shot wide of the far post.

19 mins - Dyer looks really up for this. He played a massive part in that goal, ghosting past Arismendi as if he wasn't even there and choosing the right moment to find Edgar.

16 mins - GOAL! Superb goal from Dyer's side. Edgar wins the ball in midfield and plays a one-two with Dyer before feeding Nouble. The big striker twisted and turned on the edge of the box before lifting a fine deep cross to Kearns. The Northern Ireland youth international controls before firing low into the far corner. Fine move and fine goal.

14 mins - The speedy Urwin wins another free-kick for the Potters, but Dixon again is in the place to block the set piece. West Ham break through Brookes and Dyer down the right. Dyer finds Payne, who takes a touch before firing a low shot wide of the target.

12 mins - Ferrari is penalised for handball about 25 yards from the West Ham goal. Pugh smacks his free-kick straight at Dixon in the wall and the Hammers clear.

9 mins - Stech does well twice in quick succession. Arismendi cut a ball across the six-yard box that the goalkeeper cleared with his feet. Lund latched on to the loose ball and hit his shot well, but Stech was in the right place to make the save.

6 mins - Payne gets away from Arismendi in midfield, but his through ball is too strong for Nouble and rolls through to Simonsen. Stoke break through Moult. He cuts into the box and goes down under a challenge from Kearns. The referee gives nothing and Stech picks up the loose ball.

4 mins - The Hammers are seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages. They need to keep it on the floor. Anything aerial in this weather is liable to fly miles out of play.

3 mins - West Ham have started marginally the better, but the horrific conditions are making things tough already. The wind is sending the rain almost sideways across the pitch.

1 min - The Hammers are using a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Dyer supporting Dixon and Nouble. Payne is playing in the centre of midfield, with Kearns to his right and Edgar to his left.

7pm - West Ham will kick off...

6.58pm - It is a horrid night here on the Essex/Hertfordshire border. Seriously horrible. It is raining hard and very windy. Both teams will struggle to play good football. Here come the two teams...

6.55pm - Stoke have made a few last-minute changes to their team. Matt Cohen and Tom Urwin are now starting, with Leon Cort and Tom Soares not involved. The Potters now have just four substitutes.

Good evening and welcome to Woodside Park, Bishop's Stortford, for the Barclays Premier Reserve League fixture between West Ham United and Stoke City.

Alex Dyer's Hammers have been out of league action since drawing 1-1 at Fulham on 3 November. In the intervening period, West Ham were narrowly beaten 2-1 in a friendly at Norwich City eight days ago.

Dyer's team, who could rise to fifth in the table with a win against an experienced Stoke side, includes England international Kieron Dyer, who is back in action after a leg muscle injury. He will be partnered in midfield by Josh Payne, who has returned from a successful loan spell at Colchester United

England Under-19 striker Frank Nouble will partner Terry Dixon in attack, while Iceland U21 central defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson will captain the side.

For the visiting Potters, goalkeeper Steve Simonsen was between the sticks when the two clubs met in the Barclays Premier League on 17 October. Midfielder Amdy Faye, who featured for Senegal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, is among a host of experienced players turning out for Stoke.

Andy Griffin, Danny Pugh, Leon Cort, Danny Higginbotham and Tom Soares all have extensive first-team experience, while Diego Arismendi was a £2.6m summer signing from Uruguayan giants Nacional. Winger Nathaniel Wedderburn knows Nouble well, as he is also an England U19 international.

West Ham United reserves: Stech, Brookes, Eyjolfsson, Daprela, Ferrari (Zola 61), Kearns, Dyer (Wearen 68), Payne, Edgar, Dixon, Nouble
Subs: Cowler, Grasser, Abdulla

Stoke City reserves: Simonsen, Griffin, Cohen, Higginbotham, Pugh, Lund, Amdy Faye, Arismendi, Wedderburn, Moult, Urwin
Subs: Parton, McDonald, Connor, Nicholls