West Ham United reserves v Birmingham City reserves
Barclays Premier Reserve League South
Tuesday 8 September
Full time - Well what a night at the Boleyn Ground as West Ham United reserves put on a show for the 1,250 fans that have turned up. Alex Dyer will no doubt have been delighted by what he has seen tonight as he builds for the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers next week.
90 min - A great one two between Edgar and Hines sees the former race through on goal. He superbly chips Doyle and into the net but sadly the referee assistant's flag rules the effort out for offside.
88 min - Well Stech seems determined to get his clean sheet as he is called into a full stretch save from Hubbins. Birmingham win the corner but it is wasted and the Hammers break away to give Nouble something to chase on to. He out muscles Dunphy and only some great last-ditch defending stops him getting in on the score sheet.
84 min - Stech is called into action as he has to show good reaction to palm away Hawker's shot.
83 min - One last change for Birmingham, who you must give credit to as they have kept trying. Jakub Hronec comes on for Shane Williams
77 min - He is and comes on for Ferrari, who has looked very assured when considering this is his debut and he is only 17. Fry slots in at left-back with Daprela moving to right-back.
75 min - I think there is something of a stunned silence around the ground now and I would not mind guessing that the fans that have turned up tonight are not regretting their decision! It looks as though Matt Fry may be coming on.
72 min - Edgar comes close as he tries to curl one into the top corner, but this time Doyle is there to turn it over.
71 min - Terry Dixon started full training last week but on this showing he will struggle to get into this team! Still it does bode well for the rest of the season if you can add his name to this team list.
66 min - West Ham make their second change with Diamanti makes way for Anthony Edgar. Yet another great round of applause from the Hammers' fans here and quite right too as Diamanti has been superb.
65 min - GOAL! Well I cannot quite believe what I am seeing here. Hines is felled about 30 yards from goal and Diamanti steps up and smashes it in at the near post. Two goals for the debutant there.
62 min - GOAL! Hines completes his hat-trick through sheer grit and determination. He chased a lost cause and muscled his way onto the ball before slotting it past Doyle
58 min - The first change for the Hammers as Behrami is brought off for Danny Kearns. It is as expected and the Swiss international gets a superb send off from the home support here. Behrami was beaming from ear to ear as he left the field there. Birmingham also make a change with Daniel Preston coming off for Josh Hawker.
55 min - More great play from Diamanti as he plays a lovely ball forward for Hines to chase. He tries the return ball but it falls a bit short.
53 min - Behrami to Diamanti who flicks the ball forward to Nouble who is one on one with the goalkeeper. He perhaps takes the wrong option and tries to chip the ball over Doyle, but it sails over. To be fair to him I do not think he would have done that at 0-0!
52 min - There does appear to be a small change actually as Daprela and Ferrari have swapped flanks so we have an Italian at left-back and a Swiss at right-back.
48 min - It seems to be as your were for the Hammers and they quickly get back into their stride. Diamanti plays a delightful crossfield ball to Nouble, who beats his man on the touchline and fires in on goal but it crashes into the side netting.
46 min - We are under way in the second half. One change for the Blues as Jamie Dunphy is on for Dann.
Half time - Well that could not have gone any better really could it? Can Dyer's side keep this up in the second half and if so, who knows what score we will end up with here?
45 min - Well if the Hammers can carry on like this who knows what score we will end up with. I do not think the Blues' players will be looking forward to coming out for the second half much.
43 min - GOAL! And it is four before half time! A ball forward from Da Costa found Daprela, who in turn feeds Nouble. The No9 puts in his strike partner Hines, who takes a touch and rolls it into the bottom corner.
40 min - Tony Cottee says on the commentary: "When people score goals like this it is not luck. They practice, practice and practice. He whipped it up over the wall into the top corner. It was a magical moment from the young lad."
39 min - GOAL! Yes he can! And another great goal for the big crowd here. Diamanti curls the ball left-footed right into the top corner without Doyle even moving.
39 min - Behrami is felled 25 yards out and we will get to see our first example of a Diamanti set piece. Can he live up to his billing as a free-kick specialist?
37 min - A nervous moment for Stech as he loses his footing when trying to claim the ball. In the end he did well to dive at the feet of Jervis.
34 min - Free-kick to the visitors on the right-hand side after Mr Berry rules that Diamanti left a leg in. No problem for the Hammers back four though as the set-piece is hit far too long.
30 min - Some positive play from Nouble sees him pull off a couple of step overs before firing a shot into the legs of Danns. Moments later David Ferrari shows his attacking prowess with a burst forward before feeding Diamante, who just misses the top corner with a curled effort.
26 min - A backpass from Daprela forces Stech into a hurried clearance. His kick smashes into Jake Jervis and dribbles towards the goal. Thankfully it rolls inches wide. A let off for the Hammers keeper there.
25 min - Could we being seeing our first booking of the game after Rowe brings down Payne with a late tackle? Yes we will and you have to say he cannot really have any complaints about that.
23 min - Foul by 'Gala on the edge of the area gives the Blues a great chance to get back into the game. Luke Rowe steps up and drills it along the floor but Daprela is there to hack the ball away.
20 min - The game has settled a little now and the visitors are looking a little more assured after being rocked the by the Hammers' early double. 'Gala and Da Costa combine at the back to head a free-kick clear.
16 min - Do not forget you can get free live commentary on the game with Tony Cottee by clicking the above link. It really has been a great start by the Hammers here so it is well worth a listen.
14 min - Diamanti has been superb so far and he forces a corner right on the edge of the penalty area. The Italian takes it and drives it hard across the goal but Doyle gathers.
13 min - Some great work by Diamanti on the left as he flicks the ball over David Joyce and crosses left footed. The Birmingham man just gets back in time and they force the corner.
11 min - Well I've just about got my breath back after all of that but Hines is doing his best to make sure there is more typing for me. The West Ham No10 beat his man before rolling a dangerous ball along the floor and Dann clears again.
9 min - GOAL! Another sensational goal from the Hammers but from a highly unlikely source. 'Gala was fed the ball on the edge of the area and curled an inch-perfect shot into the top corner. Two goals in ten? Could Dyer have wished for a better start?
7 min - Nouble is next to fire a shot in and wins another corner. Once again Diamanti takes it and Nouble rises highest to thump a header against the crossbar.
6 min - More brilliant play from Behrami as he intercepts the ball in midfield before threading a pass for Hines. He tries to take it around the goalkeeper, but only a last-ditch tackle from Scott Dann stops him in his tracks.
5 min - Well that goal got a great reaction from the home support and there certainly sounded more than the 500 we reckon we have got here. Alex Dyer's side look really up for this and go on the attack again.
3 min - GOAL! Behrami plays a delightful ball forward to Hines and he takes a couple of touches before unleashing an superb drive into the top corner. What a start for the Hammers!
1 min- We are underway and the home side go on the offensive straight away. Daprela plays Nouble in and the power of the striker forces a corner. Diamanti takes it short to Nigel Quashie who plays it to Josh Payne, who strikes just wide.
6.58 pm - The players are out and referee Mr Berry calls the captains in. West Ham win the toss of the coin and will attack the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
6.55pm - The ground staff are making their final tweaks to the pitch as we await the players and the excitement is building in east London for the first showing of the four new arrivals and the return of Behrami.
6.48pm - There is a healthy crowd settling into the lower tier of the West Stand. Admission is free for all supporters tonight and that, along with the fine weather, has attracted a decent following to the Boleyn Ground tonight.
6.45pm - The returning Valon Behrami is the first one to head down the tunnel after going through a vigorous pre-match routine. The midfielder joined in with the keep-ball session before doing a series of shuttle runs across the pitch.
6.40pm - It is an absolutely beautiful evening in east London for this evening's Barclays Premier Reserve League South clash with Birmingham City. Both sets of players are going through their pre-match warmups on the Boleyn Ground pitch. Unfortunately, the sun has now dropped behind the West Stand, so the pitch is in the shade, but it is still very warm.
West Ham United will welcome back Valon Behrami to competitive action for the Barclays Premier Reserve League South visit of Birmingham City on Tuesday evening.
The Switzerland midfielder has been out of action since suffering knee ligament damage in the Barclays Premier League visit of Manchester City to the Boleyn Ground on 1 March.
The fixture also sees three new arrivals make their first appearances in Hammers shirts, with defenders Davide Ferrari and Manuel Da Costa and forward Alessandro Diamanti all named in Alex Dyer's side.
Diamanti has arrived from Serie A club AS Livorno Calcio, while former Portugal Under-21 centre-back Da Costa has joined West Ham from ACF Fiorentina. Teenage full-back Ferrari has signed from Serie B side Brescia Calcio.
Behrami's compatriot Fabio Daprela, a Switzerland U19 left-back, will make his debut at reserve team level.
Academy graduate Bondz 'Gala has been named captain as Dyer's side seek to bounce back after going down to a 2-1 loss at Aston Villa a week ago.
For Birmingham City, Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Colin Doyle will line up in goal, with former England U21 defender Scott Dann - a summer signing from Coventry City - anchoring the back-four.
West Ham United reserves: Stech, Ferrari (Fry 77), Daprela, 'Gala, Da Costa, Payne, Quashie, Behrami (Kearns, 58), Hines, Nouble, Diamanti (Edgar 66)
Subs: Street, Zola
Birmingham City reserves: Doyle, Joyce, Rowe, Dann (Dunphy 45), Preston (Hawker 58), Packwood, Hubbins, Sammons, Hronec (Williams 83), Jervic, Ntambwe