Reserves hold Daggers

Peter Kurucz was the star of the show as West Ham United reserves drew 0-0 at League One new boys Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday.

The Hungary Under-21 goalkeeper produced a string of important saves as the Hammers and Daggers played out an entertaining goalless behind-closed-doors encounter at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium.

In a match played in three 30-minute segments, Kurucz made at least four fine stops, including one outstanding flying save to push home striker Phil Walsh's header on to the crossbar.

Dagenham, who featured former West Ham scholar Conor Okus in central midfield, edged a keenly-contested 90 minutes, although Alex Dyer's side also created a number of decent chances to nick the victory.

Frank Nouble, fresh from appearing for England at the UEFA European U19 Championship in France, had a convincing claim for a penalty turned down early on, while Eoin Wearen twice shot narrowly wide.

The introduction of young forwards Cristian Montano and Robert Hall gave the Hammers fresh impetus going into the final half-hour, with the pair combining well on a number of occasions.

Montano turned provider for George Moncur late on, only for Okus to block his former team-mate's goalbound shot, while Olly Lee also fizzed a rasping low drive inches wide in the closing moments.

"I'm very pleased," Dyer confirmed. "They worked hard and the performances were good all-round. They all gave 100 per cent and our keeper Peter made three or four excellent saves. Our marking was disciplined but we didn't do quite enough to stop them getting clear headers, which is something we'll have to work on in training.

"We were playing against a lot of first-team players who have just got promoted from League Two and are on a buzz. They have a good system down there and enjoy fighting for one another, and that's what we want here in the reserves.

"We got better as the game went on. We tried a midfield diamond in the first 30 minutes and then went to five at the back, which is a system they are used to, and some of the boys produced the best they have produced for a while - Filip Modelski, Jordan Spence in midfield, Jordan Brown and Eoin Wearen and the three centre-halves were all good.

"Matt Fry did well. Little George Moncur did well again and it was nice to have big Frank Nouble back after his England duty. Olly Lee could have even snatched it for us right at the end, but I was well-pleased with a draw.

"We'll go to Ipswich Town on Saturday and we have another couple of friendly matches arranged before we start the league season on 7 September."

Dyer's side will begin their FA Premier Reserve League South challenge with the visit of Manchester City to Little Heath on Tuesday 7 September, kick-off 2pm.

West Ham United reserves: Kurucz, Modelski, Eyjolfsson, Fry, Brown, Spence, Wearen, Moncur, Lee, Yao, Nouble
Subs used: Sanchez, McNaughton, Montano, Hall
Subs not used: Mehmet