West Ham United reserves v Aston Villa reserves
Barclays Premier Reserve League South
Woodside Park, Bishop's Stortford FC
Tuesday 30 March 2010
Final score - West Ham United reserves 0-1 Aston Villa reserves
92 mins - Hogg brings down Edgar again and is booked this time. Brown lofts it in but it is headed clear. Edgar picks the ball up and finds Driver, who is tackled and the final whistle is blown. Unfortunate defeat for the Hammers, who gave everything in absolutely horrible conditions. The reserves will return to action a week tonight at Stoke City. Don't forget to visit WHUTV for exclusive highlights and post-match reaction.
91 mins - I have never seen football played in weather worse than this! It's like a monsoon, with the rain bucketing down and the wind swirling it around Woodside Park.
90 mins - Stanislas whips in a wicked ball and Bevan can only flap it behind for a corner. Stanislas crosses again and it is headed clear. We're going to have at least two more minutes...
89 mins - A loose ball allows Edgar to get the better of Hogg. The winger gets away from the right-back, who fouls him. A late chance for Stanislas to deliver.
88 mins - The ball is thrown in and headed clear by Osbourne. It falls to Payne, but his first-time shot fizzes inches wide of the far post. Unlucky.
87 mins - The rain is falling even harder here, but West Ham still have a chance of nicking a draw. If they could, it would be a superb result against the leaders.
85 mins - Great saving challenge from Spence to knock the ball over his own crossbar after Albrighton had escaped the attentions of Brown down the right. The resulting corner falls to Salifou, but the Togoese fires powerfully wide from about 12 yards.
84 mins - Good stuff again from Stech, who claims Albrighton's volleyed cross well above the head of Collins.
83 mins - West Ham are still right in this as Stanislas runs at O'Halloran, only for the cross to bounce back off the winger and out for a goal kick.
81 mins - Another sight of goal for West Ham. Driver latches on to Dixon's pass and sends over a cross. Clark heads clear to Payne, who drags his shot wide from 25 yards. Maybe he should have taken a touch?
80 mins - It is real end-to-end stuff here as both sets of players tire on the heavy surface. First, Dixon is just too short when trying to play in Edgar, then Albrighton sees his shot deflected wide by Brown. The corner is half-cleared by Stech, who then recovers to save Osbourne's follow-up shot. Good work from the goalkeeper.
78 mins - After an age of messing about, Albrighton hits his free-kick low and it deflects just wide of the target off the wall. Close call. West Ham clear the corner and Stanislas romps forward before feeding Edgar, whose cross is hacked out for a throw.
77 mins - Payne slides in and plays Collins in by accident. The forward is brought down just outside the box. Danger for the Hammers.
76 mins - Salifou picks out Albrighton with a nice cross-field pass. The right winger crosses left-footed, but it is too high for Hofbauer and flies out for a goal kick.
73 mins - West Ham win a free-kick wide on the right. Stanislas whips in a superb ball and Wearen should score at the far post, but the unmarked Irishman can only divert his header wide of the post.
72 mins - The change nearly has an immediate effect as Montano and Dixon threaten to break through, only for Davies to make a fine challenge. West Ham threaten come foward again seconds later and Bevan does well to save with his legs.
71 mins - A third and final change for the Hammers, with Edgar on for Ferrari. West Ham are now playing 4-4-2, by the way, with Montano partnering Dixon up front. Edgar is wide on the left.
70 mins - Spence brings down Collins wide on the left. Albrighton curls it in and Stech punches clear to Clark. He tries to chip the goalkeeper, but the Czech holds on.
68 mins - West Ham have not created too much this half, save for Stanislas' free-kick. They will need to make more of their possession if they are to get back on level terms. Payne tries to do so with a left-foot cross, but it is easily cleared by Clark in front of Montano.
65 mins - Villa are well on top and Dyer makes a second change, bringing on Eoin Wearen for Lee for the final 25 minutes or so.
62 mins - Sanchez plays Stech into a bit of trouble, and the goalkeeper makes a hash of his clearance. The ball is worked to Hofbauer, but he curls his shot wide of the angle of post and bar.
61 mins - Weimann this time, but his curves his shot wide of the target from 20 yards.
60 mins - Brilliant play from Villa. Hogg gets forward well before Collins works it wide to Albrighton. The winger curls a super cross to the far post, where Hofbauer catches the ball flush on the volley, only for Stech to block it with his legs.
59 mins - It's absolutely sheeting it down with rain as Stech runs out of his goal to clear well at the feet of Collins. The goalkeeper gets there first and slides the ball out of the stadium.
58 mins - Stanislas rattles the post with his free-kick. He takes a long run up and curls the ball into the near post, where it bounces back to Dixon, who can only stab the ball wide of the target. Montano is on, but in place of Abdulla rather than Dixon.
57 mins - Montano is about to come on, I would suspect for Dixon. Meanwhile, West Ham win a free-kick deep inside the Villa half. Stanislas comes across to take it.
55 mins - Close. Osbourne flights a cross to the back post, where Albrighton has lost Brown. The winger tries to hit a controlled volley into the bottom corner, but misjudges his effort by about a yard.
54 mins - West Ham have started fairly well after the break, with Payne again looking to take control of the midfield. There are plenty of scouts here, and they will surely have been impressed by the midfielder's performance so far.
50 mins - Good football from the Hammers. Lee and Payne work well in midfield before the latter sprays it wide into the path of Driver. The right-back reaches the byline and crosses dangerously. The ball hits O'Halloran, spins across the goalmouth and is hacked clear by Hogg. Villa break immediately, but Hofbauer's header is weak and easily held by Stech.
49 mins - It's raining. Again.
47 mins - Albrighton is fouled by Payne. Hofbauer crosses and Stech rises above Davies to punch the ball clear with both fists.
46 mins - Aston Villa get us underway, with David Bevan replacing Marshall between the sticks. I don't think Marshall was injured, so I'm assuming it's just a case of giving the Irish youngster a run out.
Half-time score - West Ham United reserves 0-1 Aston Villa reserves
46 mins - We're going to have at least one added minute. About a second short, the half-time whistle is blown.
44 mins - West Ham's best chance of the half goes begging. Stanislas curls a superb ball around the Villa defence to Abdulla, but his shot is blocked by Marshall. It rolls clear to Ferrari, but the Italian hits the goalkeeper with a follow-up effort with his weaker right foot.
42 mins - West Ham lose possession inside the Villa half and Albrighton streaks away again, beating Payne before seeing his shot hit Spence and spin wide for another corner. The same player takes, but his cross is well blocked by Driver.
39 mins - O'Halloran forces a corner off Driver at the near post. Albrighton to take... He takes it short and receives the ball back, hitting it first-time into the box, but it floats just over the head of Davies at the back stick.
38 mins - Davies hooks the ball clear to Weimann, who turns smartly and runs away from Lee, who tugs him back. A booking is the result for the West Ham midfielder.
37 mins - It's hard work out there in the mud. Dixon comes short for a pass and is fouled by Clark.
36 mins - Villa are on top here, and Spence has to be alert to smash Hogg's right-wing cross out for a throw.
33 mins - GOAL! Weimann scores, but it really should have been avoided. The Austrian runs on to a flick on and beats two West Ham defenders to the ball. Stech saves his first effort well, but is powerless to prevent Weimann from clipping the rebound in off the far post.
31 mins - Albrighton hits the frame of the goal again! Villa force a free-kick about 30 yards out and the winger curls a dipping effort that bounces back off the crossbar before Weimann volleys the rebound into the car park.
30 mins - Another corner for Villa as Albrighton's cross flicks off Spence's head and over the stand and into the car park. Albrighton himself takes and it curls low into the base of the near post. That would have been a bit embarrassing for Driver, who was stationed on the post, but thankfully West Ham were able to scramble the ball clear.
28 mins - Albrighton gets forward again down the right and forces Spence into conceding a corner.
27 mins - Stanislas clips the ball in and it falls to Dixon, whose shot is blocked. Stanislas regains possession and finds Ferrari, whose cross falls to Payne, but the midfielder's ambitious effort flies over the stand.
26 mins - Payne is back on... Abdulla holds the ball up well and wins a free-kick about 35 yards out. Stanislas still looks like he fancies a shot on goal.
24 mins - Good work from Payne and Stanislas to win the ball back before the former is felled by Osbourne. Payne is left in a heap and needs the physio on.
23 mins - Albrighton crosses to the near post, where O'Halloran runs into the space but can only flick his header wide of the far post.
22 mins - Midway through the opening period and Payne is having an impressive game so far. He's been at the centre of much of the Hammers' best moments, while Stanislas has also done well so far. As I type, Spence concedes a corner.
20 mins - Good challenge from Spence to deny Salifou after the African had broken into the box on to Weimann's pass. If he hadn't made the challenge, then Salifou may well have been in on Stech's goal.
18 mins - An opportunity at the other end straight away. Weimann uses skill and pace to get away from Driver and get into the box, but he can only drag his shot across the face of goal.
17 mins - A first chance for the Hammers. Payne finds Abdulla with the outside of his right boot. The Saudi Arabian feeds Stanislas, who makes ten yards before forcing a smart save from Marshall. West Ham work the corner short to Lee, whose shot is blocked.
16 mins - Albrighton and Hogg combine down the right before the former crosses deep, where Payne does well to head clear when surrounded by two Villa attackers.
14 mins - Payne loses possession before sliding in hard on Hofbauer and clearing the ball for a throw. Not much in the way of goalmouth action at either end so far, to be honest. Albrighton tries to change that, but Sanchez is there to clear.
13 mins - Spence clears and Stanislas volleys the ball out of the stadium.
11 mins - Hofbauer's cross holds up on the wind and threatens to dip under the crossbar. Stech takes no chances and pushes it out for a corner, which comes to nothing.
9 mins - Good work from Abdulla to win a free-kick inside the centre circle, but West Ham play backwards and concede possession. Salifou crosses and Spence slides in to clear. West Ham are struggling to keep the ball, but the surface isn't helping too much.
7 mins - Another effort from Villa. O'Halloran and Hofbauer combine down the left before Weimann shoots from 20 yards, but again the effort is wayward and flies past the far post.
6 mins - Payne brings down left-back O'Halloran five yards outside the penalty area on the left. Albrighton curls the ball miles too long and it flies out for a goal kick.
4 mins - The powerfully-built Salifou picks the ball up 25 yards out, takes a touch and slices his shot well wide of Stech's goal. Villa are on top in the early stages.
3 mins - Villa's side looks considerably bigger than West Ham's. That makes sense, considering the experienced Curtis Davies, Osbourne and Togo international Moustapha Salifou are all involved from the start.
2 mins - West Ham have lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, with Dixon up front and Abdulla forming part of a five-man midfield. Ferrari is on the left, with Stanislas wide on the right.
1 min - Isaiah Osbourne ploughs forward through the mud before being halted by right-back Callum Driver. First-team coach Kevin Keen is here to watch the action.
7pm - West Ham get us underway...
6.59pm - As if conditions could get any worse! It's now windy as well, which makes it feel even colder. Lovely. The two captains are called forward by the referee, a Mr Cooper, for the pre-match handshakes and coin toss. The two teams switch ends, with Villa kicking towards Stansted Airport and the M11...
6,57pm - West Ham are out first, with Spence leading his troops on to the sodden playing suurface. Villa soon follow, led by captain Ciaran Clark.
6.55pm - We have some young Aston Villa fans in the stand here! The little girls are making themselves heard with a song or two, as well. Very impressive. Without being over-dramatic, it is freezing here.
6.50pm - I must confess that the crowd is not the biggest here this evening. The poor weather, plus the attraction of UEFA Champions League football on the TV, looks to have kept even the regulars away from Woodside Park. On the flip side, there are dozens of scouts here this evening.
West Ham United will look to make it three Barclays Premier Reserve League South wins in succession when they host leaders Aston Villa at Woodside Park this evening.
The relentless rain is still falling here on the Essex/Herts border, and the playing surface does look a tad wet in places, but we have the OK to go ahead from the referee. This is the 70th match played on this pitch this season.
West Ham have a young side out, with Junior Stanislas and Josh Payne providing the first-team experience in the starting XI. Jordan Spence will captain Alex Dyer's team, with Marek Stech in goal. Davide Ferrari and Terry Dixon, who scored in the 2-0 win at Arsenal eight days ago, are also in the lineup.
Reigning champions Aston Villa are unbeaten in all eleven matches they have played this season, and sit two points clear at the top of the table again this term. Kevin MacDonald's side won 2-0 in the reverse fixture at Villa Park in September, when the weather was rather different.
West Ham United reserves: Stech, Driver, Sanchez, Spence, Brown, Stanislas, Payne, Lee (Wearen 65), Ferrari, Abdulla (Montano 58), Dixon
Subs: Mehmet, McNaughton, Edgar
Aston Villa reserves: Marshall (Bevan 46), Hogg, Clark, Davies, O'Halloran, Albrighton, Osbourne, Salifou, Hofbauer, Weimann, Collins
Subs: Forrester, Carruthers, Deeney