Improved performance pleases Big Sam

Sam Allardyce was impressed with the response he witnessed from his West Ham United side during their 1-1 draw with SC Braga.

The West Ham United manager saw a close-range Winston Reid effort secure a well-deserved draw on Friday evening as the Hammers wrapped up their pre-season campaign. The home side had taken the lead in the 34th minute when Lima converted a hotly-disputed penalty after James Collins was adjudged to have handballed.

"I think it was a very good game to play in," Big Sam told West Ham TV. "Braga as a team will be in or around the top three or four teams in Portugal. They will be playing in Europe so it was a good test for the lads both technically and physically.

"It was an unfortunate penalty against us when the ball hit James Collins and then his hand but that is what you get when you're away in Europe sometimes. It was a good performance overall and it was good to see Momo play for us and for Tonks to get a good run out after coming back from the Olympics."

The Hammers' goal was straight from the training ground as Matt Taylor floated a corner into the box, the retuning Olympian James Tomkins nodded it down and Winston Reid was on hand to prod the ball home from three yards out. Although there were perhaps only 200 Hammers fans in the ground, their delight to see an 89th-minute leveller ahead of the start of the Barclays Premier League season was there for all to hear.

George Moncur did have a brilliant chance to win the match right at the death, but, after being put through one-on-one by Mark Noble, his shot into the far corner was brilliantly saved by Quim in the Braga goal. Quim had a busy night and another fine stop from a Modibo Maiga header kept the Champions League qualifiers in the game as the Hammers' pre-season preparations stepped up a couple of notches.

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"It was a very sound, solid performance overall and a good end to the game which showed our fitness is coming on, which is what we want. It's nice to see us score from a set play. A Matt Taylor ball in and James Tomkins knocked it down and it was finished by Reidy.

"We should have scored a late winner when young George Moncur went through but sadly he didn't put that one in the back of the net. It was a great counter-attack started by Mark Noble but in Moncur on a one-on-one. The lad is hugely is hugely disappointed he's not stuck it away."

Big Sam's thoughts will immediately turn to defeating Aston Villa in the first game of the new Premier League season. There is limited availability on tickets for the game so fans are advised to move quickly. Click here for more information.