FK Austria Wien v West Ham United
Franz Horr Stadium
Saturday 7 July 2012
Final score - FK Austria Wien 3-1 West Ham United
90 mins - The Fanatics are singing away to my right as we enter the final moments. Some fans are making for the exits. It's been a good workout for both teams. Obviously the result is not ideal, but at this stage it is about building fitness levels and avoiding picking up injuries.
88 mins - Jack Collison and Joey O'Brien are not injured, for those wondering why they are not playing. Both are being managed through the opening part of pre-season. As fans will know, both have had long-term knee injuries previously. The pair were involved in training in Bad Waltersdorf, while also taking part in their own individual training programmes.
87 mins - Vaz Te wins a corner. O'Neil drills the ball head-height to the near post where McCartney heads wide. Good-ish chance. The opportunity is greeted with 'Ooohs' from the away fans behind the goal.
85 mins - Vaz Te wide right and crosses. Noble challenges but is beaten in the air by a defender. Nolan collects but loses possession. OK, so we're coming to the end of the first week of pre-season training and there are plenty of positives. By 18 August, the Hammers will be ready to go.
83 mins - Kaja Rogulj (Say that after a night out!) and Sebastian Wimmer are on for the final few minutes. West Ham have a free-kick and the ball is worked to Vaz Te. He shoots low across the face of goal and wide.
81 mins - Superb tackle by Spence. Kienast had got in behind Potts and on to a looping ball forward. The former England Under-21 man used his pace to slide in and poke the ball back to Jaaskelainen. Wien finishing the game strongly. They have two more substitutes ready to come on, too...
79 mins - A half-chance for the giant Kienast, but his glancing header from a left-wing cross bounces well wide.
78 mins - The game might be nearly over, but West Ham will want to compete until the final whistle. Spence conceded a corner, but the Hammers hold firm. The sun has come out again here in Vienna.
75 mins - GOAL! Jun has time to come forward and just outside the D he hits a rasping shot that flies past Jaaskelainen's right hand as the goalkeeper dives to his right. Before the game restarts, Wien bring on Roman Kienast, Srdan Spiridonovic, Lukas Rotpuller and Martin Harrer. They also took four players off, just to make things fair.
74 mins - It's end-to-end at the moment and again Potts does well to block a shot from Murg, but West Ham don't clear their lines properly...
73 mins - Noble's corner is won by Vaz Te, but his header flies over the top.
71 mins - The second half has been livelier than the first, I would say. Vaz Te goes down, but it's play on as McCartney crosses and Jun puts the ball behind for a corner.
70 mins - Murg and Jun combine but Potts makes a superb sliding interception to clear for a throw. If he hadn't reacted so quickly, Jun would have been in on goal.
69 mins - It's drinks time again on the touchline. The PA announcer, who is not the violet-clad lady from earlier on, thanks the 7,150 fans who have made the trip to the stadium for attending.
67 mins - Fantastic save! Jaaskelainen dives to his right to keep out a volley from Jun. The Czech was no more than ten yards from goal, but the goalkeeper flung himself to push the ball around the post. Great stuff from the flying Finn. The corner comes to nothing as Gorgon slips as he takes it. Stoger clearly isn't impressed as he replaces Gorgon with Thomas Murg.
65 mins - A good spell of possession from West Ham. Noble and Lletget combine well on the right before the American whips in the cross. Grunwald the goalkeeper punches clear but Noble is there. He beats one man and crosses, but the ball skims wide of the far post. Encouraging interplay and good confidence from Lletget, who lost his man first with a neat Cruyff-turn, then beat him to the byline to cross.
62 mins - There is a chap going around the stand handing out pints of water to the fans. Good man. He is dressed like one of the ushers you might see selling ice cream in the theatre or, if you're old enough, the cinema...
60 mins - Grunwald curls the free-kick over and Jaaskelainen watches the ball into his hands.
59 mins - Florian Mader is on for Wien in place of Vrsic. The goalscorer gets a handshake from bespectacled coach Stoger. Seconds later, Morrison is booked for a challenge on Koch.
57 mins - Vaz Te has looked lively in training this week, winning a finishing drill on Friday. He shoots from 25 yards, but the ball flies wide. The No12 grimaces in frustration. We know what he can do from that sort of range.
55 mins - Vrsic has a half-chance from Koch's cross, but his looping header clears the crossbar comfortably. Jaaskelainen watches the ball drift safely over the top.
52 mins - Koch is playing at left-back for Wien, while Jun and Alexander Grunwald are in central midfield. Thankfully for the players, it has cooled down a little bit weather-wise. The sun has gone behind a cloud for now.
51 mins - Ok, positions... Lletget at right-back, Spence and Potts in the middle and McCartney at left-back. O'Neil, Noble, Nolan and Morrison across the midfield. Vaz Te and Maynard up front. Oh, and Jaaskelainen is in goal.
49 mins - Close call again. McCartney gets forward and into the box. He shoots right-footed and the ball curls a yard or two wide of the far post.
47 mins - West Ham have the ball in the net as Vaz Te beats one man and finds O'Neil in space. The midfielder crosses and Vaz Te heads down for Maynard to finish, but Nolan had been penalised for a foul. Shame. Wien have brought on goalkeeper Pascal Grunwald, Alexander Grunwald, Koch and Jun, but I don't know who has gone off just yet.
46 mins - The second half starts. Nolan is now captaining West Ham.
OK, here is the Hammers lineup for the second half: Jaaskelainen, Lletget, Spence, Potts, McCartney, Morrison, Noble, Nolan, O'Neil, Maynard, Vaz Te
The hosts have made a lot of changes too, so I'll update their lineup when I have it worked out!
Half-time score - FK Austria Wien 2-1 West Ham United
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46 mins - The half-time whistle is blown by the referee Harald Lechner. Wien now have 13 substitutes warming up! Anyway, West Ham trail at the break after a bright start. The home side have looked neat and tidy and could have scored a goal more, perhaps. Again, it is important to point out that Wien's season starts in two weeks. The Hammers don't play a competitive fixture until 18 August.
45 mins - Into the final minute of the half and still the black-shirted hosts lead. Maynard collects a pass from Spence, goes to ground and appeals for a foul, but nothing is given.
41 mins - The Wien coach Peter Stoger is a cool-looking customer. He is sporting some very natty glasses. His team are also looking good at present as left-back Suttner races forward and crosses low. Linz slides but the ball is just too strong. That was a bit of a let-off.
40 mins - There is a sort of murmur around the place at the moment. Wien are controlling possession for the most part. This is a good workout for the Hammers at the end of their first week back. Simkovic pulls the ball back for Stankovic, but the latter's first-time shot slides off the outside of his right boot and wide of the target.
38 mins - Taylor and Lletget have swapped flanks. Taylor now playing on the right, and the young American on the left.
37 mins - Wien are playing with some confidence at the moment. Linz holds up play before Simkovic plays in Vrsic. The latter tries to backheel into the path of Linz, but only gets a slight contact under pressure from Reid. The ball rolls through to Henderson.
35 mins - I can only guess that Wien are fielding a completely new team after half-time. They currently have eleven substitutes warming-up!
33 mins - Baldock wins another corner. To clarify about Cole's departure. He did appear to take a minor knock, but got up and walked off the pitch under his own steam and didn't look in any serious discomfort. The corner is cleared.
31 mins - West Ham come again and Tomkins wins another corner. It is high again and Lindner punches out for a throw before the hosts clear their lines properly.
30 mins - Diame swings the ball out to Taylor. He controls on his chest and looks up before nearly catching out Lindner at the near post. The keeper scrambles the ball behind for a corner. Tomkins wins it, but Wien half-clear.
29 mins - Well, that wasn't in the script, but there is plenty of time to go...
27 mins - GOAL! The home side lead and that's a good goal, to be fair. Simkovic gets clear down the left again and has time to pick out the run of Vrsic inside the penalty area. The Slovenian arrives and slots the left-foot shot low into the bottom right-hand corner.
26 mins - Nicky Maynard replaces Cole. Meanwhile, Taylor's low cross has been put behind for a Hammers corner. The No14 picks out Tomkins at the far post, but the skipper heads high and wide under pressure from a defender.
24 mins - GOAL! Linz takes advantage of the absence of Cole to beat one challenge on the edge of the Hammers box and prod a low shot past Henderson. The goalkeeper could do nothing about that. Wien level things up.
23 mins - It is VERY hot. So, we're having a quick drinks break. Cole has gone off briefly so West Ham are down to ten men.
22 mins - If you are still intending to renew or apply for a Season Ticket for the coming season, you're time is running out! The deadline is 5pm today UK time - that's a little more than 90 minutes from now! To do so, click here.
20 mins - Good sliding challenge by Diame ends another Wien attack and Lletget shows good composure to play a couple of one-twos before driving into the midfield. Nice. The American has pedigree and will be eager to make the most of his opportunity today.
18 mins - A first real chance for the home side as Vrsic gets down the right and beats Potts. His cross is low to the feet of Linz, who turns and gets his shot away. It is half-blocked and Henderson dives to his right to make the catch as the ball spins slowly towards the net.
16 mins - It's fairly competitive for a pre-season game so far. The early West Ham goal means Wien have to come out and play their way back into things. They are certainly having more of the ball, but they're not dominating West Ham by any means.
12 mins - Cole is penalised for a push inside the Wien box as he rises for a header. The home side come forward again and it's Simkovic in space on the left. He crosses, but Tomkins does well against Linz and the visitors clear their lines for a throw which is dealt with easily.
10 mins - Simkovic feeds the ball from the left wing inside for Stankovic, but his shot is charged down by Spence. The right-back keeps moving and blocks a follow-up shot too. Good work.
9 mins - Diame and Morrison both get in challenges in quick succession. The midfield pair have never played together before, but that sort of commitment will impress both the coaching staff and fans alike. Indeed, Diame's fine tackle earns him a cheer from the few hundred travelling Hammers supporters.
8 mins - Wien show for the first time as Suttner and Stankovic combine, but the cross is headed away by Taylor at the far post.
6 mins - That's the perfect start for Neil McDonald's men! The sun is shining and it's been bright so far from the visitors. The home fans behind the goal to my right - the Fanatics - are singing their hearts out to try to encourage their team back into the game.
4 mins - GOAL! BALDOCK! The ball is gifted to Cole by Simkovic and he runs at Ortlechener before running past the centre-back and clipping a high cross over the goalkeeper Lindner from the byline. Baldock is not favourite by any means but he rises highest and somehow squeezes his header between Lindner and the post. Boos from some of the home fans!
3 mins - The Hammers keep possession nicely before Cole flicks on Tomkins' clip forward. Margreitter is there ahead of Baldock but his hurried clearance falls back to West Ham. Cole finds Lletget, who wins a throw deep near the corner flag. It comes to nothing, however.
2 mins - Spence at right-back, Tomkins and Reid in the middle and Potts at left-back. Lletget wide right and Taylor wide left with Diame holding alongside Morrison. Baldock and Cole up front in a 4-4-2 formation.
4pm - We're underway and the home side immediately threaten with a long ball over the top for Vrsic to chase. Tomkins gets back and puts enough pressure on and the striker fluffs his shot. Henderson collects the bouncing ball. The 2012/13 season is up and running!
3.59pm - Here are the two teams. West Ham are wearing their away kit from last season, but don't forget the new away kit is available to buy now and the new home kit is available for pre-order from here.
3.57pm - OK, nearly time for kick-off but no sign of the teams just yet...
3.50pm - OK, the two teams have headed back into their dressing rooms after their warm-ups. Apologies for the lack of updates but I have been photographing the travelling Hammers fans over in the far corner of the stadium. It is 33 degrees here in Austria - that is in excess of 90 degrees if you prefer. The photos will appear on the official Facebook page here.
FK Austria Wien: Lindner, Margreitter, Vrsic, Simkovic, Linz, Ortlechner, Stankovic, Gorgon, Holland, Dilaver, Suttner
3.25pm - Apologies for the missing information in the text below. We had technical issues at the team hotel this morning - no internet! So, this was written on the coach on the way to the stadium. All is well now, I hope! I am told we will have the home side line-up confirmed in about five or ten minutes...
3.10pm - We have the West Ham team! The starting XI is as follows, with James Tomkins as captain. The Hammers will start the second half with a different team, although some players will feature for the full 90 minutes.
West Ham United: Henderson, Spence, Tomkins, Reid, Potts, Taylor, Diame, Morrison, Lletget, Cole, Baldock
3.05pm - The President of FK Austria Wien is being interviewed by the home side's version of Jeremy Nicholas - a blonde lady in a violet outfit as befits the PA announcer of The Violets! For an exclusive Facebook gallery from today's game, click here.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Austrian capital Vienna for West Ham United's opening pre-season fixture ahead of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League campaign.
Today's opponents are 23-times Austrian Bundesliga champions FK Austria Wien, a club with an illustrious history and who finished third in the top-flight last season.
The Hammers have been working hard for the past five days at their training camp in the village of Bad Waltersdorf, 80 miles south of Vienna.
However, they will face a stern test this afternoon as Austria Wien have been back in pre-season training themselves for a few weeks and will open their Bundesliga campaign against Wolfsburger AC on 21 July. The test will be made tougher still by the weather conditions - sunshine and temperatures in excess of 80 degrees.
With manager Sam Allardyce back in England taking care of transfer business, assistant boss Neil McDonald will take charge at the 10,850-capacity Franz Horr Stadium.
McDonald will give most, if not all, members of the travelling party a run out. However, some of the more senior players are expected to play just 45 minutes to ease them back into action after their summer break.
Today's fixture will give West Ham fans - both those living in central Europe and those who have travelled out from England for the game - a first glance at summer signings Jussi Jaaskelainen and Mohamed Diame, while Stephen Henderson and George McCartney are set to feature for the first time since making their loan moves permanent.
Austria Wien are one of Austria's traditional big three clubs - the other two being cross-city rivals Rapid and SK Sturm Graz - and are considered to be the country's most-successful side ever, with 23 league titles, 27 Austrian Cups and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final appearance to their name.
Formed in 1911, Die Vielchen - The Violets - enjoyed fantastic success in the 1960s and 1970s, winning eight league titles in eleven seasons between 1975 and 1986. In 1978, they reached the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, only to be beaten 4-0 by Belgian side RSC Anderlecht, while in 1979 they got as far as the European Cup semi-finals.
After starting the 1990s with three consecutive league titles and winning two more in 2003 and 2006, Austria Wien have been overshadowed by the likes of Sturm Graz and Red Bull Salzburg in recent years.
However, under coach and former Austria midfielder Peter Stoger, the club has finished in the top three in each of the previous three seasons and the signs are there that Austria Wien could soon be tasting success once more.
West Ham United: Henderson (Jaaskelainen 46), Spence, Tomkins (McCartney 46), Reid (O'Neil 46), Potts, Taylor (Nolan 46), Diame (Noble 46), Morrison, Lletget, Cole (Maynard 26), Baldock (Vaz Te 46)