Hammers held at the Valley

Pre-season fixture 
Charlton Athletic 0-0 West Ham United  

West Ham United were held to a goalless pre-season draw by Charlton Athletic at the Valley on Saturday afternoon.

Regan Charles-Cook watched a lob drift inches past the post for the Addicks, while Diafra Sakho and Dimitri Payet looked far and away the most likely for the Hammers prior to the break.

The game opened up after the interval, with Sakho crashing one into the side netting, before youngster Josh Cullen spurned a presentable chance with his left foot.

Darren Randolph made an excellent double stop to deny former Hammers man Alou Diarra late on, but it was to end honours even in south London.    
There had earlier been a late change for the Hammers at left-back, with Kyle Knoyle drafted in for the unfortunate Stephen Hendrie, who picked up a slight knock in the warm-up. 

The Hammers, then, lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Payet, Martin Samuelsen and Enner Valencia behind lone striker Sakho. 

Valencia, making his first appearance since returning from the Copa America, looked spritely enough down the left, though it was Payet and Sakho who looked most like creating an opening. 

The duo combined neatly on the edge of the box, but the Senegal man was bustled out of it just before he could pull the trigger.  

With 12 minutes gone, a ricochet off Cullen sent Sakho in the clear, only to be upended by Patrick Bauer on the edge of the box. Referee Kevin Friend deemed it a fair challenge. Sakho thought otherwise.   

At the other end, the Addicks’ best chance of the half fell to Charles-Cook on the half hour, who lobbed the advancing Randolph, but James Tomkins was on hand to watch it just past the right side of the upright.     

Sakho, meanwhile, surged down the left and was eventually denied by a well-timed Chris Solly challenge. 

Payet then collected Sakho’s pass on the left-hand side of the box but fell to earth with Solly the apparent culprit. No penalty, said Friend, who booked the Frenchman for his troubles. 

There was still time for one final Charlton chance of the half, as Randolph’s clearance fell straight to Tony Watt, whose drive just skimmed the bar.  

With Payet pulling the strings, West Ham looked much more of a threat after the break. Firstly, he teed up Sakho, who turned inside and out before lashing into the side netting. He then played in Cullen on the left-hand side, but the youngster screwed his strike wide of the left-hand upright. 

But the visitors should really have taken the lead through Watt. The No15 stole a march on the Hammers backline and when confronted by Randolph toe-poked tamely wide of the post.  

The chances were coming thick and fast. Sakho let fly from all of 25 yards and forced ‘keeper Nick Pope to fling himself to his left to palm it round the post. 

Valencia was withdrawn shortly after the hour and his replacement Amos Nasha was soon taking aim. Though his shot from 18 yards was blocked, it fell kindly to Cullen, but, not for the first time, West Ham found the side netting.

Ironically, it was former Hammers fan Alou Diarra who went even closer to breaking the deadlock. When a corner from the left fell at his feet, Randolph was equal to the initial effort from point-blank range and blocked the follow-up for good measure too.  

It was Randolph again to the rescue minutes later, as Karlan Ahearne-Grant looked to have picked out the corner, only for the Hammers' custodian to extend his right arm to divert it behind and preserve the Hammers' clean sheet. 

Charlton Athletic: Pope, Solly, Diarra (Holmes-Dennis 77), Bauer, Fox, Gudmundsson (Lennon 77), Cousins (Jackson 84), Ba (Kashi 64), Charles-Cook (Ahearne-Grant 46), Watt (Pigott 86), Makienok (Harriott 64) 
Subs: Dmitrovic, Kennedy 

West Ham United: Randolph, Burke Ogbonna, Tomkins (Henry 59), Knoyle, Cullen, Oxford, Valencia (Nasha 64), Payet (Brown 90), Samuelsen (Gordon 63), Sakho (Mavila 80) 
Subs: Spiegel

Booked: Payet

Referee: Kevin Friend