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West Ham XI vs Bishops Stortford

This game was an annual encounter between the two sides. Woodside Park, the home of Bishops Stortford FC, serves as the West Ham reserves home ground. It seemed that Alex Dyer the reserve team coach wanted to keep this allegiance with his squad that he put in front of the Conference South team. A ten-man Bishops Stortford side managed to overcome Alex Dyers’ team which must surely send alarm bells ringing.

Dyer named a relatively strong line-up with both Savio and Nigel Quashie in the starting line-up. Bondz N’Gala was also included and the accomplished defender played the full 90 minutes. Dyer also handed Andrea Zola another chance on the bench.

Bishops Stortford were not short of talent either, they handed a start to Charlie Sheringham, the son of former Hammer Teddy. They also gave ex youth FA cup winning Hammer Stevland Angus a place on the bench.

Savio was given a chance to shine for the reserves

Savio was given a chance to shine for the reserves

Within the first 20 minutes the inexperienced West Ham side began to settle into the game with some neat passing play and interchanges. However the majority of these exchanges were inside their own half. Then, half way through the first half, Savio made a slinky and mischievous run from inside the West Ham half and managed to win a corner but nothing came from it. It was then a chance for the Bishops Stortford “rookies” to settle and with 10 minutes to go they came close from a Danny Harris headed effort just wide of the post.

Five changes were made at the break with Zola being one of the bench warmers to be added into the mix. With ten minutes of the half gone it was Savio again who provided a chance. Hines flicked the ball to Savio who repeated the action only for Hines’ effort to sail over the bar. It was a sign of intent though from the Hammers. The pace of the game then changed, which seemed to suit the Bishops Stortford side better and in the 87 th minute the goal came.

Just 3 minutes after Goodacre had been forced off with an injury to leave the side playing with ten men, they got the winner. A simple header from a corner scored by substitute Jackman.

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