Urchins, playing together for the first time, moved confidently from the kick off, and Nicky Cowley had a chance in the first minute, his first time shot sailing over the bar. A minute later, and it was Nicky Cowley again, whose free kick sailed invitingly into the box and Steve King headed powerfully onto the bar. Another Nicky Cowley free kick followed, when Andrews brought down Pamplin, and when keeper Reed dropped the ball, it was Henry who got there just in time to prevent Holland getting in a shot.
West Ham conceded several free kicks but it was a long throw from Golbey that next caused them problems, with Reed struggling to hold on to the ball, Another Golbey throw, this time from the left side, fell to Tiffin, whose shot was a fraction too high. Irons were beginning to find some room on the wings, and won three corners in quick succession. But Collier was not troubled, with King and Bostock looking very confident in the middle. But Collier was brought into action when Reid’s low cross from the left found Ashikodi rushing in, but Collier made a spectacular diving save. West Ham’s tackling was more than would normally be expected in a friendly, and Ephrain earned a long lecture from referee Evetts. Collier was in action soon after when the dangerous Reid wove his way through, but Collier saved and Bostock completely the clearance.
West Ham took the lead when Reid, on the left, played the ball over to the right wing, to Sofiane, who quickly centred. The defence could not clear, and Max Gradel turned his shot into the net from a narrow angle. Time 37 minutes. A minute later it could have been two, when Lee Hales, son of Urchins’ ex-assistant manager Kevin Hales, got into a good position in front of goal, but hammered the ball over the bar. Sam Williams came on and with his first touch he won a corner, and from Nicky Cowley’s kick, Holland’s shot was deflected for another corner.
Urchins could have levelled soon after the start of the second half, Perry playing Nicky Cowley through, but White got in his tackle just in time. Danny Cowley played a prominent role in feeding his forward line, and when Billy Drake came on, it was Danny’s pass that picked him out on the right. Drake’s low cross into the middle was scrambled away by White. In the Iron’s next move it was brother Nicky to the rescue, heading out Ashikodi’s shot to concede a corner. Danny Gill began to find some room on the left, and it looked promising when he outpaced Tomkins and centred, but White headed the ball out for a corner with two Urchins in close attendance.
Nathan Philip’s long dipping shot cum cross from the left gave keeper Reed some worries before he was able to back peddle and tip the ball over the bar, but with Urchins looking for an equaliser, they left themselves open at the back. Collinson, who had earlier been substituted, came back on, and before anyone could pick him up, the received the ball unmarked and just outside the penalty area. He turned and his low shot just beat the diving Wilson, who had just replaced Collier in goal. Both teams tired in the heat, and Irons seemed happy to sit on their lead.