Gary O'Neil has created West Ham's first legitimate chance of the match, with a ball through the six in the 29th minute eventually leading to a Mark Noble chance. The former Middlesbrough star's run through the right side of the Birmingham City penalty area saw the midfielder meet the ball near touch. A quick ball sent across goal seemed to freeze all but right back Stephen Carr, whose clearance to the edge of the penalty area was met by Noble. The Hammer's midfielder one-timed a right-footed blast well over the bar, ending West Ham's threat.
Since, Birmingham City has manifested their first signs of life. Via a corner kick from the right, the Blues were able to create some chaos, Robert Green's collision with a Blues attacker leading the Hammers' `keeper to desperately appeal for a foul. The ensuing throw-in from the left ended with a cross to Roger Johnson, the defender putting his redirection voer the cross bar.
Since, each side has continued to generate chances. A cross from David Bentley showed promise despite West Ham's ability to deal with it, while another run from Gary O'Neil forced Johnson into another clearance from the six. In the 36th minute, a cross from Victor Obinna, continuing to player more left and deeper, forced Martin Jiranek into a headed clearance over his own bar. The ensuing corner led to nothing, keeping the score 0-0 in the 37th minute, but at least the match is heating up.
Bad news for West Ham: Manuel de Costa is warming-up on the sideline, with Matthew Upson's calf problem looking to have been aggravated. The Portuguese's warm-ups are off, and it appears Avram Grant will not wait until half-time to make a change.