Watford Internet FC suffered a 3-1 defeat in their first game of 2012 against East London counterparts West Ham on Saturday.

With the usual Met Police venue frozen, a hasty dash to the AstroTurf at Parmiters ensured the fixture went ahead as planned and as ever, the two teams competed well.

West Ham were the first to settle and used the ball well, with Watford preferring to use the pace of their forward players and hit the Hammers on the break.

After a spell of half chances for both sides, the home team created the first clear-cut effort when striker Dave Soloway, returning after three months out with a groin injury, collected a Stu Nicholls through ball and lobbed the keeper, only to see the effort drop narrowly wide of the West Ham goal.

Shortly afterwards, Nicholls was involved at the wrong end as he conceded a penalty kick, which Luke Gray stepped up to blast past Jeremy Hinds in the Watford goal.

With a number of changes at half time for Watford, the first ten minutes were to prove decisive as the home side struggled to settle.

Centre half Ian Grinstead, on his return from three years' exile in Spain, misjudged the flight of the ball and left a simple finish for Ian Batterbee.

And minutes later, keeper Tom Beck handled a Grinstead back pass and with WIFC day dreaming, West Ham took a quick free kick and Stuart Morris had an easy finish. Only a great save by Beck, from Batterbee moments later, kept the score 3-0, as WIFC desperately tried to gain a foothold.

Watford were able to get going again and were soon back in the game as another defensive mix-up allowed Joel Moody to steal in and prod home to give WIFC a lifeline.

The home side poured forward and laid siege to the visitors' goal and had chances to get back on terms, with Jimmy Davis and Aidy Spender both forcing fine saves from the visiting keeper. But West Ham held on to extend their unbeaten league run against WIFC to eight games.

West Ham manager Vinnie White was generous in his assessment of the game.

He said: "Both teams would have thought the game was there for the taking at half time but the first ten minutes of the second half turned out to be decisive.

"Watford then upped the effort, got a goal back and then looked dangerous again flooding players forward. We managed to hold on for the rest of the game and the scoreline probably flatters West Ham a little."

WIFC joint manager Dave Messenger agreed the ten minute spell in the second half proved crucial but was happy with the overall effort.

He said: "A crazy ten minutes aside, we competed well against what is, in my opinion, one of the best sides in our league. On the balance of play, we could easily have snatched a draw or better, so we take the positives and move on to Oxford next week."

Watford: Jeremy Hinds; Dan Willis, Jamie Parkins, Aidy Spender, Matt Ainsley; Andy Myall, Stuart Holdham, Stuart Nicholls, Joel Moody; Dave Soloway, Jimmy Davis. Subs Rob Stone, Tom Beck, Ian Grinstead, Ed Sterry, Panos Fellas and Phil McBride.