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theyflysohigh logo Pavillion Hailstones Ipswich Town Gates Wootton Staines 01 Chelsea Academy

2011-12 F.A. Premier Academy League - Group A

CHELSEA Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Cobham

3 - 2 (Miles, Powell, Turgott)

7 January 2012

12_01_07 Chelsea v. WHU Unofficial

Unofficial Team Sheet - For Information Only

Wootton

Young

Shaw

Powell

Lee K.

Chambers

Turgott

Miles (Fanimo)

Lee E. (McCallum)

Ruddock (Hurley)

Vose

Jack Powell hit a last-gasp winner to help the Academy side prepare for Wednesday night's FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion in perfect fashion. The midfielder gave the Hammers a hard-fought victory in west London, with the Academy side twice having been pegged back in the contest. Blair Turgott and Taylor Miles had put the visitors in front, only for Chelsea to find equalisers each time that meant it was honours even at the break. Chelsea had dominated the first half in terms of possession but the Hammers changed things around after the interval in the hope of finding a winner. They had to be patient but, with the game seemingly destined to finish honours even, Powell came up with a winner. Substitute Matthias Fanimo had forced a free-kick in the Chelsea box when the keeper picked up a back-pass. The Blues had begun the brighter and Turgott's opener on ten minutes was against the run of play. The England U17 international cut in from the right flank before firing into the net with a left-footed drive. Chelsea were soon level, though, with a fine free-kick beating Dave Wootton in goal. The Hammers restored their advantage when Pelly Ruddock latched on to a long ball forward from Frazer Shaw. Ruddock wrestled his way through on goal before cutting back for Miles to lash in the second. Controversy then ensured with the second Chelsea equaliser of the day. The Hammers disputed the award of a corner in the home side's favour but were over-ruled. Then, when the ball was played into the box, the Chelsea scorer appeared to head in from an offside position. It looked like there would be no scoring after the break with both teams having tightened up defensively until Fanimo harried a Chelsea defender into playing the ball back to his keeper, who promptly picked it up under pressure. The referee awarded a free-kick eight yards out which meant the Chelsea defence had to retreat on the line. Dominic Vose stepped up and touched the ball to Powell, who found the space in the Chelsea net to give the Hammers a great away win.

POWELL Jack goal

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : F.A. Youth Cup (Fourth Round)

Upton Park

4 - 1 (Hall 2 [1 pen], Fanimo, Lee E.)

11 January 2012

West Ham Bench 12_01_11 WHU v. Brighton FAYC4 back

Larkins

Young

Potts (Shaw)

Miles (Hurley)

Lee K.

Chambers

Turgott

Powell

Hall

Lee E.

Fanimo (Vose)

Match Report by Willis Jamieson aged 11

 

Two goals from Robert Hall and one each from Elliot Lee and Matthias Fanimo saw off an average Brighton & Hove Albion side on a mild night at Upton Park in front of the watching Sam Allardyce. Some good early opportunities in the first 15 minutes saw the Hammers pin Brighton in their own half. Hall won a free-kick 30-yards out which was perfect for the left footer, beating the wall and the goalkeeper but also the far post by inches. Minutes later another free-kick, this time the right foot of Elliot Lee who did everything that Hall managed but this time hit the back of the net to score his 14th goal of the season in just 19 appearances. Brighton just couldn't cope with the stylish passing and movement of the West Ham side and were forced into an early tactical substitution, only a matter of time before a second would be scored. Another Hall free-kick just outside the area saw it blocked by team-mate Jake Young on the line followed by a cut inside from Elliot Lee using his pace to beat the defender seeing his shot brilliantly saved by Oliver Wray in the Brighton goal. As half-time approached, neat play between Turgott and Lee saw a great back-heel lay off to Hall who hammered it into the bottom corner. Brighton started the second period with much more possession than the first-half, although the Hammers midfield strength of Taylor Miles and a solid back four rarely troubled Larkins in the West Ham goal. With 60 minutes on the clock West Ham made a tactical change turning to 4-5-1, with Hall switching to right midfield and Turgott playing central. With more possession the move of the match saw a near twenty pass move eventually find captain Daniel Potts run into the Seagulls area only to be brought down by what looked like a good tackle, referee Jake Hillier pointed to the spot and Brighton captain Tom Vickers saw yellow for his protests. Rob Hall stepped up and calmly side-footed in for his second. Minutes later a rare Brighton attack was rewarded with a penalty of their own, Chris Cumming-Bart scored and ruined a certain clean-sheet on Jake Larkins 18th Birthday. Blair Turgott was getting more and more into the game from his central role, one move saw him pick the ball up just inside his own half before running through the Seasiders midfield, a short pass to Famino on the edge of their area saw him bury his shot into the bottom corner. With minutes remaining Elliott Lee created room for himself in the area only to see his shot hit the inside of both posts before being cleared. The Hammers were deserved 4-1 winners on the night and face Chelsea at Stains FC in the next round.

Player Ratings:

Jake Larkins - 7

Rarely troubled and didnt have a save to make.

Jake Young - 7

Worked hard and has the ability to make a final tackle.

Daniel Potts - 7

Good going forward and bring the ball out of defence.

Kenzer Lee - 7

Solid as you'd like, but didn't have too much to do.

Leo Chambers - 6

Class player but he looked quite nervous.

Taylor Miles - 8

Brilliant non-stop running with very little getting past him.

Jack Powell - 8

Can pick a pass and kept the game flowing, good on the ball and hard.

Matthias Famino - 8

Caused lots of problems with his pace and took his goal very well.

Blair Turgott - 8

Great second-half possession and his run for the last goal was excellent.

Elliott Lee - 9

Great opening goal, has pace and strength and rarely gives the ball away.

Robert Hall - 9 (Man of Match)

Two excellent goals, always looking for the ball, using pace and skill to cause trouble.

NORWICH CITY Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

12_01_11 WHU v. Brighton FAYC4

CRYSTAL PALACE Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Little Heath

6 - 1 (McCallum 2 [1 pen], Sadlier 2, Shaw, Turgott)

15 January 2012

Wootton

Siafa

Shaw

Hurley (Miles)

Lee K.

Young (Chambers)

Sadlier

Ruddock

McCallum (Boakye-Yiadom)

Turgott

Vose

West Ham United Under-18s continued their perfect start to 2012 with a 6-1 FA Premier Academy League victory at Norwich City - delighting Academy Director Tony Carr. Having begun the year with a 3-2 league win at Chelsea and a 4-1 FA Youth Cup fourth-round success against Brighton and Hove Albion, West Ham hit the heights again to ground the Canaries at Little Heath. Kieran Sadlier and Paul McCallum each scored twice, while Blair Turgott and Frazer Shaw were also on target as the Hammers roared back after falling a goal behind early on. Turgott missed a penalty before Sadlier equalised and then crossed for McCallum - who has recently returned to action following a spell out with a foot injury - to put West Ham in front before half-time. The second half was something of a procession, with McCallum netting from the penalty spot before Sadlier, Turgott and Shaw added gloss to the scoreline. "We made seven changes from the team that beat Brighton on Wednesday, so this performance and result were a great advert for the strength in our squad," said Carr. "Norwich scored from a free-kick out wide that was allowed to bounce in at the far post, and when Blair missed his penalty we could have thought 'This isn't going to be our day' but we didn't let our heads drop. "Norwich also shuffled their pack after going to extra time in their FA Youth Cup game against Chelsea, but that should take nothing away from our boys. "This was a great performance, especially in the second half."

West Ham United Under-18s lost their first match of 2012, going down to a 2-1 FA Premier Academy League defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday. The youth team had enjoyed three straight victories at start the year, beating Chelsea and Norwich City in the league and Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.

However, Academy Director Tony Carr admitted a poor first-half performance and a pair of unsuccessful penalty appeals had cost his team dear at Copers Cope Road. "We had a poor first half and found ourselves 2-0 down from two set plays," "We were playing in very windy conditions on a very small pitch and they made life very difficult for us, to be fair. In the second half, we improved and Kieran Sadlier scored direct from a corner when the ball caught on the wind. "We then had two penalty appeals turned down and Pelly Ruddock hit the crossbar. We completely dominated the second half but could not get the equaliser. A disappointing first half cost us the game, but we had two great shouts for penalties turned down - one for a foul on Elliot Lee and the second when Paul McCallum was in on the goalkeeper and fouled."

ARSENAL Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Beckenham Training Ground, Copers Cope Road

1 - 2 (Sadlier)

21 January 2012

Little Heath

1 - 0 (Powell)

28 January 2012

12_01_14 WHU v. Norwich City 12_02_25 Ipswich Town v. WHU Youth 12_01_21 Crystal Palace v. WHU Unofficial 12_01_28 WHU v. ARSENAL Unofficial 12_02_09 Southampton v. WHU Youth

SOUTHAMPTON Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

12_02_09 Southampton v. WHU Unofficial

Wootton

Young

Shaw

Powell

Lee K.

Chambers

Sadlier

Ruddock

Lee E.

McCallum

Vose

Wootton

Young

Shaw

Hurley

Lee K.

Chambers

Turgott

Powell

Lee E.

Ruddock

Fanimo

Staplewood Training Ground

0 - 0

9 February 2012

Wootton

Young

Shaw

Miles (Hurley)

Lee K.

Chambers

Turgott (Sadlier)

Powell

Lee E.

Ruddock

Fanimo (Vose)

CHELSEA : F.A. Youth Cup (Fifth Round)

West Ham United Under-18s were held to a 0-0 FA Premier Academy League draw at Southampton. The Saints agreed to bring the match forward 48 hours to help West Ham to prepare for next week's FA Youth Cup fifth-round trip to Chelsea. The visitors were also grateful to the Southampton groundstaff who worked hard to make the pitch playable at St Mary's Training Centre. The Hammers were unfortunate to not come away with a victory from their trip to the south coast, with a host of goalscoring opportunities being spurned during a dominant second-half performance. Academy Director Tony Carr said: "It was an open game and a good game featuring two attack-minded teams, but we were a little bit disappointed that we didn't win it. Elliot Lee (pictured) has missed two opportunities he would take on another day, while Pelly Ruddock and Kieran Sadlier have also missed chances late on. "We had two good chances early on and then three more in the closing stages, but we couldn't put the ball into the net. We were the better team, particularly in the second half, but we were not clinical enough inside their penalty box. Their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves and we have missed the target with a couple of shots. We had the chances to win the game, so we can have no excuses. "With the weather conditions the way they have been this week, we were lucky to get a game on. It had been a bit frosty down there overnight, but the pitch had softened out sufficiently for us to play the game. We are grateful to Southampton for agreeing to switch the game and then for working to make sure it could be played."

12_02_15 Chelsea v. WHU FAYC5 12_02_15 Chelsea FAYC5 Unofficial 12_02_15 Chelsea v. WHU Ticket FILMSTRIP

Wootton

Young

Potts

Miles (Hurley)

Lee K. (Shaw)

Chambers

Sadlier (Vose)

Powell

Lee E.

Turgott

Fanimo

Wheatsheaf Park, Staines Town FC

3 - 3 (Lee E., Miles, Turgott)  lost 4-5 pens

15 February 2012

Nick Haycock admitted to having mixed emotions after West Ham United's agonising FA Youth Cup fifth-round defeat at Chelsea. The Hammers battled back to level twice and were within a minute of winning the game 3-2, only for the Blues to equalise in the 94th minute and edge the penalty shootout 5-4 to win through to the quarter-finals. The Under-18s coach was justifiably proud of his players' efforts but understandably gutted to lose out in such heart-breaking circumstances. "I have known the boys a long time and I'm gutted for them but I'm not gutted with them, "I said 'When you come in the changing room at the end of the game say you couldn't give any more', and they couldn't have given any more. "In the first half we tried to get after them and press them high up the pitch with a 4-4-2 and because we were going in ones and twos and not all together, they were passing it around us and creating too many chances for our liking. "We got them in at half-time and changed the shape of the midfield and one or two of the personnel and Lamar Hurley and Dominic Vose made a difference to the side, not only to the running of the side but also to the also the quality on the ball that they showed. "Obviously at 3-2 up we should have won the game but we celebrated deep near their corner flag and as we were coming back in we were all screaming to them to win the first tackle and put the ball into their half. "Unfortunately we never made contact with the ball and they hit the post and fortunately for them it has fallen to the centre-half and he's tapped it home. Losing on penalties is a lottery.

"I'm proud of the boys. At the end of the day, as much as we wanted to win the Youth Cup, I'm sure Ian Hendon will report back to the first team management that we have got players coming through the system. "I am disappointed but ultimately that's the most important thing. The game was dead and buried and we should be in the next round, in my opinion. Chelsea bossed the first half, we bossed the second but we should have won the game." While West Ham were eliminated, they would not have reached a penalty shootout were it not for a truly outstanding display by goalkeeper David Wootton. The regular No2 stepped in for the injured Jake Larkins and responded with a fantastic performance featuring at least four fine saves. "All credit to him because David has had a tough time of it playing second fiddle to Jake. Fair play to David because the character he showed, knowing he is the No2, he put in a No1 performance. "I said to the boys in the dressing room, he kept us in the game in the first half and made a great save on about 75 minutes when they got in down the left-hand channel.

"His kicking was great and in the shootout, Chelsea showed a bit of a German mentality and every penalty went in the corner or over the bar, so David couldn't do anything about them. "He was top-drawer, to be fair to the boy."

PORTSMOUTH Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

West Ham United Under-18s fell to a 1-0 FA Premier Academy League defeat by Portsmouth on Saturday. The Hammers were beaten by a solitary goal scored by the home side ten minutes after half-time at Little Heath. The loss came just three days after the U18s were beaten in heartbreaking circumstances at Chelsea on the FA Youth Cup fifth round, where the Hammers conceded a last-minute equaliser before being defeated 5-4 on penalties. Academy Director Tony Carr MBE said West Ham had again had enough chances be victorious, only to come up short against Pompey. "We had enough opportunities to have won it, funnily enough," said Carr. "It was a tired performance, as you might have expected after the boys played 120 minutes at Chelsea in midweek. "It was one of those games and we had the chances to win it but didn't take them. They scored the only goal of the game when they broke away from our corner on the counter-attack. "After they had gone ahead, Portsmouth defended for their lives for the rest of the game and we couldn't find our way through."

IPSWICH TOWN Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Wootton

Hurley

Shaw

Young

Siafa

Powell (Miles)

Vose

Ruddock

Turgott

Sadlier (Fanimo)

Lee E.

Little Heath

0 - 1

18 February 2012

Baxter

Siafa (Miles)

Shaw

Young

Lee K.

Ruddock

Vose

Hurley

Turgott

Fanimo (Sadlier)

Lee E.

Playford Road

4 - 1 (Lee E. 3, Turgott)

25 February 2012

BRISTOL CITY Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Elliot Lee smashed in his third hat-trick of the season as the Under-18s returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory at Ipswich Town. Blair Turgott was also on target as the Hammers shook off their FA Youth Cup fifth-round penalty shootout defeat at Chelsea in convincing fashion. Lee took his tally to 18 goals in 25 appearances this season with a fine treble, while Turgott grabbed his ninth goal of the campaign with superb individual strike, delighting Academy Director Tony Carr. "We played well and dominated most of the game," said Carr. "Ipswich got a goal back just after half-time when we were 2-0 up but we broke up the other end soon after the re-start and got a penalty after a great exchange of passes between Dominic Vose, Pelly Ruddock and Blair. "Blair was taken out in the box and Elliot made it 3-1 and then quickly 4-1 and the game was over. It was nice for us to bounce back after a disappointing week that saw us lose at Chelsea and then to Portsmouth in the league." Carr was particularly impressed with Lee, who continued a fine individual campaign with three well-taken goals, and the contribution of England Under-18 winger Turgott. "Elliot scored three good goals - two left-footed shots and one right-footed penalty. The left-foot shots were particularly pleasing because they were with his so-called weaker foot. "Blair's goal was a very good one. He collected a diagonal pass before cutting into the box, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the net. "It was a good all-round performance from the boys. Ipswich are a young side this year, but they are always a tough and competitive proposition. We are pleased to get back into some sort of form, get over the Chelsea result and now we want to finish the season on a positive note. "Sam Baxter and Josh Siafa came into the side, which was good for them. We want to see players move on to the Development Squad and also to finish strongly in the league if we can."

12_02_18 WHU v. Portsmouth Unofficial 12_03_03 WHU v. Bristol City Youth 12_02_25 Ipswich Town v. WHU Unofficial Huddle

Baxter

Young

Shaw

Hurley (Powell)

Lee K.

Chambers

Fanimo

Bywater (Ruddock)

Lee E. (Miles)

Vose

Turgott

Little Heath

2 - 1 (Vose, Young)

3 March 2012

CARDIFF CITY Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Cardiff Athletic Stadium

1 - 0 (Fanimo)

10 March 2012

Baxter

Siafa

Chambers

Nasha

Shaw

Fanimo

Miles

Powell

Bywater

Sadlier

Boakye-Yiadom (Turgott)

Jack Powell’s 70th-minute goal was enough to silence the Gunners and ensure the young Hammers all the points. West Ham saw Elliott lee’s penalty saved and had several other chances to go ahead in the first half, but their patience and hard work was rewarded late in the second half. A corner kick from Matthias Fanimo was met by Powell at the back post who duly converted the strike. The visitors were not without their chances to earn a share of the spoils and there was some defending to be done to thwart them, but Hammers defended well and saw out the game with the one goal being enough. The Hammers were awarded a penalty early in the match for handball in the area, but striker lee saw his spot-kick saved by the Gunners keeper. West Ham continued to carve out chances, but the game was still level at half-time.

After the break, the Hammers were striving forward as well as soaking up the pressure of their opponents, who had opportunities to equalise. Pelly Ruddock was amongst those going close to increasing West Ham’s lead but academy director Tony Carr was very pleased with his side’s efforts.

Jake Young was an unlikely scorer as the young Hammers scored a 2-1 victory over Bristol City at Little Heath. Right-back Young put the Hammers in front in the first half before Dominic Vose continued his fine recent run of form with a low finish midway through the second period. The visitors pulled a goal back through Shelton Gooden, but it was not enough to deny the home side victory.

There were chances galore against The Robins, with both teams guilty of missing opportunity after opportunity. West Ham started the strongest, however, and took the lead through Young’s diving header. Elliott Lee headed over and schoolboy Kieran Bywater fired over from 20 yards before Vose’s tricky wing-play earned his side a corner. The winger himself took the flag-kick, which eluded Leo Chambers and was controlled on the thigh before being headed into the bottom corner by Young for his first goal of the season. Having gone ahead, Matthias Fanimo fired a left-foot shot over the top before Bristol City had their first real opportunity, only for Bobby Reid to volley over from 12 yards.

Into the second half and the Robins came close again when Lewis Hall ended a driving run by poking the ball past Sam Baxter and a yard wide of the target, and again when Reid curled a shot against the crossbar from 25 yards.

West Ham doubled their advantage when Blair Turgott’s shot bounced off the goalkeeper and the base of the post before falling to Vose to finish with his left foot. Bristol City did not give up and were rewarded when Baxter parried Reid’s shot into the path of Gooden, who converted from ten yards.

West Ham United Under-18s coach Nick Haycock has heaped praise on his inexperienced team after they pulled off a fine 1-0 victory at Cardiff City. With a number of his second-year scholars involved in Development Squad fixtures, Haycock chose to blood a number of Under-16s and hand more valuable FA Premier Academy League experience to his first-year scholars. Schoolboys Amos Nasha, Kieran Bywater and Nana Boakye-Yiadom were handed starts, while Manny Onnariasi, Thomas Gogo and Tim Brown were among the substitutes. "We were very good," said Haycock. "Ian Hendon has included a lot of second-year scholars in his Development Squad in recent weeks, so we decided to take just two Under-18s in Matthias Fanimo and Jack Powell to give us a bit of experience in the middle of the park. "We started three Under-16s and I thought all of them coped well with the demands of youth-team football against a much older Cardiff side including a number of Under-19s and Under-18s. It was a good physical and technical test for our younger players. "We were comfortably the better team in the first half and should have gone in at half-time in front, but had to settle for turning around at 0-0. Matthias scored and also hit the crossbar, while Taylor Miles and Nana both volleyed over from inside the six-yard box. "We could have won by three or four and if we'd been further ahead, I would have given a debut to Manny, but I couldn't bring on a 15-year-old centre-back while we were only winning 1-0 and we're still in with a shout of winning the league."

Following this inter-group victory in south Wales, West Ham are third in Group A four points behind leaders Arsenal with three games remaining. While Haycock would love to lift the trophy, he knows the Academy's ultimate aim is to produce players for the first-team squad - something it has done three times already this season with the appearances of Robert Hall, Daniel Potts and Callum McNaughton. "It's good for the club to give the younger boys a game. We want to win the league but we want to do it the right way, but promoting the youngers ones up. It has been a good year for the Academy and very pleasing for all of us."

12_03_10 Cardiff City v. WHU Unofficial

READING Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Little Heath

1 - 6 (Sadlier)

17 March 2012

12_03_17 WHU v. Reading Unofficial 12_04_21 MK Dons v WHU Unofficial

Baxter

Siafa

Shaw

Hurley

Chambers (Onnariasi)

Nasha

Fanimo

Bywater

Lee E. (Turgott)

Powell (Miles)

Sadlier

LEICESTER CITY Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

Little Heath

2 - 0 (Lee E [pen], Turgott)

31 March 2012

Baxter

Young

Shaw

Miles (Fanimo)

Lee K.

Wearen

Turgott

Ruddock

Lee E.

Bywater (Powell)

Sadlier

MK DONS Under 18 : F.A. Premier Academy League

The Pavillion : Woughton on the Green

2 - 4 (Fanimo, Lee E.)

21 April 2012

12_03_31 Leicester City Unofficial

Academy Director Tony Carr admitted West Ham United Under-18s had not been good enough after they suffered a 6-1 defeat by Reading. The Royals scored five second-half goals as the young Hammers were soundly beaten at Little Heath, with only Kieran Sadlier's late goal providing any sort of consolation. West Ham were still in the game at half-time, when they trailed 1-0, but Carr admitted defensive errors and a lack of application had cost the team dear after the break. "It's a long time since a West Ham youth team has been beaten 6-1 and I hope it will be a long time until it happens again," said Carr. "The bottom line is that our performance was just unacceptable. "It was a bit of a disaster, to be honest. We started the game quite brightly and Elliot Lee hit the post with a free-kick but they broke off us a short time later and took the lead. We were 1-0 down at half-time and I thought we'd had the same amount of chances as them, if not more. "We started quite well again after the break, but as soon as they got their second goal, we threw the towel in. They scored three quick goals in a 15-minute spell and then added a sixth. We stopped playing and, defensively, we made too many errors. "Kieran did score a good goal for us late on with a great shot, but we ended up being soundly beaten and we're not proud of it. We're very disappointed because we don't like losing. It was one of those games where the wheels came off, if you like."

Carr and U18s coach Nick Haycock called upon a relatively inexperienced side, with first-year scholars Sadlier, Sam Baxter, Josh Siafa, Frazer Shaw, Leo Chambers and Elliot Lee being joined in the starting XI by schoolboys Amos Nasha and Kieran Bywater.

The Under-18s are still in with an outside chance of winning the FA Premier Academy league Group A title after scoring a 2-0 win over Leicester City. Nick Haycock’s side completed their slate of home fixtures for the 2011/12 season with a fine victory over the Foxes, who began the weekend top of the Group B table themselves. Elliott Lee opened the scoring with a penalty before a staunch defensive display was rewarded with a breakaway goal from Blair Turgott.

The success means the Hammers could go into their final game of the season at MK Dons with an opportunity to win the title. However, third-place West Ham need to thrash their opponents and receive a huge amount of help to finish in top spot.

Leaders Arsenal are three points ahead and need to lose at Birmingham City, while second-place Southampton need to pick up just one point from their final two matches. Fourth-place Fulham – a point behind West Ham – have three games remaining.

Haycock admitted his side’s title chance might be slim, but he was justifiably proud of the fine result they achieved against Leicester.

The first half was tight but we went in front when Kieran Bywater got himself into the box and was brought down and Elliott tucked away the penalty. The game then ebbed and flowed for the remainder of the half and both teams had chances. “In the second half, they were playing in our half as much as they could, but we defended resolutely from the front and worked really hard. We broke away on the counter-attack and doubled our lead through Blair.

Match Report by Willis Jamieson aged 11

 

The last game of an excellent season saw the West Ham side travel to Milton Keynes to face the Dons, a team that have only won 3 games so far this season, with three of their defeats seeing them let in 10 (TEN) goals or more, so it was understandable that the young hammers saw this as an opportunity to take the three points.

 

It was clear from the early possession that it might not be as easy as the visitors first thought. The Dons had the majority of the possession with the Hammers struggling to find rhythm. Jake Larkins was doing his best to keep it tight with a couple of good saves as he came off his line quickly to block shots, but with the post being rattled it seemed only a matter of time until the home side took the lead.

Larkins (Baxter)

Young (Alexander)

Shaw

Nasha (Nana)

Lee K.

Seidu

Fanimo

Miles

Lee E.

Bywater

Sadlier

With 32 minutes on the clock and hailstones coming down the young Dons got their deserved lead with a through ball splitting the defence that the striker managed to toe poke past the diving Larkins in his first game back from a groin injury.

 

West Ham did enjoy a bit more possession after the goal but still struggled to make the 4-5-1 formation work and they went into the break 1-0 down knowing that a change was needed. With all outfield substitutes playing on an adjoining pitch for the U16’s the call was made to Nana Yiadom, who had already scored 2 for the U16’s, to replace Amos Nasha, which saw Kieran Sadlier move into the middle as it was clear Elliot Lee needed more support. Sam Baxter replaced Jake Larkins in goal which I assumed was a planned substitution as he’d had an impressive 45 mins.

The changes made the travelling hammers a lot better with the ball being moved about nicely. Just 13 minutes into the second half the Academy boys got the equaliser. The opportunity came after left back Frazer Shaw battled hard to win the ball back deep inside the opposition half, he managed to get the ball to Elliot Lee who played in Mathias Fanimo to slide past the up til now untroubled Dons keeper.

 

Things got better a minute later with Jake Young crossing the ball in for Elliot Lee to poke home and put his team into the lead. Straight after this Jake Young limped off to be replaced by Cheye Alexander who had also been called over from the U16 game, but with their team in front the away fans were hoping that the lead would see the Dons fall away as they seemed to have done so many times this season, but credit to the home side they dug in and pulled themselves back level from the penalty spot after Kenzer Lee pulled down their striker.

 

From then on it was very much like the first half with MK Dons seeing much more of the ball and looking the more dangerous of the two sides. Within 3 minutes of the equaliser they had the ball in the back of the net again only for the linesman to rule it offside. They wouldn’t have to wait too long for another chance though as their next attack down the left hand side saw the MK youth cut in on his right foot and hit an unstoppable shot passed the out stretched Sam Baxter.

 

A couple of attacks towards the end of the game saw some neat skill from Fanimo who had worked hard all game on the wing but the Dons defence remained strong and as the hammers left gaps at the back it was the home side that would score again to make it 4-2 right on the stroke of full time.

 

Although it was a young side put out by West Ham with only two second year scholars, the manager Nick Haycock would have been disappointed with the lack of possession and the wastefulness when we did have the ball. Although letting in 3 goals, the second half was better but sadly after getting back in the game defensive mistakes let us down.

 

Amos Nasha, Taylor Miles, Kieran Bywater and Matthias Fanimo stand firm despite a sudden shower of hailstones

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