WEST HAM UNITED
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0 - 3
9 January 2012
Ian Hendon's development squad went down to a 3-0 defeat by Leyton Orient in their opening fixture of 2012 on Tuesday. Two first-half penalties and a second-half strike from veteran striker Jamie Cureton put paid to West Ham United's chances at Chadwell Heath in a game that saw the Hammers field a number of trialists. On the positive side, 17-year-old Academy goalkeeper Sam Baxter enjoyed an encouraging debut, while Matt Fry came through his first full 90 minutes since the pre-season after recovering from calf surgery. Jordan Brown also caught the eye with a strong performance, while Brian Montenegro gave his all less than 24 hours after making his first-team debut at Sheffield Wednesday. Baxter was called into action within the opening 20 seconds, making a fine diving save to deny Cureton following a defensive slip. Both sides created chances before the Os took the lead on 17 minutes. Dean Cox played a one-two with Moses Odubajo before being felled by a sliding challenge from Sergio Sanchez. The captain disputed the decision and may well have got the ball, but the referee was unmoved and Ben Chorley stepped up to score from 12 yards. The Hammers twice went close, with one trialist shooting over before seeing his low shot diverted wide by the foot of goalkeeper Jamie Jones. In between those two chances, however, Orient doubled their lead.
The second spot-kick arrived on 42 minutes. Cox's through ball found Billy Lobjoit, who went to ground under a challenge from Fry that appeared to occur outside the penalty area. Again, a penalty was given and this time Cureton stepped up to send Baxter the wrong way from the spot. Hendon introduced youngsters Kieran Sadlier and Pelly Ruddock after half-time, but the changes could not alter the course of the game. Instead, it was the visitors who wrapped up their victory courtesy of Cureton's low finish just before the hour-mark. West Ham's best chance of the game arrived with nine minutes remaining when the two substitutes combined, only for Ruddock to volley Sadlier's free-kick into the side-netting from close-range.
LEYTON ORIENT : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
1 - 1 (John)
24 January 2012
GILLINGHAM : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
George John enjoyed a goal-scoring West Ham United debut as he hit the net in the Development Squad's 1-1 draw with Gillingham on Tuesday. The Hammers' new loan signing from MLS club FC Dallas swivelled to smash a superb volley high into the net from the returning Matt Taylor's right-wing corner just 17 minutes into his Hammers career. Taylor's comeback from a calf injury was another highlight, as was the sight of Guy Demel in action again after six weeks out with a thigh muscle problem. John was the star of the show, however, looking calm in possession, strong in the tackle, quick to anticipate danger and generally assured on his first appearance in a claret and blue shirt. The 24-year-old, whose most-recent action had been in an MLS Play-Off defeat by Thierry Henry's New York Red Bulls in October, is now looking forward to being given the chance to impress in Sam Allardyce's first team.
The game also saw Ruud Boffin, Daniel Potts, Henri Lansbury, Gary O'Neil and Rob Hall enjoy welcome game-time as the Hammers dominated the opening 45 minutes against a Gillingham side that included six of the players who started their 4-3 League Two defeat by AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Development Squad coach Ian Hendon made a host of substitutions during the second half, giving run outs to Frank Nouble, Freddie Sears and new boy Joe Dixon, but it was the Gills who improved after the break, equalising from a right-wing cross on 53 minutes. However, overall Hendon and the watching Big Sam will have been happy to see John look good on his first appearance for the club and both Taylor and Demel make successful returns from injury.
2 - 3 (Piquionne 2)
21 February 2012
BISHOP'S STORTFORD : Development Squad
Ravel Morrison played his first game in claret and blue as he captained the West Ham United Development Squad to a 2-1 behind-closed-doors friendly win against Queens Park Rangers. The deadline-day signing formed part of a strong starting XI for the Hammers that also included Guy Demel, George John, Gary O'Neil, Frederic Piquionne and Sam Baldock at Chadwell Heath. Indeed, it was the experienced front two of Baldock and Piquionne who combined to give the home side the lead in the sixth minute. Baldock broke down the left and delivered a pinpoint cross for his strike partner head home firmly from six yards out. Ian Hendon's side went on to have much the better of the first half but QPR fought back after the break and levelled the game with a stunning equaliser just past the hour mark. The Hammers sealed the win with four minutes to go, however, when a direct free-kick flew in from the edge of the area. Morrison saw plenty of the ball in a central midfield role and he twice worked the visiting keeper with powerful drives from the edge of the area. Playing No7, the nineteen-year-old showed some neat touches and very nearly added a third goal at the death with a delicate chip that had to be turned over the bar. Frank Nouble, playing in a wide midfield role, was also a constant thorn in the side of the Hoops' defence and came close to scoring on several occasions, most notably with a deflected effort that looped on to the bar with eight minutes to go. At the other end, John looked solid throughout and behind him Marek Stech made three impressive saves, two of which came with a QPR player through one-on-one. O'Neil partnered Morrison in central midfield before a planned half-time withdrawal for youngster Pelly Ruddock, while Demel showed plenty of promise going forward before being withdrawn in the 71st minute for Josh Siafa. Fellow substitute Sebastian Lletget perhaps should have done better with a header when well placed. The closing stages of the match also saw youngsters Brian Montenegro and Taylor Miles enter the fray as the Hammers finished with a youthful side. Hendon would have been delighted with the effort of his side during the win, with several first-team players getting valuable match time ahead of Tuesday's npower Championship trip to Blackpool.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
2 - 1 (Piquionne, Trialist)
17 February 2012
Montenegro (Lee E.)
COLCHESTER UNITED : Development Squad
Weston Homes Community Stadium
0 - 2
7 March 2012
A young West Ham United Development Squad side have lost 2-0 to a strong Colchester United side. A goal in either half from Colchester striker Freddie Ladapo saw off Ian Hendon's side but the Development Squad manager was pleased with the performances of his own players, six of whom are still serving their scholarships with the Academy. "We brought up the second-year scholars from the Youth Team who are going to be next year's first-year professionals," said Hendon. "They are out of the FA Youth Cup and we thought we would bring them up and give them a couple of months in the Development Squad." With John Carew the only member of Wednesday's squad with any first-team experience, he and captain Ravel Morrison joined youngsters such as Callum Driver and Dominic Vose in the starting XI. Hendon was very impressed with the performances of both his skipper and Vose. "Rav came in and he got on the ball and was lively and tricky. Dominic Vose also did extremely well, he has set his standards recently and let's hope he can carry on. "I think Dominic is very concentrated and focused on his football and we are getting the best out of him - long may it continue." West Ham did create some good opportunities during the match on Wednesday with Carew and Vose coming closest, only for the Norwegian to see his effort saved by goalkeeper Mark Cousins and Vose putting his effort just wide.
Rubbing shoulders with former Hammer Richard Hall now Development Manager at Colchester United
Ian Hendon watches from the stand
BRENTFORD : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
Lee K. (Young)
2 - 0 (Morrison 2)
13 March 2012
West Ham United's Development squad beat a tough Brentford side 2-0 at Griffin Park. Two first-half goals from Ravel Morrison saw off Brentford in what was a competitive and challenging match that saw chances at both ends. The hosts started the match the brighter with striker Antonio German volleying against the bar inside the first 60 seconds, but it didn't take long for West Ham to find their feet. The first goal of the afternoon came after only four minutes as the fit-again Rob Hall went on a
mazy run from inside his own half before slipping a great ball through to Morrison. The midfielder's first effort was blocked by Richard Lee in the Brentford goal before he collected the rebound and slotted into an empty net. The second after 25 minutes was all Morrison's own work. Callum Driver won the ball in the middle and switched it to Morrison who beat centre-back Aaron Pierre with a great piece of skill before striking a powerful 20-yard right-footed drive past the stranded Lee. At times in the first half, West Ham's passing play was a joy to watch and they could have had more than two goals with Cristian Montano, making his first start since returning from his loan spell at Notts County, and Seb Lletget both forcing saves. The Bees came out for the second half determined to fight their way back into the match and Emmanuel Oyeleke and Jake Reeves both forced Sam Baxter into making stops. However, the Hammers held on to what was a deserved victory with Development Squad manager Ian Hendon praising his side's application. He said: "It was a good all-round team performance. We played very well in the first half and scored two good goals. We fell off the pace a bit at the start of the second, but re-focused and saw out a good win."
SOUTHAMPTON : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
0 - 1
20 March 2012
Lee Barnard's second-half penalty was the difference between the teams as Southampton edged out the Hammers 1-0. The Romford-born striker netted the only goal of the game 20 minutes from the end of a closely-contested game, stepping up to beat Sam Baxter after Pelly Ruddock had fouled Yago Falque. Barnard's spot-kick was one of few clear-cut chances on a sunny but blustery afternoon at the Hammers training ground, with neither Baxter nor opposite number Tommy Forecast overly troubled. Southampton brought a relatively experienced side to Essex, with Tunisia international Radhi Jaidi, centre-back Danny Seabourne, Barnard and Falque all having appeared for the Saints first-team this season. Development Squad coach Ian Hendon saw a team that contained no fewer than eight scholars work hard and come close to earning a share of the spoils through substitute Matthias Fanimo's late free-kick. "We didn't deserve to lose," said Hendon. "They had two centre-halves who have probably played five or six hundred league games between them and they actually looked like they had. Elliot Lee plugged away and he's a first-year scholar and he's worked his socks off for the team and on another day something might have fallen for him. "When you look at our team, they were all young lads and they were willing and wanted to learn from the things we told them. That's the important thing. They've played against an experienced team with the likes of Barnard and Falque, who is on loan from Tottenham - they're no mugs. "We were very young and that's the way it was because the first team play tonight. They haven't disappointed me and they shouldn't be disappointed with themselves. Nobody likes losing, but they're on a learning curve and they set a good standard today."
In fairness, Southampton did create the clearer chances, with Falque controlling proceedings from the centre of the midfield. The Saints went close through Lloyd Isgrove and Sam McQueen, while Kenzer Lee and Jack Powell did superbly to block efforts from Jake Sinclair and James Ward-Prowse. Late on, Falque himself went close with a quickly-taken free-kick, but Baxter flew to his left to push the ball away. At the other end, Lee worked hard with Ruddock, Powell and Sebastian Lletget supporting him from midfield and Blair Turgott and Dominic Vose threatening from wide areas.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
3 - 4 (Turgott 2, Lee E. [pen])
27 March 2012
West Ham United's Development Squad lost a tight match 3-2 to Fulham at Little Heath. The team, which included Papa Bouba Diop, Sam Baldock and Daniel Potts, were beaten by a strong Fulham reserve side despite two excellent goals from Rob Hall. Despite Hall's brace, manager Ian Hendon was left frustrated with the Hammers first half display. Fulham started much the brighter and took the lead after just two minutes when a through ball split the West Ham defence and striker Ronnie Minkwitz stroked the ball home. Two minutes before the half, the scores were levelled when Sam Baldock chested the ball down on the edge of the area before Hall struck a wonderful half-volley into the top right-hand corner of the net. "We made it tough for ourselves in the first 45 to be honest," said Hendon. "We didn't play as well as we know we can, we didn't get amongst them and we showed them too much respect. Because of that we got punished and we were lucky to end the half on level terms."
Hendon made changes at the break and the second half was a different story as the Hammers came out fighting - pushing Fulham back into their own half. The hosts got their reward when, 20 minutes into the second half, winger Blair Turgott won a penalty after latching onto Seb Lletget's through ball. Unfortunately for the Hammers, Hall's spot-kick was saved by Grant Smith in the Fulham goal, Hendon said, "We made a few changes with Blair and Dom Vose coming on, which freshened things up a bit, and I did give the lads a little rocket at half-time. They played with more urgency in the second half, got amongst the Fulham boys a bit more, shut the ball down and pushed them into their own half for the first 15 minutes of the second half and we got our reward with the penalty."
The penalty miss seemed to take the wind out of the Hammers sails and three minutes later Fulham took the lead. A free-kick on the edge of the area was expertly dispatched into the top corner by Whites midfielder Alex Smith. Fulham then extended their lead just two minutes later with Buomesca Tue Na Bangna poking the ball home following a corner. There was still time left for Hall to double his tally for the day with a free-kick from the right-hand side of the area that he curled brilliantly over the wall and into the top corner. Boss Hendon was impressed with Hall's overall performance. "Rob's got that in his locker, he's a great ball striker which you can see from his goal and free kick today. He's got that ability to score goals which he showed and overall he did well today which is down to his hard work on the training pitch."
West Ham United's Development Squad were edged out at Dagenham and Redbridge going down to a narrow 4-3 defeat. In a game littered with chances, West Ham were boosted by two spectacular goals from Blair Turgott, but coach Ian Hendon was left disappointed as defensive errors saw his team beaten by the odd goal in seven at Victoria Road. Hendon was disappointed with the avoidable nature of the Daggers' goals, two of which came from direct free-kicks from Dominic Green. "Defensively we were poor today. We consistently gave away free-kicks in dangerous areas. Their player has bent a great free-kick in and two minutes later we've given away another one in the same area and he's scored again," said the coach. "They are young kids looking to learn but they were schoolboy mistakes. The lads should've learnt from the first free-kick not to give away silly fouls but they didn't. We scored two great goals through Blair but let ourselves down by giving away free-kicks in silly areas"
A goalless first half gave way to an action-packed second period during which the visitors were the first to strike. In the 64th minute, winger Turgott picked up the ball on the right-hand side and slammed a fantastic 20-yard effort past goalkeeper Dave Hogan and into the top corner. It was a fantastic strike by the youngster and it saw the game open up with six more goals coming in the remaining 25 minutes.
Dagenham replied within minutes of West Ham taking the lead. Pelly Ruddock gave away a free-kick on the right side of the box and Daggers striker Dominic Green struck the ball expertly over the wall and into the bottom right-hand corner. Dagenham then took the lead with what was almost a carbon copy of their equaliser. The Hammers gave away a free-kick on the edge of their own penalty area and again Green stepped up to place the ball in the same corner of the goal. However the Hammers didn't give up and continued to push forward with Elliot Lee making good runs up top supported by Ravel Morrison and Turgott. They got their reward when, in the 81st minute, a Dagenham player handled in the area and Lee stepped up to level score from the spot. The Daggers were not to be denied however, and went back in front moments later through Josh Scott. The hosts then made it 4-2 when some nice inter-play between Brian Woodhall and Scott ended with the latter slamming the ball home from 20 yards for his second of the game. There was still time for West Ham to hit the net again, with Turgott firing in another long-range special. The England Under-18 international picked the ball up 30 yards out, expertly flicked it past his marker and hit a powerful drive into the top corner. However, it was too little, too late to prevent the Daggers from registering a victory.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
2 - 1 (Lansbury, Montenegro)
3 April 2012
Reid (Lee K.)
FULHAM : Development Squad (Behind Closed Doors)
2 - 3 (Hall 2)
10 April 2012
Henri Lansbury and Brian Montenegro were on target as the Development Squad scored a convincing 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers. Captain-for-the-day Lansbury belted in a fantastic long-range volley before substitute Montenegro pounced on a loose clearance to net the winner after DJ Campbell had equalised. With Guy Demel, Winston Reid, Papa Bouba Diop, Paul McCallum and Montenegro returning from injury and Stephen Henderson looking solid on his first start in goal, Ian Hendon's side were too good for an experienced Rangers team. Young professionals Sebastian Lletget and Eoin Wearen caught the eye, while scholars Kenzer Lee, Blair Turgott, Pelly Ruddock and Frazer Shaw showed why they are all rated so highly. QPR named France international Djibril Cisse, top scorer Heidar Helguson, Tommy Smith, Fitz Hall, Danny Shittu and Campbell in a strong starting XI, but they had no answer to Hendon's team. Even when they did find a way through in the second half, Henderson made a pair of smart saves to keep Rangers at bay. Hendon was proud of his players after an impressive afternoon's work at the Harlington Training Ground. "QPR are a Premier League side and they had a few first-team players out, like we did, and it was a good competitive game and we came out on top," said the coach. It could have been a lot more comprehensive. We played ever so well and created a lot of chances and on another day it could have been a few more. They have not really opened us up that much and we came out with a win." Lansbury's goal was an absolute pearler, with the England Under-21 star smashing a bouncing ball into the top right-hand corner from all of 30 yards. Nicky Maynard, Sam Baldock and John Carew all started up front, with all three coming close to getting their names on the scoresheet. With Lletget outstanding in central midfield, Montenegro went one better by slamming in the winner 12 minutes after replacing Carew at half-time. Hendon was pleased with every single member of his squad, many of whom will want to force their way into Sam Allardyce's first-team reckoning over the coming weeks. "Guy, Winston and Papa all came through fine and that was the plan. Henri got 90 minutes under his belt and Sam and Nicky also got some game time, which was pleasing. "Our young lads also did extremely well. Eoin and Sebby have been in my group for the majority of the season and have been unsung players. Eoin is now comfortable at centre-back after moving midway through the season and is starting to shine through. "Sebby has got the ability there - we know that. He's got to keep producing performances like he did here and the manager will take notice of him. He's done every so well to link play in the midfield. "Brian has been out with an ankle injury and he's come back and scored, which he has a habit of doing."
'What can I say...'
Body language of Ian Hendon
Eion Wearen and Sabastian Lletget celebrate
Brian Montenegro's match winning goal.
CAMBRIDGE UNITED HOME GROWN XI : Development Squad
The R Costings Abbey Stadium
5 - 1 (Montenegro, Turgott, McCullum, Vose, Lee E.)
24 April 2012
Lee K. (Fanimo)
Montenegro (Lee E.)
West Ham United's Development Squad continued a good week for the Club by scoring a 5-1 victory at Cambridge United on Tuesday. Just 24 hours after the first team kept their npower Championship automatic promotion hopes alive by winning at Leicester City, the Hammers' youngsters put on a fine show at the Abbey Stadium. Paul McCallum, Blair Turgott, Dominic Vose, Brian Montenegro and Elliot Lee (pictured) were all on target in the second half as the U's kicked-off their centenary celebrations by welcoming Ian Hendon's side. Hendon was delighted with his young team's showing on their final outing of the 2011/12 season, saying: "The boys played well and they scored some cracking goals. It was a great way for us to sign-off a good season for the Development Squad."