Crystal Palace Under-18s 0-2 West Ham United Under-18s
Tony Carr's Academy side made it five wins from six unbeaten games as they ran out worthy winners at Crystal Palace thanks to Tom Harvey and Freddie Sears.
A polished defensive performance in front of Adam Street helped frustrate the home side before the visitors won it with two late goals. Harvey struck with 15 minutes left following a good cross from Anthony Edgar and the result was never in doubt from that point. Sears made the game safe five minutes from time with a superb finish barely eight minutes after coming on as substitute.
Carr was thrilled with his team's performance, particularly as he rested centre-back Bondz N'Gala completely and left Sears on the bench until late in the game after both performed well for the reserves on Wednesday. He was also aware that Kevin Keen's team have another game on Monday night at Tottenham Hotspur and that several of his squad may get another chance to shine at that level.
The first half saw West Ham United limit their hosts to few opportunities to test Street, who had come into the game feeling unwell but was able to complete the 90 minutes. The Hammers had a few half-chances of their own in a match that was also affected by blustery conditions. After the break, the visitors - who have won 2-0 and 1-0 at Arsenal and Southampton respectively in their last two away games - stepped up a gear.
They finally got the breakthrough they deserved when midfielder Harvey hit his second goal in five matches. Then it was all about Sears. The prolific forward had been on for eight minutes when Josh Payne, playing in midfield rather than his usual centre-back position, slid the ball through. That set Sears away and he quickly brushed aside the defender in his way before getting through one on one with the goalkeeper. With little difficulty, Sears rounded him and shot into the net for his 21st goal of the season at U18 level from just 17 matches.
West Ham United: Street, O'Neill, Spence, Brookes, Fitzgerald (Miller 80), Edgar, Harvey, Payne, Lee, Stanislas (Kearns 80), Hunt (Sears 78),
Click here for a Freddie Sears exclusive and return to whufc.com on Monday for full reaction from Tony Carr.