West Ham United U18s 0-0 Manchester United U18s
Tony Carr was more than content with his Under-18s on Saturday after they secured a goalless draw in their opening game of the FA Premier Academy League season.
The young Hammers were solid throughout although both teams had their moments to take all the points, with the impressive Ahmed Abdulla and Josh Payne particularly having good chances late on to take the points. Adam Street was also in fine form in the home goal at Little Heath. West Ham United are next in action on Saturday when the Group A side play another inter-group game away to Leeds United.
Carr said: "It was a good solid start. We are really pleased. Maybe on reflection we might have won it but I think they might think the same. For a nil-nil draw, it was a very entertaining and open game." The late opportunities saw the versatile Payne take a quick shot when he perhaps did not realise he had more time while Ahmed Abdulla had been sent free by Oliver Lee and got beyond the last defender but was off balance as he struck for goal.
The academy director was very happy to avoid conceding yet again in a competitive home match. His strong side, that featured Austrian summer recruit Georg Grasser as a second-half replacement in midfield, had ended last season with three clean sheets at home - with 2-0, 5-0 and 4-0 wins at Little Heath - and again looked strong at the back.
"It was important to get a clean sheet," he said. "It keeps you in the game all the time. Manchester United had their moments obviously as you would expect but I thought we defended very well and worked very hard. It was very very hot and we just about edged it. Maybe it would not have been an injustice if we had won.
"It was a hot day and we had put in a lot of effort. Both teams were wilting but obviously at that point one goal was going to win it for either team. Although he didn't have too much to do, Adam Street made a good couple of saves when he needed to. Overall we were quite pleased."
West Ham United: Street, Brookes, Fry, N'Gala, Eyjolfsson, Lee, Payne, Kearns (Montano 77), Okus (Grasser 67), Ahmed Abdulla, Edgar