Chelsea reserves 2-0 West Ham United reserves
A youthful West Ham United side were edged out of their opening game of the 2008/09 FA Premier Reserve League South season.
After holding out for an hour against their hosts at the Griffin Park home of Chelsea, Kevin Keen's young side were beaten by strikes from substitute Michael Woods and Scott Sinclair. The first was a tap in from close range but Sinclair's strike underlined why he is one of the country's most promising talents with a mazy run and shot that gave the impressive Jan Lastukva no chance in the 66th minute.
Lastuvka was probably the pick of the West Ham United side, with some superb saves including most memorably in the 50th minute when Sinclair seemed certain to score with a low shot into the corner. The Czech international instinctively stuck out his leg and diverted the ball to safety.
West Ham United did have their moments, especially through Freddie Sears and Junior Stanislas with the former looking to build on his two goals for the Under-18s at the weekend. Chelsea had the clearer opportunities though but they were thwarted by good goalkeeping and some decisive play by Bondz N'Gala and Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.
The heart of the West Ham United midfield was the relatively inexperienced Tom Harvey and Josh Payne and the duo worked tirelessly with some strong challenges and also bright forward play. It was Payne who had the first real effort of note for the visitors on 28 minutes but his low shot was well saved by Rhys Taylor. The closest Keen's team came in the second half was Eyjolfsson's late header but again the goalkeeper was equal to it.
Chelsea: Rhys Taylor, Seth Ofori-Twumasi, Jeffrey Bruma, Michael Mancienne, Carl Magnay, Liam Bridcutt (C), Scott Sinclair, Jacob Mellis (Nick Heimann 83), Morten Nielsen (Fabio Ferreira 76), Sergio Tejera Rodriguez (Michael Woods 57), Miroslav Stoch
West Ham United: Jan Lastuvka, Ashley Miller, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Bondz N'Gala, Joe Widdowson (Ryan O'Neill 76), Anthony Edgar (Danny Kearns 80), Josh Payne (Oliver Lee 76), Tom Harvey, Junior Stanislas, Freddie Sears, Tony Stokes
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