Fulham reserves 4-1 West Ham United reserves
West Ham United reserves were beaten a strong Fulham side at Motspur Park on Tuesday night.
Fulham took the lead just before half-time through Erik Nevland. Two more quickfire goals after the break from Seol Ki-Hyeon and Julian Gray put the home side three goals up. The visitors did pull one back through Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson but Wayne Brown ensured the win for Fulham with a spectacular fourth.
Alex Dyer took charge of the side again following last week's 4-3 win over West Bromwich Albion and had to select from a youthful squad. Tony Stokes, the most senior player at 21, was named as captain with the remainder of the team all under 20. Fulham, in contrast, had five internationals in their ranks including an experienced strike force of Nevland and Seol.
The visitors started the brightest and Junior Stanislas, who was deployed in a role just behind a front two of Balint Bajner and Anthony Edgar, had two superb free-kicks turned over the bar by Swiss international goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbhuler. Bondz N'Gala then headed over from a Stanislas corner as the visitors looked to score their first away goal of the season.
Ten minutes before the interval Fulham thought they had taken the lead only for Nevland's effort to be ruled out for handball, with the striker being shown a yellow card for appearing to punch the ball into the net. A minute later though the hosts did take get on the scoresheet as Nevland slid in to convert a Seol cross.
The hosts, who had gone into the match bottom of the Barclays Premier Reserve League, put the game out of reach of their visitors with two goals within three minutes of the restart. A minute after half-time, Seol picked the ball up just inside the edge of the area, side-stepped his marker and beat Stech with a low, left-footed drive. Gray added a fourth a minute later when he slid in to convert a Seol cross.
The youngsters did not let their heads drop though and, buoyed by the ever-vocal N'Gala, rallied to try and get back into the game. Their attitude was rewarded when Stanislas played a short corner to Ryan O'Neill. The right-back's cross was inch-perfect and Eyjolfsson stooped to power a header in.
If Fulham's third goal was routine the fourth was anything but as Brown picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove forward into the West Ham United half. With one look, he unleashed a fierce 30-yard drive that bounced once before finding the far left-hand corner of the goal.
The fourth goal put the hosts out of sight, but again United's youngsters were not perturbed and continued to press forward in search of their second. It was to be in vain though as Fulham's extra experience saw them hold on to their lead. Dyer will take heart from this young side's efforts though, knowing it will have given them valuable experience to take into the rest of the season.
West Ham United: Stech, O' Neill, Miller, N'Gala, Eyjolfsson, Lee (Fry 54), Stokes, Grasser (Montano 72), Bajner, Stanislas, Edgar (Kearns 72),
Subs not used: Street, Brown, Abdulla
Fulham: Zuberbuhler, Cumber, Anderson, Leijer, Smalling, Milsom, Brown, Andranik (Saunders 20), Nevland (Smith 76 mins), Seol (Hoesen 76), Gray
Subs not used: Foderingham, Laribi