Crystal Palace Under-18s 1-4 West Ham United Under-18s
Balint Bajner scored twice as West Ham United eased to an impressive derby victory away to Crystal Palace in Group A of the Premier Academy League on Saturday.
The Hungary Under-19 striker struck in between goals from Daniel Kearns and Oliver Lee to seal an impressive all-round team display that delighted Tony Carr. "It was a good performance and we played very well," he said. "We had a young team out again but fully deserved to win. I thought we were in charge for most of the game."
The young Hammers took the lead on five minutes when the impressive Daniel Kearns cut inside off the right wing and ended up chipping the Palace goalkeeper with a delightful lobbed effort. The home side equalised on the half-hour although Carr felt his team were hard done-by on a foul that was not given in the build-up to the goal.
The 18-year-old Bajner restored the away side's advantage though ten minutes before the interval with a header at the back post after good work by left-back Matthew Fry. Carr's team then took the game out of the Eagles' reach when Bajner pounced on a ball in from the left and shot low into the net. Lee wrapped things up late on after surging from midfield and striking the ball into the corner.
Carr was also pleased to see the Under-16s in his squad get more U18 experience, such as 16-year-old centre-back Sergio Sanchez, who has joined the club from Barcelona, full-back Callum Driver and midfielder George Moncur. "It is pleasing to get the schoolboys on the pitch, they are getting great experience. I was also pleased for Balint to get the two goals, he had a good game and was a threat."
West Ham United: Loveday, Driver, Fry (Smith 55), McNaughton, Sanchez, Grasser, Kearns, Lee (Edgar 80), Bajner (Moncur 70), Montano, Okus
Subs not used: Cowler, Abdulla