Tony Carr was a content man after seeing his youngsters perform well in a 1-1 friendly draw for a West Ham United XI at Cambridge United.
The Academy Director took charge of the Hammers on Saturday afternoon with the first-team squad and coaches all in Austria. Fittingly, the majority of the players on view at the Abbey Stadium were those that will figure for Carr in the Under-18s' coming campaign in Group A of the FA Premier Academy League.
The 17-year-old striker Ahmed Abdulla scored the visitors' goal while there was a debut for new recruit Jack Lampe at the back. As well as Carr's encouragement and advice, the young Hammers were helped by the presence of experienced duo Calum Davenport and Nigel Quashie - as both gained valuable match fitness.
"Nigel Quashie played very well in midfield and Calum Davenport held the defence together at the back," Carr said. "If you're going to have a proper reserve team with very young players - we had Robert Hall coming on for another 15 minutes and he is just a schoolboy - they need the experience of older players to help them develop.
"It doesn't happen too often these days but Nigel and Calum should be given great credit for their attitude. Overall, it was a good work-out for 20 players to have."
The Hammers looked as though they were in control of the game until a fortuitous goal went in Cambridge's favour with just five minutes left on the clock.
"We had scored a very good goal just before the hour. A great move out of defence and good through ball by Quashie and Ahmed scored to make it 1-0. At that point we looked in control and were defending resolutely.
"I made changes and brought a lot of the senior players off and brought some of the younger players on, but we started to lose our way and were put under a lot of pressure in the last ten minutes.
"They put a cross into the box, [goalkeeper] Peter Loveday came to claim it - he had claimed crosses all day - but the ball hit the back of their forward and bobbled over the line."
A West Ham United XI team will next be in friendly action on Friday night when they travel to Thurrock FC.
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