Reading U18s 1-5 West Ham United U18s
Dominic Vose started and ended the scoring as a rampant Hammers side turned in one of their best performances of the season on Saturday.
The 17-year-old midfielder was part of an impressive visitors' display that delighted Academy Director Tony Carr. "We played very well," he told whufc.com. "It was an excellent performance by the team.
"I thought our football at times tore Reading apart. We dominated 90 per cent of the game. The decisive goal was when Jack Powell scored from a direct free-kick early in the second half. That came just after they had pulled one back and it was a crucial moment in the game. After that we went on and added two more goals."
Vose and Elliott Lee had put the Hammers in a commanding position at the interval before that "sloppy" Royals strike soon after the break. Powell made no mistake with his free-kick and then Rob Hall swiftly followed suit with an equally well-taken set-piece. Vose rounded out the scoring on a match that saw Carr's opposite number Eamon Dolan - the former Academy product - full of praise.
"It was good to see him," added Carr. "He just said 'Well done' and that 'you are the best team we have played this year'. Like all of us, he is finding it tough but enjoyable trying to unearth the next talents. It is hard and competitive.
"Reading are always good at this level and it was a great result for us. They had a physical approach but we stood up to them. We had to mix it, in terms of nice football and defending aggressively. The goal was a downside but it was good to see us cope with that pressure.
"Earlier in the season, we might have let them back into it at that point as it gave them a massive lift but we were able to regain control and win the match well. "
Carr's team will round out their season next Saturday when they go to Chelsea. He will make sure that his youngsters do not get carried away by their Royals success. "We want to keep going and win the last game. It was one of our most complete performances of the season.
"We haven't always had that maturity or defended when we have needed to but we put that right. One game doesn't make a season but I am pleased with what they showed in this performance."
West Ham United: Wooton, Hurley, Potts (Hunt 75), Chambers, Sanchez, Powell, Hall, Wearen, E Lee, Lletget, Vose