Under-18s coach Nick Haycock was brimming with pride after West Ham United maintained their unbeaten start to the 2012/13 season courtesy of a 2-1 Barclays U18 Premier League victory over Everton.
The Hammers, who started their campaign with a 2-2 draw at Reading on 18 August, produced an encouraging performance to overcome the Toffees at Little Heath on Saturday.
Elliot Lee added to the two goals he scored against the Royals by firing West Ham in front with a well-struck free-kick. Everton equalised early in the second half, but Haycock's youngsters were not to be denied all three points as Taylor Tombides swept in Lee's cross to seal victory.
"It was very evenly-contested game from two sides who both played passing games," explained Haycock. "In the first half we were the better team and created some good chances, with Kieran Bywater going close after a good interchange with Elliot. We took the lead just before half-time through a good free-kick from Elliot that he struck across his body into the bottom corner.
"In the second half Everton came out strong and forced an equaliser and were the better team for the first 20 minutes.
"Our young centre-back pairing of schoolboy Manny Onnariase and first-year scholar Amos Nasha and second-year full-backs Josh Siafa and Fraser Shaw defended resolutely. This was very pleasing as they have been working hard on the training field with Paul Heffer on their individual and team defending.
"The winning goal came from a fine bit of play between Josh Cullen and Kieran Bywater, who combined in midfield to move the ball wide to Elliot. He went down the outside before pulling the ball back to Taylor Tombides, who slotted in at the near post."
West Ham have now taken four points from their opening two league matches to put themselves among the early pace-setters in Group 1. The campaign continues with an away fixture at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 1 September.
West Ham United U18s: Baxter, Siafa, Onnariase, Nasha, Shaw, Cullen, Miles (Marlow 60), T.Tombides (Mavila 85), Sadlier, Bywater, E.Lee (Boakye-Yiadom 90)