West Ham United moved up to third in Barclays U18 Premier League Group 1 after coming from behind to stun bottom-of the table Norwich City, writes 12-year-old reporter Willis Jamieson.
Two goals from Kieran Sadlier and one from Nathan Mavila saw the young Hammers prevail 3-2 and overtake Everton in the table, keeping their hopes alive of progressing to the Elite Group Stage.
Before the game, the players, staff and fans held a minutes silence in tribute to Alf Thain, who has shown his support for the Academy sides for many years. Alf passed away last week at the age of 92.
The match started with both teams looking to attack, but even though West Ham went into the game with twice as many points on the board, it was the away side that would take the lead. A mix-up at the back saw the Norwich striker intercept a backpass and tap the ball in to an empty net.
The lead didn't last long, however, as just five minutes later West Ham equalised. After some neat work down the right-hand side, Kieran Bywater played a clever chip which was neatly converted on the volley by Mavila.
The first half continued to see both sides looking to attack, with some excellent passing football from the hosts as the ball zipped around on the wet playing surface. However it was Norwich who would once again take the lead. A free-kick from just outside the area was not cleared properly, allowing the City striker to toe poke the ball home.
The second half saw an excellent display from the home side as they looked to get back into the game. A lot of pressure down the left-hand side saw a number of crosses and corners create chances in the City box. West Ham saw shots blocked, saved and hit the crossbar, but the ball just would not seem to go in.
With just twn minutes to go, all the pressure West Ham had built up paid off. A header from yet another corner was palmed onto the crossbar by the City goalkeeper and the resulting goalmouth scramble saw the ball poked home. Both Sadlier and Jamie Harney celebrated, thinking they had scored, although it looked like the former had got the final touch. Either way, it was a well-deserved goal for the amount of pressure the Hammers had built up.
With just a few minutes to go Bywater split the Norwich defence with a great ball that put Sadlier one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he made no mistake as he powered it inside the left-hand post.
The Hammers held out for an excellent three points, having produced a good team performance ahead of their final Group 1 fixture away at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 1 December. West Ham need to win to guarantee them a place in the Elite Group Stage.
West Ham United U18s: Guzman, Siafa, Page (Girdlestone), Miles, Nasha, Onnariase (Harney), Bywater, Cullen, Figueira, Sadlier, Mavila
*Follow young reporter Willis Jamieson on twitter @WillisJamieson