WEST HAM UNITED v WEST BROMWICH ALBION
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE ELITE GROUP STAGE
FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2013
REFEREE: STUART BUTLER
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West Ham United 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
90+2: Referee Stuart Butler draws the game to a close to round off an excellent evening's work for Nick Haycock's young side. That's six points out of nine for West Ham in the Elite Group, a fine start.
90 mins: James Hurst tries his luck for the visitors but slashes his effort horribly wide of Larkins' right-hand upright. We're into injury time.
87 mins: As the clock ticks down Skipper Callum Driver makes way for Frazer Shaw. There's a worrying moment for Ruddock as he misses his kick in the box. No harm done, as the Hammers scramble the ball to safety.
85 mins: Little more than five to play here and West Ham look pretty comfortable. The ball sits up nicely for Lletget on the edge of the penalty area and though his strike is clean enough, it's the wrong side of Palmer's left-hand post.
82 mins: Nick Haycock withdraws the excellent Lee, with Nathan Mavila coming on in his stead. It ends another hugely impressive run-out for Lee.
79 mins: The Hammers have the ball in the opposition half and are very content to keep it there. Moncur is somewhat harshly penalised and the visitors fling the ball upfield. It comes to nothing, as Sawyers is unable to keep the ball in play.
75 mins: The visitors make their first change of the evening, as Samir Nabi replaces Isaiah Brown. Seconds later, Lee is bearing down on goal and unleashes a vicious effort across goal, which Palmer does well to claw away.
73 mins: Lovely football here from the home side. Ruddock flicks the ball into the path of Potts, who in turn controls instantly to set West Ham on their way once more.
71 mins: Albion doing their best here to get a foothold in the game. Though they are seeing more of the ball, it's not happening for them in the final third. West Ham in control.
69 mins: Paulista's enjoying himself out there, he gets to the by-line and dinks a delicate ball to the near post. It's too close to Palmer who gathers, with Lee lurking just behind him.
64 mins: GOAL! Paulista doubles the Hammers' advantage, meeting Potts' inviting centre with a bullet header across Palmer, there's no stopping them! That's a third goal in three starts for Paulista, some record.
60 mins: Moncur goes into the book for an ill-timed challenge near half-way. Moncur is having a word in Mr Butler's ear as a corner comes in from the left. It's got too much on it and is no concern to Larkins in the West Ham goal.
59 mins: At the other end, Sawyers climbs highest to meet a left-wing centre, only to see his header nestle on the roof of Larkins' net. Close.
57 mins: The Hammers have another decent sight of goal, but this time it's Paulista who has the opportunity. The frontman spins and from an acute angle drags his shot wide of the near post.
54 mins: Neat play down the right frees Lletget, who squares to Moncur on the edge of the box. Sadly, Moncur scoops his effort over the bar. A disappointing end to some excellent approach play.
49 mins: West Ham, buoyed by the goal, are having the better of it just now. Moncur finds Bywater on the right, whose cross is dangerous and calls for some last-ditch West Brom defending to clear their lines.
46 mins: We're back underway here, with neither side making any changes at the interval. West Ham on the attack straight from the off, as Lee, with a spring in his step drives towards the box. He's off balance as he goes for goal and his shot flies wide of the near post.
45 mins: GOAL! It's that man Lee who puts West Ham ahead, right on the stroke of half-time. And it's a cool finish to boot. He's one-on-one with the 'keeper and slots a neat finish into the far corner over Palmer. That's two in two for West Ham's No 11. The half-time whistle blows almost instantly and the Hammers are good value for a slender first-half advantage.
43 mins: There is a decent crowd in this evening and they're already dashing from their seats for some half-time fare. Meanwhile, the Baggies have another sight of goal, as a cross from the right finds Sawyers, who nods wide at the near post.
40 mins: Lee switches wing and after collecting from Bywater, flips a ball into the middle looking for Paulista. The Brazilian is being tightly marshalled and the ball drifts over his head and out for a goal-kick.
37 mins: There's trouble here for West Ham, as they surrender possession in their own half. Romaine Sawyers is ready to pull the trigger but Pelly Ruddock gets in a toe and gets a whack for his troubles.
35 mins: West Ham wisely looking to play it into Paulista whenever an opportunity presents itself. He does well, again, on the edge of the box, but the ball is smuggled away and the chance gone.
32 mins: Paulista has a right old battle on his hands on the edge of the box. The ball eventually drops at his feet but his effort flies high and wide.
29 mins: The ball drops to Amos Nasha on halfway, who looks up to see Paulista and Lee darting in behind. His ball, however, is overhit and is easily collected by the 'keeper.
27 mins: West Ham look to be in business as Lee races clear down the left flank, but much to his disappointment he is halted in his tracks by an offside flag.
23 mins: Plenty of industry on show but both sides are struggling to pick a pass in the final third. A long ball looks for Bywater down the right but Tom Smart nips into win possession and snuff out any danger.
21 mins: After a breathless start, the game has settled into a rather more sedate rhythm now. Bywater takes the ball flush in the face but to his credit is straight back to his feet. On a cold night like this, that would have stung!
18 mins: West Ham still having the better of it, but the Baggies have already shown they are a threat on the counter. The Hammers win a free-kick in their own half and it will be Jordan Spence to launch it long. It's not the best and is all-too easily cleared.
15 mins: At the other end, Sebastian Lletget should really score. He's clean through on goal, only to be foiled by 'keeper Palmer. Not for the first time this evening, West Brom look unsettled from a corner and the ball is hooked clear from underneath the crossbar.
13 mins: Decent chance that for the Baggies, Kemar Roofe latches on to a low cross, but can only divert the ball over the crossbar from no more than six yards out. He wants a corner but there's nothing doing.
12 mins: It's Paulista again in the thick of things, as he attempts to play in the in-form Elliot Lee. Lee, however, is flagged offside. It looked close.
11 mins: Paulista shows his class, chesting down a long ball with the minimum of fuss. Kieran Bywater is unable to profit, however, and the ball rolls harmlessly behind for a goal-kick.
9 mins: Driver plays a neat one-two and wins a corner for the home side. The Baggies struggle to deal with the resulting centre, but a wayward drive from the edge of the box gives the visitors some respite.
7 mins: Potts has made a fast start down the left and very nearly marks his return with a stunning goal, as his 25-yard drive flashes inches past the post.
4 mins: The Baggies respond in kind, winning a corner on the far side. The set-piece is a clever one and is worked out to Adil Nabi, whose volley is comfortably gathered by Larkins.
1 min: It's the Hammers who get us underway here at Rush Green. West Ham are stroking it around rather nicely at present. And there's an early chance as Dan Potts fizzes a low cross inside the box, the offside flag however comes to the visitors' rescue.
18:45pm: The teams are in and Nick Haycock makes two changes to the side that lost at Tottenham Hotspur on Monday. Having recovered from a concussion sustained at the Emirates Stadium, Dan Potts returns in place of Frazer Shaw, while Kieran Bywater comes in for Matthias Fanimo.
West Ham United U21s: Larkins, Driver (c), Potts, Nasha, Spence, Ruddock, Bywater, Moncur, Paulista, Lletget, Lee. Subs: Piquionne, Brown, Shaw, Onariase, Mavila
West Bromwich Albion U21s: Palmer, Hurst, Smart, Birch, O'Neil (c), Atkinson, Roofe, Allan, Sawyers, A Nabi, Brown. Subs: Pace, Rose, Wedderburn, Francis, S Nabi
Good evening and welcome to Rush Green for tonight's Barclays Under-21 Premier League Elite Group fixture between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion.
The Hammers currently lie in fifth place with three points, after recording a 2-0 win at Arsenal's London Colney, followed by Monday's 3-2 reverse at Tottenham Hotspur.
Tonight marks the Development Squad's first home fixture of the competition's second phase, owing to a scheduled clash with Liverpool in January which fell foul of the weather.
Including this evening, three of West Ham's next four contests are at home, with Southampton the visitors next Friday, before the Boleyn Ground plays host to Manchester United on Friday 1 March.
West Bromwich Albion are likely to provide a stern test this evening, with four points to show from their opening two matches. The Baggies earned a creditable 1-1 draw away to Arsenal, prior to Monday's 1-0 win at home to neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers.
They are, however, yet to topple the Hammers this season, courtesy of a 1-1 stalemate at the Hawthorns and a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Rush Green.
We will have team news for you shortly, while there will then be live text updates from kick-off at 7pm.