Steve Potts guided West Ham United's youngsters to a 7-2 Under-17 friendly victory over Dagenham and Redbridge on Thursday.

With the Hammers having a free weekend in their Barclays U18 Premier League Tier One fixture list and the club's U16 schoolboys available due to the half-term holiday, Potts took the opportunity to welcome the Daggers to Little Heath.

Portugal U17 striker Marcio Martins, who recently returned from a successful spell on international duty at the Algarve Tournament, netted a hat-trick, while schoolboys Jerry Amoo, Reece Burke and Jami Rafati were also on target. The scoring was completed by an own-goal.

Potts was pleased with West Ham's victory, with his side racing into a 4-1 half-time lead before keeping their collective foot on the gas after the break to score three more goals.

"We had a mixture of first-year scholars and Under-16 schoolboys and we played some really good football and scored the goals to go with it," said the manager. "The players have been playing well in the league in the last few weeks but haven't quite got the results.

"On Thursday, we put the ball into the back of the net and it was very pleasing on the eye and very good.

"I think everyone did well in their own way but the midfield played very well. They linked the game up well - Moses Makasi, Kieran Bywater and Kieran Sadlier - and alternated their roles quite well. A few of the younger boys - Kyle Knoyle and Jerry Amoo - came in and obviously Marcio up top got himself a hat-trick, so that was good."

Potts closed by urging the club's scholars to keep aiming for the top, with Development Squad places possibly up for grabs ahead of next Tuesday's Barclays U21 Premier League trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"They are certainly getting pushed in the league we are in at the moment and every game is a difficult game, and the way we have been pushing them up the age-groups as much as we can has certainly tested the boys.

"To be honest, we saw the benefit of that against Dagenham because we looked very strong out there and the football was good. Hopefully, in the long-term, we are doing the right thing."

Under-17s: Baxter, Knoyle, Onariase, Marlow (Burke 59), Mavila, Bywater (Rafati 59), Makasi, Sadlier, Parfitt (Pike 59), Amoo, Martins

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