MANCHESTER UNITED v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE ELITE GROUP STAGE
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 2013
REFEREE: LEE METCALFE
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Final score - Manchester United 2-0 West Ham United
92 mins - West Ham are unlucky not to have a consolation as Lindegaard gets down smartly to deny Sean Maguire. Seconds later, Lindegaard is called into action once more, as he saves from McCallum. That's your lot, as Mr Metcalfe blows for full time. It quite simply wasn't the Hammers' night but they won't have to wait long to make amends, as Liverpool await on Monday.
89 mins - Goal! I'm afraid that's probably game, set and match as Nick Powell pounces on Potts' underhit headed back pass to double the hosts' lead. Spiegel had initially done well to foil Powell, but the 18-year-old was not to be denied, as he slotted home from an acute angle.
85 mins - Bywater looks for McCallum once more, but this time Lindegaard is unable to gather. It drops perilously in the penalty area but the keeper's rescued by his defenders, who hack it clear.
83 mins - A final throw of the dice here for Haycock as Sean Maguire is ready to join the action. Bywater crosses from the right but McCallum is hussled out of it. West Ham finishing the stronger here. There's a swap for either side here, as Lawrence comes on for Januzaj, while Lee departs in place of Maguire. It's only Maguire's second substitute appearance since his switch from Waterford United.
81 mins - Here comes Marlow, on for Amos Nasha, as West Ham prepare to defend a corner. It's curled into the near post, but as they have done all evening, West Ham defend their six-yard box very well.
79 mins - The Hammers are ready to make a second change, with Ben Marlow stripped and ready to enter the fray. As I speak, Paul McCallum has the ball at his feet in the box but is just unable to engineer a shooting opportunity.
76 mins - Blackett whips in a wicked ball at the near post, which is begging to be slammed home, but West Ham react the quicker and manage to clear the danger. Haycock is at the edge of the technical area willing his troops on. The longer it goes on, the more the Hammers will fancy their chances of nicking something.
74 mins - Dan Potts lofts a long free-kick into the mixer, which McCallum does brilliantly to nod on. The Hammers, however, are unable to make anything of the second ball and Manchester United shovel it clear.
71 mins - Bywater attempts to play in Lee but the pair are not on the same wavelength and it drifts behind for a goal-kick. It's just not happening for West Ham at the moment but while it remains 1-0 there's still every chance.
68 mins - There are only 265 here this evening, I'll put that down to last night's trauma at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, the hosts go close yet again as Sean McGinty rises highest to meet Januzaj's corner but Spiegel reacts smartly to collect.
65 mins - It's becoming increasingly scrappy here, as Manchester United win a free-kick on the near side. Januzaj is standing over the dead ball. It's a dangerous ball in, which is heaved behind for a corner. The set piece is cleared up to Paulista but any threat of a counter attack is snuffed out quickly enough.
63 mins - Lingard has a chance to make it two but sidefoots rather tamely wide of the post. We can only hope that proves to be a costly miss for the hosts.
61 mins - A poor backpass puts Spiegel in all sorts of bother but he does well to stop Powell in his tracks. Meanwhile, the Hammers make their first change of the evening as Kieran Bywater replaces Callum Driver - a late replacement for Pelly Ruddock as we now understand it!
58 mins - Some neat football from the hosts sees the ball played into the feet of Januzaj who swivels before letting fly. His shot takes a deflection on its way into the arms of Spiegel.
56 mins - Skipper Spence becomes the second West Ham player to go into the book this evening, as he receives a yellow card for tugging back Powell.
53 mins - Frederic Veseli attempts to find Lingard, but his pass is misdirected and rolls harmlessly behind. At the other end, Lee slides it into the path of the lively Turgott, who is off balance as he screws an effort wide of the near post.
50 mins - Manchester United are straight back into their stride and stroking it around very nicely once more. Turgott, however, wins a corner for the Hammers, but it comes to nothing as a West Ham head can only flick it on its way across the six-yard box.
46 mins - It's as you were for the second half, as West Ham bid to claw their way back into this contest. Paul McCallum flattens Blackett and the centre-forward receives the first caution of the evening.
45 mins - A long ball over the top looks for Elliot Lee and though the frontman does his very best to latch onto it, Lindegaard comes haring off his line to sweep up. A minute of additional time comes and goes, before Mr Metcalfe signals the end of the first half. A tough 45 for Nick Haycock's men but they are still very much in this contest.
42 mins - As half-time approaches, West Ham will probably be glad to get back inside and reassess things. Make no mistake, they're competing, but struggling to carve out chances. Haycock bellows out instructions as the hosts pour forward once more.
38 mins - Respite does not last long as Powell is eyeing up Spiegel's goal once more. He has a go from just outside the D and Spiegel, at full stretch, is relieved to see it flash past his right-hand upright.
36 mins - Paulista whips in another cross and it's headed behind for a corner. Moncur's centre is a low one from the far side but is hooked clear at the near post. Better, much better.
34 mins - West Ham have half a chance of a counter attack as Wellington Paulista crosses the halfway line. He lays it off to Moncur, who has no support whatever and does well to retain possession. Elsewhere, Elliot Lee hits the turf after a robust challenge but he's fine to continue.
31 mins - The conditions are hardly helping matters here as Shaw is the latest player to lose his feet. Seconds later, Jesse Lingard is surging towards the Hammers' goal, before squaring for Powell. The former Crewe man opts against a first-time try and the chance goes begging.
29 mins - Dan Potts decides to take matters into his own hands and tries his luck from some 25 yards. It's an excellent drive but flies just over Lindegaard's crossbar.
27 mins - Meanwhile, a rare foray into the final third sees the ball come out to George Moncur on the edge of the box. His shot, however, is a weak one and dribbles wide of the keeper's left-hand post.
26 mins - Cole slips in Januzaj who manages to squirm inside two defenders as he makes his way into the box. Just as he prepares to let fly, he's crowded out and the Hammers survive.
23 mins - Tyler Blackett storms down the left-hand side, before fizzing a low ball into the box. It takes Jordan Spence's smart intervention to prevent further alarm. For the record, it's absolutely chucking down it here right now. I'm pleased to report, however, the press box has a roof!
21 mins - Another scare for the visitors as Larnell Cole is afforded too much time in the box. Fortunately, Frazer Shaw is alert to the danger and throws himself in the way of the No7's effort. It's pinging around the box and it takes yet more desperate defending to put it behind for a corner. Nervous moments these.
19 mins - At the other end, Wellington Paulista slings a hopeful ball into the box, but it's all too easily cleared at the near post.
17 mins - Close. Manchester United lump it long in search of Powell. Dan Potts is in close attendance but it inadvertently skids off his head and Spiegel is forced to fling himself to his left to gather. Safe to say Potts had his heart in his mouth there for a second.
12 mins - West Ham win a free-kick just inside the Manchester United half. Dan Potts flips it into the box but it skids of a Manchester United head and into the arms of Anders Lindegaard. Meanwhile, George Moncur darts into the box, only to see the ball smuggled behind for a corner. The set piece is nodded clear but these are encouraging signs, no doubt.
8 mins - The Hammers don't look the least bit rattled by their early disappointment as they plot their route back into this one. That said, Adnan Januzaj has it on the edge of the box, but his strike is well blocked.
5 mins - Goal! We waited 90 minutes without success on Friday night for a goal, but sadly it has taken just five minutes for the hosts to break the deadlock here. Raphael Spiegel is unable to gather Marnick Vermijl's deflected drive and Nick Powell is on hand to fire home the rebound.
1 min - Lee Metcalfe gets us underway here and the hosts, as you might expect, are seeing plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges. It appears West Ham are lining up in a 4-3-3 here, with Elliot Lee and Wellington Paulista playing either side of Paul McCallum.
18:59pm - Here come the teams with the Hammers led by skipper Jordan Spence. The visitors are sporting their sky-blue away strip and Nick Haycock's men will shoot towards the Golf Road End in the first half here.
18:30pm - The teams are in and Nick Haycock has made two changes to the side that drew against Manchester United on Friday. Paul McCallum comes in for Sebastian Lletget, while Raphael Spiegel returns in goal. Meanwhile, skipper Callum Driver makes his return from injury and is joined among the substitutes by Irish frontman Sean Maguire.
As for the hosts, 18-year-old Nick Powell, formerly of Crewe Alexandra, comes in for Jeffrey Schlupp, while Ben Amos makes way for Anders Lindegaard.
Manchester United U21s: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Blackett, Veseli, Thorpe, McGinty, Cole, Ekangamene, Januzaj, Powell, Lingard. Subs: James, Sutherland, Van Velsen, Lawrence, Daehli.
West Ham United U21s: Spiegel, Spence, Shaw, Nasha, Potts, Driver, Paulista, Moncur, McCallum, Lee, Turgott. Subs: Bywater, Larkins, Marlow, Maguire.
Good evening and welcome to Altrincham FC for tonight's Barclays Under-21 Premier League Elite Group fixture featuring Manchester United and West Ham United.
Today's matchup marks the sides' second meeting in the space of just six days, after Friday's goalless draw at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers' trip to Moss Lane was originally scheduled for 18 January, before falling foul of the sub-zero temperatures.
The Hammers' early season postponements mean they are now in the midst of a demanding run of five games in just 18 days, with a trip to Liverpool on Monday and Friday's visit of Arsenal scheduled for the following week.
Nick Haycock's side head north bidding for a first win in four, in the knowledge that victory will see them leapfrog their hosts and climb to second in the Elite Group. Manchester United are just a point and a place above the Hammers, sitting fourth with eight points to show from their five outings.
Meanwhile, West Ham's matchday squad is bolstered by the return of skipper Callum Driver and Irish frontman Sean Maguire, though it remains to be seen whether either will feature this evening.
We will have team news as and when we get it, while there will be live text updates here as of the 7pm kick-off.