WEST HAM UNITED v NORWICH CITY
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE
RUSH GREEN STADIUM
FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER 2013
REFEREE: LEE VENAMORE
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Full-time: It's over! The Development Squad have earned another three points in a hard fought match at Rush Green. The Hammers cause was aided by two mistakes from the Norwich keeper but i'm sure they won't care! The win moves Nick Haycock's side to the top of the league and their good form just seems to keep on going. Ruddock and Sadlier were the beneficiaries of the keeping blunders with the former producing a masterful performance in the heart of defence. A good win, onto the next one!
90+2 mins: Fanimo should put the icing on the cake but instead drags his shot horribly wide.
90 mins: The Hammers haven't been at their best but as time ticks down it looks like they've done enough to win this one.
89 mins: A bit of hand bags with Driver and Murphy and both get their names taken.
88 mins: Lee has been starved of chances today but the ball finally falls to him as he's bearing down on goal. The striker can only hit it straight at the keeper however.
86 mins: A great spell of possession for the Hammers and it's nearly olé time but Spiegel promptly hoofs the ball sixty yards.
84 mins: Sadlier jogs off to be replaced by Matthias Fanimo with just six minuted left.
81 mins: We're into the final ten minutes here with the Hammers two goals to the good and looking comfortable.
79 mins: Just as I say that Chambers is replaced by Callum Driver. Typical.
78 mins: Chambers is down and looks to be receiving treatment for cramp. He should be able to carry on.
77 mins: Ruddock is there again for the Hammers. The centre-back in the right place at the right time to clear Norman's cross.
75 mins: Murphy has switched flanks in an attempt to garner something positive for his team. He's finding no joy from Chambers either though.
73 mins: A first change for the visitors with Harvey Hodd being replaced by Cameron Norman.
72 mins: Phil Brown the Southend manager has left the building. Whether any of the players on show tonight will have done enough to catch his eye remains to be seen.
70 mins: Lletget has his first effort of the night and it's not a million miles away. A drive from outside the box is just off target. The Hammers are very much on top at the moment.
68 mins: Whitehead shoots and it's on target but is beaten away as West Ham look to kill the game off.
66 mins: The visitors are trying to rouse a response but their efforts are so far are breaking down in the final third.
64 mins: Norwich look a bit deflated by that goal and it will take something special for them to get anything from this match now.
60 mins GOAL: Sadlier has his team's second of the night with the Norwich goalkeeper having a night to forget. The winger tries to cross from the byline and directs it straight to Matthews who watches the ball go through his hands and end up in the back of the net. An absolute howler.
58 mins: Norwich No7 Murphy is cutting a frustrated figure out there at the moment as he is receiving poor quality service out on this right hand side. That suits the Hammers just fine.
56 mins: Murphy is trying his best to spark some life into the away team and fires goalwards but his effort is off target.
55 mins: Sadlier has a pop and that's the best description of it. The ball heads towards the corner flag after leaving his boot and just avoids being deemed a throw-in.
53 mins: Ruddock is playing out of his skin! The defender is letting no one past him today. His latest interception is a crucial one with Hall-Johnson lurking.
51 mins: Another free-kick for the visitors this time it's warranted and in a dangerous position on the right hand side of the box. Murphy again takes but Chambers rises at the back post to head clear.
49 mins: Norwich are awarded a dubious free-kick as Whitehead is adjudged to have pulled down the winger. It looked a harsh call but matters not as Murphy delivers the resulting corner and puts it straight out for a goal kick.
48 mins: The referee waves Ruddock back onto the pitch and he re-joins Potts at centre-back.
47 mins: Not sure what he did but Ruddock is down and receiving treatment.
46 mins: The Hammers get us underway again for the second half and as things stand they will be top of the table tonight if the score stays the same.
Half-time: The whistle goes for the end of an evenly matched first half. The Hammers lead but can count themselves fortunate to do so with Ruddock's goal owing a lot to a keeper error. On the whole West Ham have dealt well with the visitors threat for whom Murphy is proving their best outlet but they will surely believe their not out of this one just yet.
46 mins: We're into the added one minute as the visitors swing another cross into the box. The linesman has his flag up however and that is surely that for the first half.
45 mins: Ruddock is up at the back post to clear dominantly. He then races forward as West Ham counter. The centre-back picks his pass wide left to Moncur who cuts inside but his shot is blocked.
44 mins: Norwich are hunting for an equaliser with just a couple of minutes left until half-time. Ruddock does well this time to head over a goal bound strike. Corner to Norwich.
42 mins: McGeehan takes on a shot from distance when the better option may have been to play it wide. And wide is exactly where his shot ends up.
40 mins: Another free-kick in a similar position is beaten out by the keeper. Whitehead picks up the ball and spreads it to Moncur who cuts in and unleashes an effort but it's never goal bound and flies wide.
38 mins: A free-kick for the Hammers out on the right touch line. Moncur takes but the referee whistles for a foul in the box. Unfortunately though the decision goes Norwich's way.
36 mins: Murphy takes a short corner to McGeehan and recieves the ball back. He tries to beat Ruddock and falls to the floor under barely no contact and the referee waves away his penalty claims.
34 mins: Whitehead has grown into the game and is now beginning to control the match with his clever passes and ball retention.
32 mins: Free-kick in a dangerous position for the visitors. Murphy takes and whips the ball over the wall but sees it fly narrowly over the bar.
30 mins GOAL: I don't know what he was doing there but Pelly Ruddock strides into the opposition box looking to cross and the keeper inadvertently turns it into his own net. 1-0 to the Hammers.
29 mins: Murphy is threatening again this time beating two players and driving at the defence but again can only pick out the keeper with a fierce drive.
27 mins: Paul McCallum is in the stands tonight and how the Hammers would love some of his presence up front to help Lee.
25 mins: An ambitious effort by Murphy as he looks to lob Spiegel from just inside the Hammers half, his effort is wayward however.
23 mins: After a bright start the young Hammers are struggling to keep possession as the visitors grow in confidence. So far Lee has been isolated and only had one half chance to speak of.
21 mins: Murphy has the Canaries first shot of the match as he is found in the middle of the penaly area but with Ruddock bearing down on him he fires straight at Spiegel. That was a let-off.
19 mins: Spiegel is out well to claim another cross and looks to distribute early after gathering.
17 mins: It's clear that the visitors are keen to retain the ball when they have it and are quite content to pass it around the back four before they search for a forward ball.
15 mins: Norwich are starting to wrestle a foot hold in the match and have started to swing in some decent crosses but so far Spiegel's been up to the task.
14 mins: McCartney has been replaced by Frazer Shaw.
13 mins: Lee unleashes a powerful drive which bounces awkwardly in front of Matthews but the keeper is able to gather at the second attempt.
11 mins: McCartney has space on the left, he looks up and tries to pick out Turgott at the back post but it's directed just beyond the winger and rolls out for a goal kick.
9 mins: Moncur is found in the box by the advancing Chambers and the midfielder swivels well unleashing a low effort but it's straight at the away keeper.
7 mins: The Hammers should be in front and would be were it not for a fantastic save from first Whitehead and then Lee. On the break the visitors find themselves with men over but Chambers races back and is able to clear.
6 mins: West Ham have a corner after Turgott's cross is deflected out of play. Moncur delivers but it's a Norwich head which rises highest to clear the ball.
5 mins: Turgott and then McCartney have the opportunity to cross but both times their efforts float beyond those waiting in the box.
4 mins: The Hammers are controlling the early possession with Moncur and Lletget looking to control the tempo.
2 mins: Lletget lays down the law early with a tough sliding tackle which is deemed ok by tonight's match official.
1 min: We're underway here at Rush Green with the away side kicking us off.
6:58 pm: The players make their way out on the pitch ready for the customary handshakes as we approach kick-off in this Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash.
6:50 pm: Just ten minutes left until kick-off as the West Ham players head down the tunnel to pull on their claret and blue shirts ready to face the Canaries.
6:45 pm: Top-scorer Elliot Lee is finding the net with regularity in the warm-up much the same as he has been all season and with five goals so far he is the Development Squad's talisman. The striker also netted four times in a 5-0 friendly win over Ipswich Town here last Friday and will be looking to continue his eye-catching form.
6:25 pm: Both teams are now well into their warm-ups as the smell of the burger van drifts across the stand here at Rush Green. Nick Haycock's team have played here just once so far this season with that game ending in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa with two goals for Elliot Lee and one for Sebastian Lletget. The Hammers other home games have both been held at the Boleyn Ground with a draw against Manchester City and defeat against Tottenham to show from their home fixtures.
6:15 pm: Fans are starting to drift in as the goalkeepers are out warming up for tonight's match. As yet no players have emerged from the tunnel where the music is blaring out of both teams dressing rooms.
6pm: Good evening from Rush Green where in just about an hours time the Development Squad will kick-off their latest Barclays Under-21 Premier League encounter as they host Norwich City. The young Hammers can ascend to the top of the league with a win over the mid-table Canaries tonight as they currently lie in third postion just two points off early pace setters Fulham.
Dan Potts makes a welcome return to the starting line-up having returned from a knee injury which has kept him out of action for the best part of a month. He will captain the side and line-up alongside George McCartney who continues his quest to ragain match fitness after his own spell on the sidelines.
The visitors have Reece Hall-Johnson in their ranks, cousin of former Hammer Robert Hall, and he will be hoping to inspire some consistency from his side after seeing them win three and lose three of their opening six matches. Norwich also boast two players who will join Leo Chambers in the England Under-19 squad for their European Championship qualifiers later this month. Josh Murphy and Carlton Morris will join Chambers for games against Slovenia, Andorra and Switzerland.
West Ham United: Spiegel, Chambers. McCartney, Lletget, Potts, Ruddock, Turgott, Moncur, Lee, Whitehead, Sadlier
Subs: Driver, Nemrava, Maguire, Shaw, Fanimo