WEST HAM UNITED v LEICESTER CITY
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE
RUSH GREEN STADIUM
FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2013
REFEREE: ALAN YOUNG
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Full-time: The Development Squad have to settle for a draw after second half fight back from Leicester earns them a point. McCallum had given the Hammers the lead after just two minutes and Lee had later doubled the advantage with a penalty on the stroke of half-time but they were unable to hold on. Goals from Dawson and Pearson levelled things up. McCallum went close to winning it late on but the Hammers were forced to settle for a point which on balance was proabaly the right result.
90+2 mins: Miles is on for Moncur with just moments left.
90 mins: We're into added on time now as both sides still search for a winner.
88 mins: The fans are drifting away in anticipation of a draw now but there's still a chance or two left in this!
86 mins: Agony! McCallum looks to have snatched a winner as he beats the keeper to a high ball but his effort bounces inches wide!
85 mins: Barrington wants the ball more than the surrounding defenders and fires his close-range shot narrowly wide. That was a let-off.
83 mins: Howes throws himself in front of a shot to keep the Hammers level. Bywater comes on for Whitehead.
82 mins: Another corner to add to Leicester's collection. Whitehead gets up well to head clear.
80 mins: Into the final ten minutes now as both sides look for a winning goal.
78 mins: Frustration is creeping into the Hammers play and they nearly go behind as Panayiotou heads just over the crossbar.
76 mins: Dawson hits one just over the bar as the away side are rampant at the minute.
75 mins: Interesting to see how Haycock's side respond to being on level terms considering they'd been in front since the second minute.
73 mins GOAL: Pearson strikes a beautiful right-footed effort into the bottom left-hand corner. Great goal that.
73 mins: Pearson goes right through the back of Lee by the halfway line and the Hammers have a free-kick. From the resulting ball Whitehead pokes goalwards but the keeper is down to save.
71 mins: Leicester's corner count must be in double figures by now. This time Whitehead is there to clear.
69 mins: A ferocious shot is unleashed by Barrington and it has Howes worried before flying just over.
67 mins: After McCallum concedes a free-kick the ball is blasted at him but the ref decides no punishment is necessary.
65 mins: Fanimo switches right to McCallum who wins a corner. Fanimo takes but it's cleared at the near post.
63 mins: The visitors are enjoying their best spell now as they pour forward at every opportunity with Barrington the latest to try his luck, testing Howes from distance.
61 mins GOAL: Leicester have one back. Dawson latches onto a loose ball to lash home as it breaks to him in the box.
59 mins: The West Ham midfield are working harder to get on the ball in this half with Moncur and Lletget starting to click.
57 mins: Chambers looks to have handled the ball on his way to the turf but the defender has himself a free-kick after recieving a hearty shove.
55 mins: After about six or seven corners in a row the Hammers are finally able to breath easy as a Foxes defender fires a shot well wide.
54 mins: Yet another corner as Harney this time is there to clear! When will this end!
53 mins: It's swung in towards goal this time and has Howes beaten but Shaw is back on the line to flick clear for a corner.
52 mins: A series of corners for the away team now, the latest of which is cleared by Driver for gues what...another corner.
50 mins: The visitors apply some early pressure and win themselves a corner. It's met well by Barrington and Howes does brilliantly to acrobatically turn it over.
48 mins: Driver concedes a free-kick as the left-back goes beyond him. The ball is low and hard but Howes takes it on the bounce.
47 mins: Leicester immediately go on the attack down their left but over play it and Howes has a goal-kick.
46 mins: The Hammers kick-off the second half holding a two-goal lead and looking good to maintain top spot in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
Half-time: What a mad end to the half! Lee stepped up to bury a penalty on the stroke of half-time to send the Hammers in two up at the break after a Leicester player appeared to handle in the box. Earlier McCallum had given the Hammers the lead after just two minutes when he bundled the ball home from a free-kick. Overall it's been a fairly even game with the visitors yet to create a chance of note. More of the same from West Ham after the interval please!
45 mins GOAL: Lee steps up and sends a low penalty to the bottom right-hand corner, sending the keeper the wrong way.
44 mins: Corner to West Ham. Fanimo takes and there's controversy as the linesman gives handball but the referee is not convinced and after consultation and a lot of confusion a penalty is given!
42 mins: A late lunge on Whitehead gives the Hammers a free-kick just outside the box. Fanimo takes and his powerful effort hits the wall.
40 mins: Fanimo thinks he's in down the right as he races clear but the keeper is out quickly to force the ball out for a throw-in.
38 mins: The Foxes centre-back looks to switch play but grossly over-hits his ball and it sails out of play. Sums up the visitors efforts so far.
36 mins: Howes punches the ball behind him as Dawson crosses, luckily it misses the goal and goes out for a corner. The set-piece is over-hit and out for a throw.
35 mins: Fanimo hits a shot into the ground after good play down the left by Lee. Easy pickings.
34 mins: After a boiling hot start this game has simmered down to luke warm with both sides engaged in a midfield battle.
32 mins: Leicester are building pressure here and have themselves a corner after Lletget deflects a shot wide. It's taken short before Howes dives in bravely at the feet of two Leicester players.
30 mins: Lletget gives away a free-kick towards the right-hand corner flag. The ball is delivered but after a clearance allows Whitehead to break but he can't capitalise as he looks for McCallum.
28 mins: Lee looks to slide one through for Moncur but the keeper is out sharply to collect on the slide.
26 mins: McCallum wins a free-kick in a dangerous area on the left after his legs are clipped. Moncur takes but goes for goal and it sails harmlessly over the bar.
24 mins: A cross is swung over by Elder but he has no one to hit and it sails out for a throw.
22 mins: Just as I say that Fanimo is picked out by McCallum's through ball and he races clear but fires a half-volley wide of the target.
21 mins: The Hammers have so far struggled to get their wide men involved with both Fanimo and Lee short of service up to this point.
19 mins: Chambers takes up the role of the missing Pelly Ruddock as he maruds 60 yeards down the pitch and finds McCallum but his cross is too close to the keeper.
17 mins: Whitehead strikes the post! After the ball is given away in midfield Whitehead breaks with purpose arriving at the edge of the box and unleashing a fierce shot which pings against the post.
15 mins: The away side are yet to click into gear yet but have shown some fairly nice pieces of play so far.
13 mins: Corner to Leicester. Harney is there to header well clear of danger.
12 mins: The Hammers have lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Lee to the left and Fanimo to the right of frontman McCallum.
10 mins: After the visitors force a couple of corners the Hammers are finally relieved as the offside flag is raised.
9 mins: Leicester have a chance as Barrington is played in. He shoots but Harney is there to deflect it out for a corner.
7 mins: Driver gets down the right touchline and swings a cross over looking for McCallum. The ball goes out for a corner but is easily cleared.
6 mins: The Hammers are showing the greater desire early on with Shaw the latest to make a strong tackle.
4 mins: McCallum didn't have to wait too long into his return to make his mark as that goal is timed at just under two minutes!
2 mins GOAL: McCallum bundles the ball home after Moncur's in-swinging free-kick caused all kinds of problems in the Leicester defence. What a start!
2 mins: George Moncur is bought down after a heavy tackle. Free-kick which he will take.
1 min: It's the away side to kick us off! And no he's not happy with the first one as a Leicester player encroached into the West Ham half but we're away at the second attempt.
6.55pm: The irrepressible smell of the burger van is making its way into the stands as the teams emerge from the tunnel. We're almost ready to go!
6.45pm: The Hammers have retreated to the dressing room for their pre-match team talk as we are now just 15 minutes away from kick-off.
6.35pm: With regular goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel not featuring tonight, Sam Howes has the chance to stake a claim for regular inclusion in Nick Haycock's side. The 16-year-old stopper is the Under-18s regular No1 and recently featured in the Club's behind-closed-doors friendly against Millwall and has clearly done enough to impress.
6.20pm: The players are out warming up on the Rush Green pitch ahead of kick-off here. Assistant manager Neil McDonald has already taken his place in the stands to cast his eye over the Club's Under-21s.
6pm: It's finally here! The return of Barclays Under-21 Premier League Development Squad action! 'About time' I hear you cry as Nick Haycock's Under-21s resume their league campaign exactly four weeks to the day that Chelsea snatched a last-minute equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw that denied the Hammers from extending their lead at the top of the table. Despite not playing for the best part of a month, the Development Squad have retained top-spot with Fulham still a point off the pace. Tonight 12th place Leicester City are the visitors to Rush Green as they bid to inflict only a second defeat of the season on the young Hammers.
Haycock has had to juggle his squad around for this tie with the manager now able to select returned duo of Elliot Lee and Paul McCallum who are available following loan spells at Colchester United and Torquay United respectively. He will however be without three of his regulars with Dan Potts enjoying a spell on the south coast with Portsmouth whilst Pelly Ruddock (Luton Town) and Blair Turgott (Colchester United) both secured loan moves yesterday. Kieran Sadlier is also unavailable after scans revealed he has medial tibia stress syndrome which will rule the winger out until the New Year.