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Saturday 15 February Updated Wednesday 18 February

Potts delighted with 'deserved' win

Steve Potts hailed Danny Whitehead's wonder goal after the Development Squad saw off torrid conditions to beat Southampton at Rush Green on Friday night.

The midfielder struck with 52 minutes on the clock, sending a long-range thunderbolt flying into the top corner of the net, to earn his side their first win of 2014.

Whitehead's strike lit up a contest which was badly affected by swirling winds and driving rain and his super strike left Potts raving about his second goal of the season.

He told West Ham TV: "It was a very good goal. The set-up was good, the ball came across to Danny, he got the ball out of his feet and he struck the ball really well into the corner.

"I was watching him in the warm-up and he was hitting the ball really well, he's got a good strike on him and luckily enough he connected very well for the goal.

"I think we deserved to win. The ball didn't fall kindly enough for us in the box, had it have done then I think we might have got another goal or two but overall I was very happy with them."

The Hammers played with the wind behind them in the first half and were lucky not to go behind when Jake Sinclair scuffed a shot wide from just eight yards out.

That effort was a rare threat from Saints who couldn't cope with the Hammers after the break, and Potts was left wondering how his side hadn't won by a greater margin.

"We mixed the game up fairly well second half. We played it short when we had to and we also looked a threat behind which was important because we said at half-time that any balls down the sides were going to hold up more for us in the second half.

"We created good opportunities but it didn't quite fall for us. There were one or two scrambles where I don't know how it didn't end up in the back of the net but luckily we kept a clean sheet and one was enough."

Former Hammers defender Potts was standing in for Nick Haycock whilst the coach is away with the first team and he was left impressed with how some of his Under-18 contingent had handled the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

Kyle Knoyle, Lewis Page, Josh Cullen and Vit Nemrava all featured against the Saints and Potts believed they all showed they could handle the step-up.

"I think they've coped very well. It's not easy for a young player to step-up, they can get a little bit nervous but I thought they coped with it very well.

"That's what it's all about, can they move to the next level. Josh Cullen came in tonight and I thought he was excellent.

"I'd like to mention Vit as well, who was in goal for the second half, because that wasn't easy to come on at half-time. Against the wind you think 'Ah we could be penned in' and that he might have to save a lot of shots but I think he coped very well with what he had to deal with and his kicking was excellent."

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