READING v DEVELOPMENT SQUAD
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE
MONDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2014
REFEREE: IAN COOPER
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Reading U21 0-2 Development Squad
Full-time: A win for the young Hammers arrives courtesy of a brilliant Elliot Lee volley and Blair Turgott's tidy finish. A very good team performance from the Under-21s saw them dominate for long periods with the hosts struggling to create chances. When they did, Spiegel was in inspired form making two great saves. A well deserved win is the squad's second in a row. Get in!
90+2 mins: Whithead tries a long-range spectacular with a half-volley from just inside the Reading half but doesn't connect cleanly and it goes out for a goal-kick.
90 mins: Three minutes of stoppage time indicated as the Hammers look to have done enough to earn a second consecutive win.
89 mins: That spell of play just goes to show how small the margins are in football. Reading come within inches of scoring a late equaliser before conceding a second less than a minute later. Great entertainment here.
87 mins GOAL: Turgott wraps it up! The winger slams home first time from Fanimo's centre following a swift counter-attack.
86 mins: The post comes to the rescue as Kelly hits a wonderful long-range half-volley which had Spiegel beaten before rebounding off the upright. What an effort!
84 mins: Haycock makes his second change, bringing on Makasi for Lletget. A good shift from the midfielder tonight who linked up well with Lee up top.
82 mins: What a save! Spiegel produces his second fantastic stop of the night as he gets down to deny Ugwu from close-range as the forward prodded powerfully goalward. Super Spiegel to the rescue for the Hammers.
80 mins: Great running from Lee who shrugs off the attentions of Kuhl before scuffing a shot over the bar. The forward has been full of running tonight and a menace to the Royals' back four.
78 mins: Tshibola launches a long diagonal looking for Tanner and Fanimo flicks the ball out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Burke leaps to head the ball clear.
76 mins: Reading are probing around the West Ham penalty area but have found no joy so far today. They'll have to come up with something a bit different if they want to level things up.
74 mins: Chambers goes off to a good ovation as he's substituted for Burke. Chambers has been excellent tonight, making a couple of key interceptions as well as providing composure on the ball at the back for the Hammers.
72 mins: Fanimo just fails to link-up with Lee as he attacks the opposition box. Close but not quite.
70 mins: A second change of the match for the home side. They take off Keown and replace him with No 14 Cooper.
68 mins: Signs of life from the Royals who attack down the right with Long crossing to the centre where Ugwu put his header well wide after stretching for the ball.
65 mins: Spiegel's been a by-stander for much of the match but the one time he was called into action he made a terrific stop to keep the scores level. That may prove to be a crucial moment in this match.
63 mins: Fosu-Henry runs off to be replaced by Kelly as the hosts make their first change.
61 mins: Fanimo looks to be racing way until the linesman signals he was offside as he chased Lee's through ball.
59 mins: Chambers makes a great interception to thwart the Reading attack as he backtracked. It's been a very tidy performance so far from the centre-back and his partner Potts.
57 mins: The ball breaks to Fanimo who slides it through for Lee. The striker takes it first time but the 'keeper saves low to his right. Great chance for the striker to bag his second.
56 mins: A scrappy period of play this with both sides committing fouls as they search for some rhythm.
54 mins: The Hammers have started the second period on the front foot but have been unable to carve an opportunity from their possession so far.
51 mins: Professional foul by Whitehead who recieves a talking to for upending Tshibola as Reading counter-attacked.
49 mins: Knoyle is absolutely clattered as he stops the run of Sweeney whose momentum flattens the defender. He's on his feet though and should be able to continue.
48 mins: An early free-kick as Tshibola handles midway inside his own half. Lee steps up, bouyed by his earlier goal, but sends the ball high into the stand behind the goal.
46 mins: Reading kick-off the second half looking to claw back the Hammers who lead thanks to a stunner from Lee.
Half-time: The whistle goes for the end of a competitive first half. The Hammers have the lead thanks to a brilliant volleyed goal from Elliot Lee just a couple of minutes before the break. The visitors have enjoyed the best of the chances so far with Turgott and Lletget also close to opening the scoring. At half-time the Hammers are good value for their lead.
45 mins: That was a touch of class from Lee who let the ball drop over his shoulder before firing his volley into the opposite corner. Superb.
43 mins GOAL: What a goal from Lee! The striker does brilliantly to turn a volley home from a ball into the area. Great strike!
42 mins: The hosts have come into the game after a strong spell from the Hammers who've performed well so far as we come up to half-time.
41 mins: Whitehead hoists a free-kick into the area where Turgott is unable to bring the ball down and it rolls out of play.
39 mins: Chambers makes an important interception as Griffin crosses into the centre.
37 mins: The Royals earn themselves a corner which Tanner takes. Keown meets it powerfully but Spiegel makes a great diving save before Fanimo is able to boot the ball clear.
35 mins: Lee's been quiet so far, but has himself a free-kick just outside the area as he lures the defender into a foul. Fanimo whips it in and Ugwu is back to make an important headed clearance.
33 mins: Reading have themselves a corner as Page makes a clearance. Tanner swings it into the box where Turgott clears.
31 mins: Chambers and Turgott play a nice one-two before Turgott has a shot deflected off for a corner. Fanimo takes and Potts gets up highest to head straight at Lincoln. The defender is adjudged to have fouled his marker in the build-up to the chance however.
29 mins: Ugwu turns a long ball into the path of Long who's just unable to collexct as Chambers gets in to clear.
27 mins: Spiegel is yet to be tested by the Royals who've struggled to cope with Fanimo and Turgott down the flanks. The Hammers best moments have come from the two wingers so far.
25 mins: Confusion in the Reading ranks as the keeper and centre-back get in a muddle. Lincoln clears but only after a back pass which nearly caught him out.
23 mins: A great piece of play from Chambers sees him dribble the ball past two players before a Cruyff turn which leaves Ugwu committing a foul on the defender.
20 mins: A couple of great chances there for the visitors, let's hope they don't come back to haunt them.
18 mins: So close again! The Hammers are having a purple patch now as Lletget goes within inches of opening the scoring. The midfielder collects Whitehead's pass before curling a shot just past the post.
16 mins: Close! A great cross from Fanimo finds Turgott unmarked in the centre but the winger can only direct his header straight at Lincoln.
14 mins: Chambers does well to cut-out another probing pass destined for Ugwu and the striker plants a shove in his back, conceding a free-kick in the process.
12 mins: The home side are growing in confidence and Ugwu is nearly clean through on goal as he looks to latch onto a through ball. The offside flag is raised however.
9 mins: Reading enjoy a spell of keep ball amongst their back five before eventually firing a long ball toward the left which drifts out of play.
7 mins: Turgott lively again as he dances inside onto his right foot and fires toward goal. His shot is deflected and comfortable for the 'keeper.
6 mins: Turgott races onto Potts' through ball and forces a corner as he looks to find a teammate in the centre. The winger takes but it's easy for the home defence.
4 mins: Fanimo's clearance finds Stacey who hits a first-time shot out for a throw-in. One he'll want to forget.
3 mins: Long combines with Stacey down the Hammers' left and crosses but it's overhit and flies over the bar.
1 min: Lletget races away immediately from the kick-off and fires a left-foot shot goalward. His effort has the keeper scrambling but slides just wide of the post. Great start.
Kick-off: West Ham kick us off at the Camrose Ground, kicking from right to left into the wind.
6:57pm: Reading in their usual blue and white stripes and West Ham resplendent in their glorious claret and blue shirts emerge from the tunnel as we prepare to get under-way in Basingstoke.
6:48pm: The teams head back inside the changing rooms as they prepare to go head-to-head in this Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash.
6:35pm: There are a fair few spectators who've braved the elements pouring into the Camrose Ground, with a fair few of those making a trip to the burger van to my left. The rain has eased slightly and the pitch would seem to be in perfect condition.
6:21pm: Both sides have emerged from the tunnel and are now into their pre-match routines. The Hammers will have to play well tonight to earn the three points against a Reading side who've lost just once in their last five matches, and scoring two wins in that period.
6:15pm: The tunes are on and the 'keepers are out here in Basingstoke. Haycock is also out and surveying surroundings at the Skrill South club.
6:00pm: The pitch is in good nick here at the Camrose Ground despite the heavy rain currently seaping into the turf. We're awaiting the teams to begin their warm-ups.
Nick Haycock is back in the dug-out tonight as he takes the Development Squad to the home of Basingstoke Town FC to play Reading. Haycock was in Dubai with the first team when the Under-21s were last in action, beating Southampton 1-0 courtesy of a wonder strike from Danny Whitehead. That win was the young Hammers first of 2014 and they will be hoping to follow it up with victory against the lowly Royals. The home side occupy 19th place in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League but did score a 2-1 victory against Arsenal last time out.
A West Ham squad, containing the returning Raphael Spiegel in goal, will look to secure the three points which would boost their hopes of returning to the top four in the table. The young Hammers lie sixth in the league table at present, just one point off fourth placed Liverpool.
West Ham United: Spiegel, Knoyle, Page, Whitehead, Potts, Chambers, Turgott, Cullen, Lee, Lletget, Fanimo
Subs: Burke, Nemrava, Sadlier, Makasi, Brown
Reading: Lincoln, Long, Griffin, Tshibola, Sweeney, Keown, Stacey, Kuhl, Ugwu, Tanner, Fosu-Henry
Subs: Hyam, Ward, Cooper, Fridjonsson, Kelly