Jayden Fevrier 53
Kamarai Swyer 59
Tom Fellows 5
Jacob Shepherd 32, 45
Jovan Malcolm 61
Mo Faal 84
Reyes Cleary 90+2
West Ham United vs West Brom
West Ham United U18s 2-6 West Bromwich Albion U18s
U18 Premier League South
Rush Green Stadium
Saturday 30 January 2021
It was a disappointing Saturday afternoon for West Ham United U18s, who were beaten 6-2 by West Bromwich Albion U18s in their latest U18 Premier League South game at Rush Green Stadium.
A slow start saw the young Hammers go in at half-time three goals down, but the youth team rallied through two fine individual efforts from Jayden Fevrier and Kamarai Swyer to make it 3-2 after an hour played.
Just two minutes later, however, the visitors extended their lead once more, before adding a further two goals late on to complete the scoring.
West Ham United U18s remain tenth in the U18 Premier League South, albeit having played fewer games than most of their rivals.
West Brom took the lead after just five minutes in east London. After the Hammers had struggled to clear their lines, the ball dropped to Tom Fellowes on the edge of the box. The winger shifted the ball onto his right foot and fired low past Jacob Knightbridge to put the Baggies in front.
The visitors extended their advantage in the 32nd minute. Knightbridge reacted well to a powerful drive from just inside the box but the young goalkeeper could only parry the ball into the path of Jacob Shepard, who made no mistake from close range.
Shepard got his second – and West Brom’s third - of the game just before the break. The West Ham defence failed to deal with a long ball forward and the midfielder’s left-footed effort crept into the net, sending Kevin Keen’s side into the break with work to do.
West Ham United responded well after half-time and deservedly got a goal back through Jayden Fevrier in the 53rd minute. A mazy-run from the 17-year-old culminated in searing right-footed strike that went high across the goalkeeper, reducing the deficit.
Six minutes later and it was 3-2. A blocked Divin Mubama shot fell to Kamarai Swyer on the edge of ‘D’, and the No10 dropped his shoulder and rifled his shot past the Albion keeper to put the Hammers firmly in the contest with half an hour to play.
It wasn’t to be for the Irons on this occasion, as West Brom U18s restored their two-goal lead just moments after conceding. Another long ball from the Baggies this time fell to Javan Malcolm, and the No9 took an exquisite touch past two defenders before curling past Knightbridge to all but seal the three points for the visitors.
Mo Faal and Reyes Clearly added two more for West Brom in the dying embers, punishing the Hammers for pressing forward in search of a route back into the game.
U18s lead coach Kevin Keen spoke to whufc.com after a difficult afternoon at the Rush Green Stadium.
“We’re really, really disappointed,” he said. “It’s probably one of the poorest performances we’ve put in this season. We underperformed and ultimately we have to work out a way to stop balls going in our net.”
We felt that we were on top of the game, we’d come out in the second half and shown some real talent and desire to get back in the game.
Having rallied well in the second half, the fourth Albion goal came as a real sucker punch for the youngsters in Claret and Blue.
“I think the fourth goal for West Brom was the crucial goal,” Keen continued. “We felt that we were on top of the game, we’d come out in the second half and shown some real talent and desire to get back in the game.”
Keen also took the time to praise West Bromwich Albion U18s, who have lost just once in their last five outings in the league.
“I have to give them credit; they were a really good team, very organised, very solid and I think we can take a few things from them.
“It’s a bit of wake-up call, and we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us between now and the end of the season if we want to get back some positive results.”
The lead coach stressed the need for some improved defensive displays from his side, should they want to achieve their targets this campaign.
“The big one for me is we have to stop conceding goals. We’re pretty good going forward, we’ve got good attacking players, but we’re conceding far too many goals.
“It’s something that we have to work on between now and the end of the season to try and climb up the league, and certainly if we want to progress in the FA Youth Cup then that’s something we really have to sort out.”
Next up for the West Ham United U18s is the visit of Aston Villa U18s to Little Heath Sports Centre on Saturday 6 February. Kick-off is at 12pm.
West Ham United: Knightbridge, Potts, Forbes, Thomas (Adu 45’), Robinson (Evans 72’), Perkins, Woods (Earthy 72’), Clayton, Fevrier, Mubama, Swyer
Subs not used: Sanneh, Trialist
Goals: Fevrier 53, Swyer 59