Late Blow For Reserves

Titi Camara scored his first goal of the season for West Ham United's reserve team on Tuesday night against Coventry City but was left rueing a host of missed chances as the Sky Blues snatched an undeserved point with a late equaliser.

After dominating proceedings and creating numerous scoring opportunities, Hammers paid the price for their failures in front of goal when Runar Normann turned substitute Anwar U'ddin in the box with just four minutes remaining and blasted his effort past impressive Swedish goalkeeper Sven Andersson.

The draw was hardly deserved by Coventry, who had veteran Scottish goalkeeper Andy Goram and some wasteful finishing from the hosts to thank for the fact that they didn't end up on the wrong end of a thrashing.

A home win certainly looked on the cards when Camara opened the scoring five minutes before the interval, heading in Michael Ferrante's driven corner from six yards out.

The Guinean striker proved that he is making progress in the right direction with a skillful performance and will now hope to further boost his fitness with a regular run of games for the reserve side.

However, Camara spurned the Hammers' best opportunities in the second half, shooting straight at Goram when clean through and failing to connect with two dangerous crosses, while young strike partner Omer Riza also failed to find a reward for all his hard work and enthusiastic determination.

Australian midfield duo Ferrante and Richard Garcia had peppered the Coventry goal all evening without success and Adam Newton saw a decent effort fly just over the bar.

Hammers fielded trialist Luis Ramis in the centre of defence, and the Spaniard put in a solid performance alongside Hayden Foxe, even finding time to get forward on several occasions and join the attack.

Some excellent flowing football and neat passing movements certainly proved the benefit of having a settled and regular reserve team this season, but boss Roger Cross was once again left to look back on a result that didn't reflect his side's impressive performance.

"It was a similar story to the Leicester game a couple of weeks ago," said Roger. "We've played some real good football, created lots of chances and led in the final stages, only to concede a goal when the game should have been dead and buried.

"If you don't take your chances, you will get punished, it's as simple as that. The fact that we've created so many opportunities means that we have worked hard and played well but their goal should have meant nothing because we should have been three or four up by then."

Despite the disappointment of having victory snatched away so late, though, there was still plenty of positive aspects for Roger to dwell on - as there has been on many occasions this season.

"I've been really pleased with them for most of the games this season. It's been a different story to the last couple of years because we've had some regular players in the team and they are all working for each other and getting to know each other's styles.

"We could have been at the top of the league really, if only we'd turned all these draws into victories and the odd 1-0 defeats into draws.

"There was some great football and movement out there tonight and the front two had some great chances but it just wasn't their night.
"Titi Camara showed good ability, we know what he is capable of in that sense and he scored a good goal.

"Now he justs needs to keep working hard on his fitness to reach the deserved level."

Team: Andersson, Charles (Smith 46), Ramis, Foxe (U'ddin 46), Byrne, Newton, Ferrante, Garcia, Britton, Riza, Camara. Subs unused: Jackson, Tattum, Cascione.