Youths Cut Down By Blades

West Ham's youth teams suffered a double blow in their FA Youth Academy matches at Sheffield United on Saturday, with the under-19s losing 4-1 and the under-17s going down 3-2.

Against a strong side who hit six goals the previous week, Tony Carr's older side were left still searching for their first win of the season, despite taking the lead early on.

Just 15 minutes were on the clock when Brent Tattum crossed for Greg Pearson to finish well and claim his third goal in two games.

However, the Blades were level almost immediately, when a midfielder was allowed to cut inside and fire in a shot that took a deflection on it's way into the bottom corner.

Soon after, the hosts took the lead when a mix-up between Darren Blewitt and the goalkeeper allowed a striker to nip in and nick the ball before tapping into the net.

After the break, Sheffield grew stronger and added two more goals from set-pieces, one from a corner and one from a free-kick, to make sure of their victory.

Said Tony Carr afterwards: "We started the game goal and deserved our goal, which was excellently taken by Greg Pearson, but we gifted Sheffield United their first two goals, which was very disappointing.

"In the second half they stepped up a gear and scored two goals from set-pieces, where they used their height advantage in certain areas of the field.

"It was a tough game and they are a very good team. On the day, they were worthy winners, although a 4-1 scoreline may have slightly flattered them."

Meanwhile, the under-17s also lost out to the Yorkshiremen, but almost pulled off an amazing comeback after being 3-0 down with just five minutes remaining.

Having opened the scoring midway through the first half and then added a second on the stroke of half-time, the Blades then made it 3-0 halfway through the second half to virtually kill the game.

However, in the 85th minute a long free-kick was knocked down to Tony Stokes, who lashed home from close range. Three minutes later, Hammers pulled another one back when Stokes beat two men and crossed for substitute David Cowley to fire in.

With their tails up, the visitors pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but sadly it was a case of too little, too late, and the final whistle ended their chances of a memorable comeback.

Said Kevin Keen afterwards: "It was a tough game against a very strong Sheffield United team and I think it surprised a few of our lads to come up against that kind of opposition.

"We kept going, though, and I was very pleased with the way the team responded to the challenge and kept going until the final whistle. Another five minutes and we might have got an equaliser but, if I am honest, Sheffield United were the better team and deserved the win.

"It was a good experience for the players, though. It showed them the kind of physical demands they will have to face in professional football and I was happy with the effort and determination they showed."

Team: Behcet, Young, White (Tomkins 80), Norval, Andrews, Yao (Cowley 46), Brady, Singh, Ephrain, Allen (Davidson 46), Stokes. Subs unused: Kemel, Cumberworth.