Youths Shoot Down Gunners

TONY Carr's Under-18 side recorded their second successive win with a magnificent 2-0 victory over Arsenal at Little Heath.

An own goal in the first-half and a Hogan Ephraim second-half strike were enough to secure the points in a hard-fought London derby.

The Hammers started brightly and took the lead after 21 minutes. A short corner routine worked between Ishmael Welsh and Ollie Allen saw the ball swung in to the near post, where Arsenal defender Aaron Samuel inadvertently glanced into his own net.

At the other end, Hammers goalkeeper Darren Behcet had to be alert, rushing out to block at the feet of Arsenal front-man Anthony Stokes, to send the Hammers in 1-0 up at the break.

Tony Carr's team came out for the second-half with fresh determination, and on the hour mark a Moses Ashikodi drive was fortuitously deflected wide. The resulting corner was swung in and appeared to be cleared with ease by the Gunners defence.

But the referee immediately stopped play, having spotted a foul by Arsenal goalkeeper Michael Jordan on Hogan Ephraim. Despite the visitors' protests a penalty was awarded.

Ephraim stepped up to take the kick himself, planting it low and left. But Jordan guessed right and got down to make the save. The ball squirmed loose in the box, and Hammers striker Ephraim reacted quickest to stab the ball home and put the home side 2-0 up.
However, just three minutes later the roles were dramatically reversed when Arsenal's Fabrice Muamba went down in the West Ham penalty area, and the referee awarded a debatable spot-kick. Jay Simpson stepped up for the Gunners, but blasted his effort over the bar.
Behcet denied the luckless Simpson again soon after, while at the other end, Hammers substitute Tony Stokes brought the best out of Jordan with a firm drive. At the final whistle West Ham United were left to celebrate a well-deserved 2-0 victory, which will give them confidence going into their FA Youth Cup Third Round clash at Gillingham.

WHU: Behcet; Andrews, Henry, White, Tomkins, Cohen, Allen, Shaw (Cowley 61), Ashikodi (Davidson 77), Ephraim (Stokes 77), Welsh. 

Courtesy of Tony Fowles and Robert Maynard