Reserves Miss Out To Injury Time Strike

AN injury time winner robbed Hammers Reserves of a point in their opening Premier Reserve League South game against Arsenal at Barnet.

Kevin Keen's men went down 3-2 to a last gasp winner but ran the Gunners all the way, putting on a brave performance on a fantastic summer's evening in North London, which saw a crowd of more than 1,000 turn up to watch this London derby.

Hammers made a brisk start and took the lead after 23 minutes. New boy James Collins spread the play with a glorious sweeping cross-field ball to Kyel Reid on the left.

The England Youth international whipped in a cross for Petr Mikolanda and although his header came back off the inside of the post, Trent McClenahan was on hand to sweep the ball home from close range.

Arsenal's response was to pile pressure on the Hammers goal and on 36 minutes their reward arrived in the form of Sebastian Larrson who scored with a fine 25 yard free-kick to make it 1-1.

It didn't stay that way for long. West Ham United underlined their determination when they pushed straight up the other end, and within two minutes Kevin Keen's men had retaken the lead.

It was a fine cross from Carl Fletcher that made the goal, the Welsh international picking out French striker Youssef Sofiane who powered home a header to send Hammers in for half-time 2-1 infront.

HT: 2-1

Arsenal came out for the second-half determined to get back into their game. The home side mounted raid after raid on the Hammers goal, but they found young goalkeeper Matt Reed in fantastic form.

The Academy player pulled off a string of magnificent saves to keep Arsenal out, until the 76th minute when Larrson struck again slotting home after a fine racing onto a fine through ball from Quincy to make it 2-2.

Hammers looked like they would hold on for a draw, but in the dying seconds of the game Arsenal struck a cruel but decisive blow. Quincy was again the provider his cross steered home by Nicholas Bendtner to break Hammers hearts and make it 3-2.

WHU: Reed; McClenahan, Blewitt, Collins (Henry 78), Mackay, Fletcher, Williams, Lomas, Mikolanda (Ashikodi 83), Sofiane, Reid (Ephraim 62). Subs unused: Kemal (GK), Cowley.

By Tony Fowles, Ironworks Gazette