Keen's Promising Point

RESERVE Team boss Kevin Keen was pleased with his young side's performance in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace and admitted the game could have gone either way in a match that saw plenty of goal-mouth action.

Hogan Ephraim gave Hammers the lead with five minutes of the first-half remaining at the Glyn Hopkin Stadium, but Palace drew level on the stroke of the interval thanks to Ryan Hall's goal, and despite plenty of second-half chances the spoils were shared between the London rivals.

Kevin said: "I was really pleased with the performance and the game could have gone either way. They could have won it at the end and might have had a penalty late on, but at the same time we had quite a few chances in the second-half.

"But in what was an extremely young team I was delighted with the way we applied ourselves. At the start of the second-half we had a really good period and might have scored then. Towards the end of the game I think the lads started to run out of steam and we had to make some changes.

"A lot of the boys have been to Japan and back this week, so this was a tough game for them. But all credit to the players, because up until about 20 minutes from the end the brightness and speed of their play was of a very high standard, and pleasing on the eye as well."

The younger members of Kevin Keen's squad certainly did the Hammers proud, particularly up front where Ephraim's goal was just one of a number of slick and exciting West Ham United moves.

Kevin added: "We've got a number of very good young players and hopefully throughout the season we'll see more of that exciting and enterprising football.

"You had Joe Widdowson and James Tomkins in the team who are both first year Academy players and added to that a number of second years, and I thought they all did exceptionally well.

"Especially the first year boys who are no more than 16 or 17 and playing against some experienced professionals. But they handled themselves physically and also showed the kind of ability on the ball that made us bring them to West Ham United.

"We bring players into our Academy who have quality on the ball and we want them to show that at this level/

"At the of the day that's what West Ham United is all about and that is what the fans want to see. Hopefully, if we play that brand of football, then we'll start to attract more supporters because this is a really good young team who deserve to be backed.