Cowley Brace Beats Lions

WEST Ham United Under-18s returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Millwall, midfielder David Cowley scoring twice to secure the three points for Tony Carr's team.

West Ham took control of the game right from the start.

The dangerous Hogan Ephraim was bundled over on the sodden surface just outside the Millwall penalty area and Ishmael Welsh swerved the resultant free kick over the lined up Millwall defenders and just over the crossbar.

But on 20 minutes referee Mr Baker was pointing to the penalty spot as Zavon Hines was upended in the Millwall penalty area, after David Cowley had put him away on the left.

It was David Cowley who placed the ball on the penalty spot before calmly trotting up and sending Edwards in the Millwall goal the wrong way, the midfielder despatching low into the corner of the net to give Hammers the lead.

Millwall did get behind the Hammers defence, and David Blackmore was glad to see the ball go inches past his post. On 25 minutes Zavon Hines galloped along the left before centring and Edwards just finger tipped the ball away from Jack Collison who was in a perfect goal-scoring position.

Jack Collison again from midfield delivered to Hogan Ephraim, but his low drive was parried away at full stretch by Edwards.

On 36 minutes, James Tomkins almost added to his season's tally when following a corner, he poked the ball just past the post.

HT: 1-0

Soon after the re-start, Hogan Ephraim brought out a flying save from the Millwall keeper.

On 63 minutes, David Blackmore kept his goal intact by diving to his right to palm the ball away.

While the Hammers were always the dominant side in this encounter, at only 1-0 there was always the chance of the home side coming back into the game. But that prospect was quelled by Cowley's second goal on 74 minutes.

The diminutive midfielder picked up the ball on the right and danced his way into the penalty area before lofting the ball over a despairing Edwards and under the crossbar to make it 2-0.

The Hammers still had chances to increase their lead, but 2-0 it stayed until the end, Tony Carr's team ending their League programme for 2005 with three well-deserved points against their London rivals.
WHU: Blackmore; Andrews, White, Tomkins, Widdowson (Jeffery 76), Collison (Davidson 78), Cowley, Hales, Welsh (Henry 65), Hines, Ephraim. Sub unused: Street (GK).