Youths Triumph Over Chelsea

Two stunning first-half strikes gave Hammers Under-18s a deserved 2-1 victory over their Chelsea counterparts and only a controversial refereeing decision prevented them from keeping their fourth clean sheet in a row.

West Ham United started the game at a fierce tempo and for the opening half an hour the visitors struggled to get out of their own half as the young Hammers moved the ball about quickly. The first strike on goal came from Kyel Reid with a vicious swerving left foot shot which Chelsea keeper Nick Hamann did well to push over the bar.

On 10 minutes the Hammers took the lead, Joe Widdowson laid the ball into the path of Tony Stokes and he hammered an unstoppable 30-yard drive into the top right hand corner.

Chelsea were still reeling when West Ham scored again on 13 minutes, Kyel Reid firing in a fierce right foot drive from 20 yards that crashed in off the underside of the bar.

The Hammers continued to swarm around the Chelsea goal but in a rare breakaway Jack Watkins had a chance for the visitors when after having shaken off his marker he fired a right foot shot wide. On 37 seven minutes, much to Hammers consternation, the referee awarded Chelsea a penalty after a seemingly innocent collision between home keeper Eren Kemal and the visitors Nana Ofori as they contested a through-ball.

Scott Sinclair struck the spot kick with some power but Kemal threw himself to his right to pull off a fine save.

Most of the action was still at the Chelsea end however and after a curling free kick by Hogan Ephraim had been tipped over by Hamann, Jack Jeffrey flashed a glancing header across the face of goal from the corner that followed.

HT: 2-0

The visitors had obviously had a stern talking to at half-time and the second-half was much more even with defences almost completely on top.

It took another contentious refereeing decision on 68 minutes to hand Chelsea a lifeline, the linesman flagged furiously to stop play as a Chelsea player lay injured and Hammers defenders relaxed momentarily but the referee ignored the linesman and allowed the attack to continue and Watkins fired home a low right foot shot.

Despite West Ham's protests the goal was allowed to stand. The visitors tried to press for the equaliser but apart from a left foot shot by James Simmonds which flew just over they never threatened the Hammers goal.

Injuries to Kyel Reid and Zavon Hines blunted West Ham's attacking threat in the second period but their domination of the first-half meant they were worthy winners.     

WEST HAM UNITED: Eren Kemal, Jemel Henry, Joe Widdowson, Liam White, James Tomkins, David Cowley, Kyel Reid (Hines 63) (Andrews 80), Tony Stokes, Jack Jeffrey, Hogan Ephraim, Ishmael Welsh (Fitzgerald 80). Subs unused: Blackmore (GK), Hales.