Hammers Out Gun Arsenal

WEST Ham United Under-18's won their third consequtive game and remain unbeaten this season after a 2-0 victory over Arsenal.

Arsenal had a chance early on when Jay Simpson was put through and only a brilliant save from Matt Reed in the Hammers goal prevented the Gunners from taking the lead. Matt dived low to his left and parried the ball away from a terrific strike.

A minute later following a corner, Hammers captain for the day James Tomkins sent a diagonal header on target only for Arsenal goalkeeper Lee Butcher to fingertip over the crossbar.

On 23 minutes, David Cowley and Kyel Reid made an opening for Zavon Hines, and the young striker forced a fine save from Lee Butcher.

West Ham United deservedly took the lead on 35 minutes with a well worked goal. Tony Stokes, who netted a hat-trick in last season's fixture at Shenley, initially found the ball in the centre circle before playing out wide right to Kyel Reid.

Reiddy crossed low just outside the Arsenal penalty area and Stokes seized on the ball by lashing home with his right foot to beat Lee Butcher at his right hand post.

With The Hammers asking all the questions, and with the watch reaching 43 minutes, West Ham United added to their tally.

Ishmael Welsh crossed from the left into the Arsenal penalty area, but Lee Butcher made a dreadful hash of a clearance, and the ball ended up at the feet of Hogan Ephraim outside the area.

The energetic England international took the ball back into the penalty area, waltzed around Lee Butcher and from an acute angle slotted the ball into the home.

HT: 2-0

In the second half, Arsenal had cemented their defence further from the risks of Kyel Reid and Ishmael Welsh, with Sean Kelly and Rene Steer commanding and with the lively Fabrice Muamba there was always a threat of a forward foray from them. 

However chances were few and far between, although Matt Reed in the Hammers goal had to dig deep and hard to keep out a cross from under his bar from Shane Tracy.

On 78 minutes substitute Jack Jeffery had the Hammers best chances when a glancing header from Hogan Ephraim's corner went just wide and a further chance to net when he shot wide from just inside the area.

The Hammers defence worked remarkabley well, with Liam White outstanding at centre-hlaf, as Hammers held on for a 2-0 victory.

WEST HAM UNITED: Matthew Reed, Jemel Henry, Ryan Andrews, Liam White, James Tomkins, Tony Stokes, Kyel Reid, David Cowley (Lee Hales 76 minutes), Zavon Hines (Jack Jeffery 73 minutes), Hogan Ephraim, Ishmael Welsh (Densal Davidson 74 minutes) Subs unused: David Blackmore (GK), Joe Widdowson.

By Tony Fowles, Ironworks Gazette