Tony's Satisfying Win

ACADEMY Director Tony Carr admitted that the Under-18s 1-0 victory over Norwich was a game that could have gone either way until Tony Stokes popped up to grab a late winner for the Hammers.

He said: "To be fair the game could have gone either way, although we committed more numbers forward.

"Norwich seemed content to sit in there, keep a clean sheet and try and hit us on the break. But we managed to smuggle home the winner in the last five minutes to get the win.

"It's satisfying to sit in the dressing room knowing that you've really had to battle, without a lot of success, and really carve out a result.

"It wasn't a game with a lot of chances. Norwich probably had one good opportunity and we had two and a half. Kyel Reid had a really good effort and Hogan Ephraim too with a free-kick that their goalkeeper somehow got a hand to.

"Their were a few highlights but in the end we scrambled the winner and were delighted to take the three points.

"It was certainly pleasing to take three points and a clean sheet, which helps to rub out the memory of what happened last week at Ipswich.

"Now we move on to what is possibly going to be our toughest challenge of the season, away to Southampton. They are an excellent team and it's going to be difficult. But we'll certainly give it a go."

"I should be able to field a strong squad for that game because the next week neither the Youth or Reserve teams are playing. It'll be a good opportunity to hopefully pick from our strongest team and really have a go.