Young Reserve Team Triumphs At Coventry

WEST Ham United Reserves held on for a fine 1-0 win away at Coventry City thanks to Kyel Reid's first-half goal.

This was the first Reserve game to be played at Coventry's brand new Ricoh Arena, and by coincidence Hammers were also the last team to visit the Sky Blues' old ground, Highfield Road, for a second string clash.

The three points were made all the more impressive considering Kevin Keen fielded a side packed full of youngsters. In fact the only player in the side with experience of first-team football was midfielder Tony Stokes, who had earned his senior debut in the Carling Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday the previous evening.

The young Hammers did the Club proud though, holding off a barage of Coventry pressure to come away with a win in the FA Premier Reserve League South.

What Hammers lacked in experience they more than made up for in application and determination. From the very first whistle Kevin Keen's men showed tremendous fighting spirit.

After putting together some promising attacks they took the lead on six minutes. England Under-19 international Reid picked up the ball and swung in a cross that deflected off  Coventry defender Ben Turner on its way into the net to make it 1-0.

Defender Liam White had to be alert to preserve Hammers lead in the opening period, clearing Craig Reid's effort off the line.

In the second-half Hammers came under mounting pressure from the Coventry attack. They were swamped with a wave of corners, but the young defence held firm, with White outstanding at centre half alongside James Tomkins.

Midway through the second-half Coventry's chances of a comeback were dealt a blow when Kevin Thornton was sent off for serious foul play.

Hammers were grateful for another goal-line clearance to protect their lead though, Turner trying to make amends with a shot that was blocked by Ryan Andews.

Kevin Keen was delighted at the three points.

He said: "I was really proud of the way we applied ourselves. It was a very young team, but a fantastic performance.

"The defence was outstanding and held firm under a lot of pressure from set-pieces.

"They stood up, threw their bodies in the way of everything and made some tremendous blocks.

"Liam White in particular had a fantastic game, and his was one of several really good performances."

WHU: Reed; Henry, Andrews, White, Tomkins, Stokes, Reid (Widdowson 80), Cowley, Jeffery, Hines (Davidson 80), Welsh (Hales 69). Sub unused: Blackmore (GK)