Reserves suffer 3-0 defeat against Watford

The reserve team suffered a 3-0 defeat against Watford on Tuesday evening.

On a freezing cold night at Dagenham & Redbridge, there was little to warm the small gathering of fans at the Glyn Hopkin stadium, as Hammers were beaten by a more experienced Watford side.

Academy Director Tony Carr - taking charge of the team in the absence of Kevin Keen - named a young side consisting almost entirely of his under-18 charges, with French midfielder Sekou Baradji the only player out of his teens.

Hammers made a lively start, though, and came close to taking the lead inside two minutes when Kyel Reid's measured volley from the edge of the penalty area flew just inches wide of the post.

However, that was as near as the hosts came to finding a breakthrough in the first half, and it was Watford who produced the greater threat in front of goal, mainly thanks to the pacy threat of their front two, Theo Robinson and Joel Grant.

Robinson went close with a fierce effort that just cleared the crossbar on 17 minutes, before Hammers keeper Eren Kemal denied him with a fantastic point-blank save soon after.

Watford were marshalled superbly at the back by captain Clarke Carlisle, and the former QPR defender got forward midway through the first half to send in a header that was cleared off the line by Ryan Andrews, before Robinson saw another angled drive turned round by Kemal.

From the resulting corner, though, the visitors finally found their way through. McNamee's kick reached the far post, where the powerful Carlisle climbed highest to head home from six yards out.

Tony Carr sent on schoolboy defender Jordan Spence (pictured above) at half-time for his reserve team debut, and the pacy 15-year-old coped well with the danger of Robinson and Grant early in the second half, but Watford claimed their second goal on the hour, as midfielder Alex Campana advanced to the edge of the penalty area and fired a low shot past Kemal.

Hammers fought on bravely, and winger Kyel Reid found space to fire in a couple of hopeful efforts that were just wide of the target, before Watford added their third with 20 minutes remaining. Right-back James Chambers skipped into the area before cutting the ball across for substitute Ben Gill to crack home a fierce left-footed drive that gave Kemal no chance.

Carr's young side kept battling and enjoyed full control in the closing stages, but couldn't find the consolation goal that their effort and determination deserved.

Hammers: Kemal; Andrews, Henry, White, Widdowson (Spence 45); Ephraim, Collison, Baradji, Reid; Frayne, Jeffery. Subs unused: Blackmore, Bowes, Ngala, Harvey.