Youths draw at Fulham

Our under-18 side were held to a 2-2 draw at Fulham on Saturday morning.

After going a goal behind early on, Hammers bounced back with a penalty from Ishmael Welsh, and then repeated the feat early in the second half when Kyel Reid equalised for a second time.

With many of his players involved regularly with the reserve team recently, Tony Carr fielded a younger side against the Cottagers, including two schoolboy defenders, Spence and Ngala.

The hosts opened the scoring after just 15 minutes, but Hammers equalised 10 minutes before the break when Welsh was tripped in the penalty area and picked himself up to convert the spot-kick.

Two minutes after the interval, Fulham restored their advantage when a high, looping cross was only tipped on to the crossbar by goalkeeper David Blackmore and a striker tapped in the rebound from close range.

However, Hammers responded immediately and were level just a few minutes later, when Reid - on as a 44th minute substitute for the injured Lee Hales - fired home a fierce left-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area.

From then on, the visitors dominated proceedings and created enough clear-cut chances to have won the game comfortably. Midfielder Jack Collison missed two glorious opportunities from just six yards out, while substitute Hogan Ephraim failed to convert when one-on-one with the goalkeeper late on.

Tony Carr said afterwards: "The players did well to come from behind twice, but we should have won the game - their guy said afterwards that, if it had been a boxing match, we would have won on points.

"After conceding a couple of poor goals again, we got ourselves back into it and dominated the second half. We had the chances to win the game, but it just wasn't to be.

"I had quite a young side out today, with a couple of schoolboys, and it would have been good for them to have got the win, but I was pleased with the effort of the players and they all worked hard for the team."

Hammers: Blackmore; Henry, Andrews, Spence, Ngala; Cowley, Hales (Reid 44), Collison, Welsh (Harvey 80); Hines (Ephraim 70), Jeffery. Subs unused: Davidson, Tomkins.