Keen encouraged by reserve display

Despite a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City last night, reserve team coach Kevin Keen was encouraged by the performance of his young side.

In a closely-fought encounter at Carrow Road, Hammers took a half-time lead thanks to Ishmael Welsh's 27th minute strike and also hit the post twice, but Norwich's greater experience showed after the break and they struck twice in the space of 15 minutes to secure all three points.

"I thought a draw was the least that we deserved," said Kevin. "We played really well in the first half, deserved our goal and might have scored one or two more.

"The boys played some excellent football and battled for the entire 90 minutes, but in the end Norwich just had a bit too much experience for us and managed to hold on to their lead.

"There were a few things that the younger lads will learn from, but our overall performance was of a high standard and we had plenty of positives to take from the game.

"Jimmy Walker also came through another 90 minutes without any problems and made a couple of superb saves, so that was another encouraging sign."