Youths back to winning ways

West Ham United's under-18s returned to winning ways on Saturday morning with a 3-2 victory over Ipswich Town at Little Heath.

Following their first defeat of the season against Norwich City last week, the young Hammers secured all three points against the Tractor Boys thanks to a late winner from substitute Freddie Sears.

Tony Carr's men had made the perfect start when defender Bondz Ngala prodded the ball home following a goalmouth scramble in the sixth minute, before Jack Collison's well-placed header gave the hosts a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time.

Collison then hit the bar with another header just minutes after the restart and, with Hammers seemingly in full control, it came as a real surprise to see Ipswich produce a stunning comeback just minutes later.

First Collison was adjudged to have pushed an opponent in the penalty area on 53 minutes. Goalkeeper David Blackmore produced a superb save to keep the spot-kick out, only for the Ipswich taker to follow up and net the rebound.

Moments later a cross from the right was headed in by the same attacker, and suddenly the attacking impetus swung in favour of the visitors. Hammers managed to hold on, though, and having weathered the storm, they pushed on in search of a winner.

Junior Stanislas saw a fierce snapshot tipped on to the crossbar by the Ipswich goalkeeper, before Collison made it a third effort against the woodwork with a curling shot that crashed back off the bar.

With 15 minutes remaining, Tony Carr added some pace and fresh legs to his attack with the introduction of Freddie Sears and, just five minutes later, the 16-year-old striker produced a winner.

A free-kick from Kyel Reid was nodded down in the penalty area, and Sears reacted quickest to fire a low volley through a crowd of defenders on the line.

As the visitors threw caution to the wind in an attempt to produce a second comeback, Hammers had opportunities to break clear on the counter-attack, but in the end were content to hold on for a narrow victory.

Hammers: Blackmore; Miller, Spence, Ngala, Widdowson; Stanislas, Harvey (Sears 75), Collison, Hales, Reid (Bowes 90); Jeffery (Hunt 81).