Ipswich Town Under-18s 0-2 West Ham United Under-18s
Junior Stanislas carried on where he left off from the reserves earlier this week to score both goals in a comfortable Under-18s away win at Ipswich Town.
The young attacker, who was recently called up to the England Under-19 squad and scored twice in an 8-0 reserve win at Derby County on Monday, was outstanding. His only disappointment was to miss a penalty that would have seen him complete a hat-trick. Academy director Tony Carr said it was a deserved win, praising Stanislas for his two second-half goals and goalkeeper Marek Stech for a fine display that included a penalty save.
"It was a good performance, although it wasn't a flowing game," Carr said. "We made it hard for them to beat us and that is the key. You sometimes have to win matches just by working hard. Junior was fantastic - it was a shame he missed from the spot but all in all it was a good away win. While Junior got the goals, our other man of the match was Marek. He saved a penalty and made some great stops."
It was a fairly quiet first half for both sides, with the hosts just having the edge. West Ham United had a few half-chances, but it remained on level terms at the break. In the second half, the visitors pushed forward and it was not long before the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Stanislas, only for the 17-year-old to send his shot over the bar.
Undeterred, Carr's young team continued their pressure on the Ipswich goal and four minutes later, Stanislas made up for his penalty miss by firing in from 25 yards with a swerving shot that crashed into the net via the underside of the bar. The second goal was not long in coming. West Ham United were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Stanislas was on hand to double his, and the team's, advantage.
Ipswich were handed a lifeline when a handball decision was awarded against Ryan O'Neill, but Stech guessed right and made a fantastic save. He followed that with a couple more saves as Ipswich tried their luck, but the young Czech keeper was in no mood to let the ball past him. At the other end, Zavon Hines nearly made it three, beating the last defender before shooting into the side-netting.
The hosts then hit the post later on but that was to be as good as it got. Carr was delighted to see his side pick up good points on the road going into the last few games before the Christmas break. "We have been through a little rocky patch of late, so this sees us back on track. We have a few matches before Christmas and then a cup game coming up, so the confidence will be up again and we have made a good step forward."
West Ham United: Stech, O'Neill, Blackwell, 'Gala, Spence, Kearns (Brookes 80), Lee (Payne 75), Harvey, Hines, Hunt (Barrett 85), Stanislas.