Hunt strike sees off Canaries

A goal by Ben Hunt was enough to see West Ham United's Under 18s take all three points against Norwich at Little Heath.

Hammers dominated the game and created a host of chances but could not find the net in the first half.

A lively Freddie Sears enjoyed most of the opportunities up front: every time the ball was played forward, the young forward was in the thick of the action.

West Ham were consistent in their pressure on the Norwich goal but it remained 0-0 at the break.

In the second half, Hammers started as they had finished and finally got a reward, when they struck home in the first 15 minutes.

Sears cleverly got behind the Norwich defence to lay the ball across the front of the goal and there was Hunt waiting to simply tap the ball into the back of the net.

West Ham pushed forward again but were equally as strong at the back as they limited Norwich to a few minor chances.

With Arsenal drawing and Chelsea winning, Hammers, who are in second place in the league table between the two clubs, stayed in contention at the top.

Academy Director Tony Carr was pleased with his side's performance and says his young side are showing great consistency in their play.

He said: "I was satisfied with the way we won, although at half-time I told the lads that we had to start putting some of the chances away, or else we would be punished.

"We totally dominated the game and should have had more goals. One was enough for us in the end because we were also very solid at the back, but you never know if the other side get a set-play or there is a lack of concentration on our part that would let them back in.

"But overall we played very well and it keeps the gap of points between us Arsenal and Chelsea very tight which is what we want."

Tony added: "We have got some good consistency in our play, something which we have had all season except for the odd blip which is understandable.

"But there are boys out there whose play is coming along very well. Many of them are playing in the reserves this season as we have to double up a bit there, but it is good experience for them as they get a taste of the game at the next level."

Hammers: Stech, Miller, Blackwell, N'gala (Spence), Tomkins, Hales, Stanislas (O'Neill), Harvey, Sears, Hunt (Jeffery), Fitzgerald
Subs unused: Blackmore, Widdowson,

Video highlights of the game can be seen now on whutv.

by Laura Burkin