Youths held by Ipswich

A second-half Freddie Sears strike saw West Ham United's Under-18's go ahead against Ipswich on Saturday, but the Tractor Boys hit back late on for a share of the points.

Tony Carr's side were looking for their fourth straight win but the first half brought few chances for either side with no real opening created, although Sears tested the opposition keeper on a couple of occasions.

In the second half, Hammers imposed themselves more on the game and it paid off when they took the lead.

Substitute Lorcan Fitzgerald cut inside to send the ball into the box where a waiting Ben Hunt touched it on for Sears who struck a low well-driven shot from the edge of the area and into the net.

Sears had another opportunity soon after but could not find the target. Hammers were digging in deep to hang on to their 1-0 lead but, five minutes from the end, Ipswich equalised through a free-kick.

Tony said: "I didn't think we played that great, so to be honest a draw was a fair result. I thought that, even though we weren't at our best, we could still nick a win because I felt the only way Ipswich would score was through a set-play and so it proved.

"The first half was quiet and it was a case of stepping up in the second. We did and we got the goal, nearly grabbing a second, but at the end of the day we can't really complain about the score."

For Hammers, it was another game unbeaten and Tony explained that his young side will take the confidence from that into their next game.

"We have some tough encounters coming up," he said. "We face Milton Keynes Dons next weekend so there are some different tests ahead of us, teams we haven't played for a long while or not at all this season. But it's about being consistent and while we didn't get the victory here, we didn't lose.

"You have to build from these sort of results, they are probably the ones you learn a lot from and learning is very much part of the boys' game at this level."

West Ham: Blackmore, O'Neill (Fitzgerald 65), Blackwell, Miller, Tomkins, Hales, Spence, Collison, Hunt (Bowes 70), Stanislas, Sears
Subs unused: Street, N'Gala

by Laura Burkin