It was a case of happy Hammers all around as West Ham United Under-18s recorded their first victory of the new season against Watford.
They beat their London rivals at Little Heath on 1 September to wipe out the memories of two 1-0 defeats. The young Hammers started the game in blistering form and were 3-0 up within eight minutes.
Good link-up play between Ben Hunt and Freddie Sears saw West Ham take the lead, as Sears finished the move off by lifting the ball over the Watford keeper and into the net. Hammers grabbed a second goal soon after. Lorcan Fitzgerald crossed in a good corner which was flicked on by Hunt at the near post. In came Bondz 'Gala at the backpost to strike the ball towards the goal and while his first effort was parried by the keeper, 'Gala struck the back of the net at the second attempt from close range.
West Ham made sure of their commanding play, when they netted the third goal. A shot was deflected, hit the post and Hunt followed in the rebound after the Hornets keeper again failed to hold the ball. Outplaying their opposition, the young Hammers were looking likely to score every time they pushed forward.
But although on the backfoot for most of the game, Watford did manage to pull a goal back on the half-hour mark and it was 3-1 at half-time. In the second half, Hammers continued how they had started, mounting several attacks on the Watford defence.
Their strong endeavour resulted in a fourth goal as substitute Zavon Hines scored a great individual effort. After dispossessing his marker, Hines took the ball forward and coolly chipped the ball over the keeper. With 20 minutes to go though, Watford hit the net with their second goal, but West Ham kept their heads and ran out worthy winners.
A delighted Tony Carr was pleased with his side and felt there could have been a lot more goals. "After two defeats in our opening games, we wanted to bounce back and we did that well on Saturday.
"The only downside was the two goals we conceded, that let Watford back into the match a bit and gave them respectability with the scoreline. We outplayed them but I told the boys at half-time after Watford had pulled one goal back, that whoever scored next could decide the outcome of the game.
"We got that fourth one and although we conceded again, it meant we had that important cushion on which to see the game out as winners. We haven't been clinical enough in front of goal in our first two matches and today we put that right but there was a lot more to come from that. But we can't be too greedy and hopefully can save a few for the next game."
West Ham United: Street, O'Neill, Miller, Fitzgerald, 'Gala, Payne, Harvey, Stanislas (Hines), Lee, Hunt (Fry), Sears.
Subs not used: Blackmore, Ashman