Youths sign off in style

West Ham United Under-18s 5-0 Birmingham City Under-18s

West Ham United signed off in terrific fashion for the season with a 5-0 victory at home against Birmingham City - although it was not enough to secure the title.

Triallist Ahmed Abdulla scored twice, schoolboy Conor Okus, Ashley Miller and Tom Harvey were all on target on a day when three players who have featured for the U18s this season were involved in the matchday 16 for the first team up at Bolton Wanderers. While James Tomkins, Jack Collison and Freddie Sears were otherwise engaged, Tony Carr's team ensured a tremendous campaign finished on a high note at Little Heath.


Abdulla opened the scoring with a low shot before Okus opened his U18 account with an outstanding effort. Despite usually being involved with the U16s, he showed great power to surge forward past a defender and then smash in beyond the visiting keeper. Abdulla, who is hoping to impress after leaving Arsenal, then got his second with his head to make it 3-0 at half-time. In the second half, Miller sparked enthusiastic celebrations when he shot in for his first goal of the season before the in-form Harvey, capped by England at U16 level, rounded out the scoring.

Arsenal's 1-0 win at home against Bristol City means they have been crowned champions of Group A of the Premier Academy Reserve League - and they will now go forward to play Group B winners Aston Villa in the play-offs. The Gunners, with one game left, are on 55 points while United, without that key trio for the run-in, have finished on a very creditable 51 points from their 28 games.

More details and reaction to follow