Tony Carr has spoken of his delight at seeing Kyel Reid and debutant Zavon Hines get their first goals for the club at senior level.
The Academy products played a key role in West Ham United turning around a tricky Carling Cup tie at home to Macclesfield Town to win 4-1 on Wednesday night. The 20-year-old winger Reid is more experienced at this level - indeed he set up the winning goal against Plymouth Argyle in this competition last season - and has stepped up since joining the pre-season tour of North America. Hines, 19, has also shown an eye for goal in the summer and underlined his good form with a strike on his first-team bow.
Having worked with both as they came through the ranks, Carr was naturally thrilled to see them make an impact with the third and fourth goals after Lee Bowyer's equaliser and Carlton Cole's decisive second. "The two young lads coming on added a little bit. They worked hard, ran about and added a little bit of spark to the game. For both to score was terrific and I congratulated them afterwards. It was hard work but terrific to see a couple of the young lads involved and great for the Academy."
He said a big factor in their progress has been confidence. "Kyel and Zavon are training regularly with the first-team squad, they are not with the youth team anymore. They have moved on and that's what it is all about and they are gaining confidence playing with the first team. They both featured in the summer and then to come on last night and score is another step in their development. It is something that can never be taken away from them."
Freddie Sears began last night's game and Carr underlined that the 18-year-old would have also taken plenty from the experience but in a different way. "It is not all glory is what you find out," he said. "Not every game do you score and end up being the hero. He had one really good chance to score. He hit the target and may have kept the shot a little bit lower made it a bit more difficult for the goalkeeper. It was a frustrating night but he would have learned a lot."
It was a "difficult night" for the whole team but the vastly experienced coach said the important thing for all concerned was to get through to the third-round draw this weekend. "It was a tough game to play in. The opening round of the Carling Cup is a difficult game. It can be a real banana skin whether you are at home or away as shown this week. Two or three Premier League clubs went out and, like ourselves others, had to come from behind to win.