JJ shows the way

West Ham United Reserves 4-0 Norwich City Reserves

Two goals from Jack Jeffery helped a youthful reserve side win their final friendly before the new season begins on Monday away to Chelsea.

The 19-year-old struck in each half at a rainy Chadwell Heath on Tuesday as part of an impressive team display. Jeffery scored the first around the half-hour mark with a neat piece of control and shot before Freddie Sears showed his usual predatory instincts to follow up a saved effort just before half-time. Marek Stech was needed to make a couple of good stops in the second half but Jeffery was able to add his second before Zavon Hines rounded out the scoring with a fine finish.

Kevin Keen will have been especially pleased to see James Tomkins turn in a commanding performance at the back for his second run-out in a week. Tomkins had a hand in the first and last goals to underline he is not just about dogged defending. A great flicked header paved the way for Jeffery's first before he stepped out of the back, surged forward and then played in a slide-rule pass for Hines to race away and score the fourth. Likewise, Jack Collison also showed he is over his own knee troubles in an hour-long appearance at the heart of the midfield.

Of the two, Tomkins is thought to be closest to a first-team return and may even be in with a chance of facing Newcastle United on Saturday week, especially if he comes through Monday's test at Chelsea. That reserve-team opener is one that Keen said will capture the imagination. "It is one of the games every season that the lads look forward to but it is also one of the toughest ones. They will be chomping at the bit. We might also have a couple of senior players looking to nick a spot and impress the new manager. It will be interesting."

Reflecting further on the Norwich win, Keen added: "The young pros we had out really attacked it well. They played some good football and Norwich gave us a good game. I was pleased with the performance." The caretaker manager had particular words of praise for Jeffery who showed up well in attacking positions with fellow forwards Sears and Hines.

Keen said: "JJ scored two good goals and did very well. It was one of the best games I have seen him play. Hopefully that will give him extra confidence and belief. Zavon is maturing into a decent young footballer and Joe Widdowson also did well."