Carr delighted with victory

Academy director Tony Carr was in positive mood after guiding his West Ham United Under-18 side to a 2-0 FA Premier Academy League win over Fulham at Little Heath on Tuesday.

Anthony Edgar and Cristain Montano were on target as the Hammers held off the challenge of a strong Fulham team, delighting Carr and his staff with their application and attitude.

With a host of youth team players turning out for Alex Dyer's reserve team at Portsmouth a week ago and again for the Under-18s in the 5-0 victory over Bristol City on Friday, the Academy director was also pleased with the fitness levels of his young charges.

"It was a physically tough game and they pushed us all the way and it was key who scored the first goal. I think we just edged it in the second half. We got the penalty which was undisputed and Anthony tucked it away nicely. In the second half I thought we grew in confidence, matched them physically and got the second goal and then created three or four more very good chances.

"Overall I was very pleased because it was our second game in five days. It takes its toll and the boys have had a long, hard season because a lot of the boys have been turning out for the reserves as well as the Under-18s. We've got one game to go away to Spurs and it would be nice to end with a win there. With Spurs going for the title in their league, it will be a very tough call, but we'll give it our best shot."

While Tuesday's success was based on a determined all-round team performance, Carr was particularly impressed with the displays of captain and central defender Matt Fry and goalscorers Edgar and Montano, who also scored twice against Bristol City.

"Matty Fry was terrific. He was blocking balls and winning headers and tracking runners and getting tackles in. It was typical Matty Fry. He led by example. Anthony Edgar was terrific too in terms of his attacking flair and I thought he was our player of the game. He was excellent. I just took him off with 20 minutes to go to rest him for the weekend.

"Cristian has come good over the last half-dozen games of the season. He has predominantly been a left-sided player for us but I've gambled and put him up front as a striker and he's grown in confidence. He's a handful. He's big, he's strong and he's quick and if he can improve his control at times and his finishing ratio he could do very, very well. There's plenty of time for us to improve those sides of his game."

Having endured an inconsistent opening half to the season, Carr's team has found a winning formula in recent weeks, tasting victory seven times and losing just two of the eleven matches they have played in 2009.

The Hammers, who could secure a top-three Group A finish with victory at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, will hope to end the season on a successful note when they take on the Group B title-chasers this weekend.

"We don't want to speak too early before the Spurs game as we could go back to our old ways but we spoke to the boys and they've got a bit stronger as the months have gone on. We're starting to find that consistency and got a better all-round game. Individuals are starting to take responsibility in their parts of the pitch and it's benefitted the team in terms of getting good and consistent results."

While their league season will end on Saturday, Carr's players will continue to train for another fortnight before beginning a well-earned summer break.

"We've put a friendly in because we want to look at a couple of trialists next week and we'll train for a couple of weeks. We'll do a couple of fitness tests before we send them off because we want to know where we stand in terms of those levels for next season."