Brookes the U18 hero

Everton Under-18s 1-2 West Ham United Under-18s

A late Tony Brookes header was enough to give West Ham United an impressive win on the opening day of the FA Premier Academy League campaign.

Brookes, playing at right-back, signed his first professional contract with the club in the summer. His headed winner meant an excellent result from an inter-group fixture that had seen the side travel up on Friday to Merseyside to take on the Toffees. He along with captain Olly Lee and Danny Kearns provided much needed experience in the side.

In all, Carr's team play 18 games home and away against all of their Group A rivals and then a total of ten fixtures against sides from Groups B, C and D. Everton are in Group C, the same division as Stoke City who travel to Little Heath this coming Saturday.

The young Hammers were raring to go on Saturday morning after an impressive pre-season and applied early pressure before opening the scoring against their hosts through Cristian Montano's tenth-minute goal. Everton were soon able to level matters at their Finch Farm ground through Karl Sheppard but when Kearns swung in a corner five minutes from time, Brookes was on the spot to claim the victory.

Speaking to, Tony Carr said: "It was a very good performance to go with an impressive result. We had a couple of Under-19s playing which you are eligible to do and it was a great start for us. Everton are well respected so we are delighted to get the victory."

West Ham United: Mehmet, Brookes, Brown, Lampe, Sanchez, Lee, Barrett (Moncur 80), Wearen, Abdulla (Purdy 75), Montano (Subuola 55), Kearns
Subs unused: Loveday, Smith